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The Tree This Year

Amidst the chaos of completing construction, finishing up the basement, hosting a Thanksgiving crew, diving into an infuriating stair makeover (lead paint, arugh!) and staring down our unpainted and spackled walls, missing baseboards and scuffy, bright white front door, we put up our tree.

It’s no different than years past; it’s not a new tree, and nothing fresh or inventive was done. We didn’t purchase any additional tree decor, no, just the same ornaments from our childhood and the ones we’ve collected together over the last five years of marriage. (Although in true Christamaversary tradition, we did pick up one ornament while we were in Mexico!)

Back in October – before timelines were shifted and no one could predict how long our construction job would be delayed (and delayed and delayed) – we had tossed around the idea of getting something larger for our front window; we’ve never been able to have our tree seen from the street before. We could replace our skinny tree – and put it in the studio, perhaps? – for something larger, fluffier. But as time passed by and the year’s end became thisclose, we decided to keep what we had – for now, for sanity’s sake. At one point, I admitted to Scott that perhaps, this year only, we should nix the tree altogether (we haven’t found time to go to the grocery in over a month; how could we possibly squeeze in tree trimming?). This was greeted with shock from Scott (but you love Christmas! he said), and he insisted – for traditions sake.

No bells, no whistles, but for an entire Sunday evening we put everything aside. Within these four living room walls (half primed, half painted), we spent more time than usual putting up that tree, stringing the lights, reminiscing over the story of every ornament and lighting candles while we sipped on bourbon and red wine.

I’m so glad we did.

PS: December 25th is less than 2 weeks away (how did that happen?)! If you’re still looking for the perfect, super custom and thoughtful gift for the pet lovers in your life, it’s not too late to pick up a gift certificate from The Pet Shop. (Or spoil yourself and get on the 2014 pre-order list!)

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  • Laura @ Rather Square12.12.13 - 9:42 AM

    I know what you mean about feeling like there’s just no time for tree-trimming! Even though we’ve been in our house a few months longer than you (I think?), we haven’t done much in the way of holiday decorating. I’ll have to post a photo of our tree on our blog before Xmas arrives: It’s a little cardboard tree that John made out of a diaper box a couple of years ago, and he wraps it in tinsel and blue lights. It’s (relatively) cat and toddler safe. One day we’ll do something a little more grand!

    How are your pets around the tree – do they ever knock it over or swat at the ornaments?ReplyCancel

  • ashley @ sunnysideshlee.com12.12.13 - 9:49 AM

    i think scott is totes right too! now you’ll remember that first christmas in your new house together and i can guarantee you’ll be happy that you put that tree up together! plus doesn’t it just make your house feel more and more like a home? something about those twinkling lights make everything all cozy!ReplyCancel

  • Kim12.12.13 - 9:52 AM

    Laura, the girls – especially Maddie – like to stare at the tree or take naps under it, but they’ve never tried to knock anything over, thank goodness. Jack couldn’t care less!

    Ashlee, don’t you hate it when Scott is right? Ha! You’re right though… it’s our first Christmas together in this home, so it was really important that we just do it!ReplyCancel

  • Rachel12.12.13 - 9:53 AM

    So glad you were able to put up your tree – it looks beautiful :-) I know what you mean though – every year before we put it up I think that perhaps this year we should just skip it. And last year we did just that (we live in NJ and Hurricane Sandy hit in October and it wrecked my mom’s home pretty bad – she still is actually not back in it one year later) – we didn’t put up a tree because I just didn’t feel like it was a time to celebrate but it was terribly sad and depressing on Christmas day and I think that showed I should always, always put up a tree as I will never regret it once it’s finished.
    I love that Jack was there looking on – he looks like he is a good supervisor :-)ReplyCancel

  • Kim12.12.13 - 9:58 AM

    Rachel, I’m so sorry to hear that, but like you said, sometimes those traditions are really worth the effort in the end. We hope you were able to get it up this year, and you’ll spend Christmas morning enjoying the twinkling lights!

    Yes, Jack. Always the supervisor. He’s so bossy.ReplyCancel

  • ann12.12.13 - 10:07 AM

    I was hoping you would put up your tree. It’s a must do!ReplyCancel

  • Emily @ Adventures of a Dog Mom12.12.13 - 11:26 AM

    With our move this past fall and everything else on our overflowing plates of things to do we almost didn’t put our tree up either. But, this is the first time we’ve had a mantle to hang our stockings on and I figured we just had to get everything out and up. And, now I’m glad we did!ReplyCancel

  • Jessica12.12.13 - 12:20 PM

    I’m glad you did it! There’s something so homey about a tree in the window.

    If you’re looking for a new fake tree, a few years ago I went out the day AFTER Christmas and bought a pre-lit tree for 50% off. I saved something ridiculous like $80. If you don’t mind braving the crowds and/or going out early, that’s definitely the day to buy one!ReplyCancel

  • misie12.12.13 - 2:34 PM

    you two are adorbs! We had designs of getting a tree this year but we are being bums so our friend snuck over one afternoon and put a wreath on our door and lights on the tree outside our window. In the midst of life changes, it’s the little things the help you get in the holiday spirit…and other times it has to be forced on you :-)ReplyCancel

  • Julia@Cukoo4Design12.12.13 - 6:20 PM

    The trees that stay the same with the collected ornaments are the best, I think. We have one too in our family room and it’s our kids’ favorite and so fun and sentimental.ReplyCancel

  • Kelly G.12.13.13 - 7:48 AM

    Isn’t it nice not to bother with the fuss of it all, and just do something simple? It looks wonderful, too!ReplyCancel

  • Michelle12.13.13 - 9:12 AM

    We bought a very similar ornament during our honeymoon in Mexico. It’s one of my favorites!ReplyCancel

  • Julia at Home on 129 Acres12.15.13 - 1:41 PM

    I confess that for the second year since moving to our house we’re tree-less. Honestly, it just seems like more work at this point. I’d rather spend an afternoon patching the walls and getting them ready for painting than cutting down a tree and decorating it. Maybe I’m Scrooge, but this holiday I’m looking forward to relaxing and home improving. “Christmasing” actually plays a small part for me.ReplyCancel

  • Jaime Lopez12.18.13 - 12:07 PM

    I got so excited to see your ornament from Mexico… mainly because I picked up a nearly identical one 2 weeks ago while I was in Riviera Maya! I put up my tree last week and proudly displayed the gem on the front of my tree too.

    – JaimeReplyCancel

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