I stand at the Storeroom door with the same look on my face as the Rolling Eyes Emoji. Every year it’s the same. This year I think I need a Klingon Battle Cruiser to put some phase cannons into the impenetrable wall of boxes that reach back into the depths of the unknown. Why, oh why, do I always put the Christmas decorations at the back of the storeroom? What makes me think I am going to need them any less than the huge box of fabric off cuts, the beach umbrella, a sewing machine, a few sets of hand weights, 4 camping chairs, a tent, the giant roll of brown paper, the kids old Pokemon cards and Thomas the Tanks, and the diet books that haven’t seen the light of day for a decade? “Next Time,” I promise myself, “I am going to put the tree and decorations In. The. Front.”
2 hours, some sweat, and even some tears later, we have a tree up. The number of decoration boxes is dismaying. WHY do I have so many? (Well, ahem…I never threw any out). How to fit ALL that on one 6 foot Christmas tree?? I had the solution. A Christmas tree of love.
Here’s the thing. You have to love your tree, right? There’s really no point to it, if you don’t. So every decoration you own should be one that brings back memories of happy times, of babies, of your childhood, of your holidays, your celebrations, of your family and of your friends. The Spirit of Christmas is what I’m talking about. In short, you should love your decorations. I know everyone’s taste is not the same…but…
Ker-Phoooey! to the trees that are colour-co ordinated to the loungeroom. PPPththhh...to the Christmas trees that follow fashion (booooring!!), Blahh!!…to the ones that have the same old, same old, year after year with no fresh additions and just because you have to and LAZY! to the minimalist, THOUGHTLESS! to the hurried, BORING to the monochrome and REALLY? to the ones with no sparkling lights!! Ban the Generic!
12 Tips for a loaded-with-love family Christmas Tree.
1. First put some beautiful lights on.
… (before you decorate so that the wires are semi hidden, and you can fiddle with the leads without heirloom decorations crashing around you). I love my vintage lights, they’re softer, prettier colours and much more pleasant at night. I mix them with a string of brighter lights. I don’t do fit-inducing flashing!!
2. Holiday memories
When you go on holidays, whether overseas or just two hours away, if you see a decoration or a pretty thing that would make a nice decoration, buy it! Add a string, voila. I’ve added strings to some bizarre and lovely things! Also items significant to your home area are a nice idea. We have a quite a few ‘sea creatures’ on our tree, living on the Sydney beaches.
3. A new family member or memories of someone you love
When there’s a new addition to the family – a baby or even a pet – buy
a beautiful celebratory decoration that Christmas and maybe even glitter-glue their name and the year on it. (Give it to your child when he or she leaves home and has their own first tree! – if you can bear it!!). I’ve also got a beautiful angel that reminds me of my mother, whom I loved dearly, and who also adored Christmas. She deserved to be celebrated on the tree!
4. A celebration
Buy one decoration every year to celebrate some achievement or exciting event. A marriage (we kept a decoration from a wedding present – see below), an engagement, First day of school, graduation, your new home.
5. The Children’s Choice
Take your little children or grandchildren to the Christmas department and let them choose something they love. (make sure you love it too!) They’ll remember ‘it’s theirs’ for many years, and you can give that one back eventually too as a lovely sentimental gift.
6. Childhood Memories
Ask your parents for one or two of the decorations from your childhood. My husband and I each have a couple, over 50 years old now, they are precious and loved. These are decorations I remember as a child and stared at for hours. Sentimental love.
7. Cute Christmas Craft
Keep your littlies’ craft efforts! OK, I’m a but of a culler of garbagy kiddie decorations. I don’t like salt dough! But there have been a few, mostly made at home, not school, that I just adore – off the cuff, off theme, and off centre…these are some of my most loved.
8. Follies and Foibles
Quirky – make it yours! We have a few quirky family
members – other people don’t need to know (you won’t tell, will you?). If you’re an ornithologist put some birds on, if you’re a surgeon…well…how about some spangled forceps? 😀 Love Gardening? find a mini trowel set….you know, own it. (We don’t want to think about butchers and mortitians).
9. Sweet Treats
Try a couple of boxes of real candy canes, or hanging chocolate Santas/baubles. They’re great gap fillers, everyone that comes to visit can pick one off the tree but only AFTER they’ve admired it!!
10. Gifts from Friends
Keep pretty decorations given to you by friends and use a gold marker to print their name and year in small somewhere on it if you can. (don’t keep the yucky ones…ha ha)!
11. Your Faves
Fill in with your random favourites (only put on things you love!)
12. And lucky last –
some tinsel or string beads on LAST (so they don’t tangle with the decorations).
and there you have it. A love filled, memory filled, sentimental tromp through the past and a tree full of happiness for the future!
Back to the subject of treacherous storerooms and mountainous piles of decoration boxes: I’ve been culling a few decorations every year,…the ones we don’t like so much, the ones that break, fade or fail to live up to our new, exacting standards. I give them to charity, or if they’re vintage ones they get snapped up through online sales. I’m down to 2 boxes of tree decorations. I still try to buy one new decoration per year – some where we’ve been, something to recognise an event, or just something beautiful. I’m finally holding the status quo, I think, and no longer demand danger money to enter the Storeroom. This type of tree is not for everyone, but…it’s not supposed to be…it’s supposed to be for YOU!