Friday, December 17, 2010

Our Christmas Tree

We had to wait this year to put our tree up until we had my Mom's 80th birthday party as we wanted the floor space for guests.   So the day after the party we had our traditional family tree decorating event.  Instead of dinner we have hors d'oeuvres and nibblies to munch on while we decorate the tree.  We've done it for years now and we all love it.  

We put our tree up in the familyroom/dining room (all one long room that adjoin the kitchen) as that is the biggest area for Christmas morning.  We always put the tree right near the sliding door, which is the perfect spot as it can be seen from almost all the rooms on the main floor and even from the front door.

A few years ago hubby threw our Christmas angel out with the tree - what a way for the poor thing to go.  Kate and I had to rectify the situation by buying a new angel.  We found just the one we wanted at one of our favourite stores Ten Thousand Villages.  The angel is made in the Phillipines from capiz shells .  The great thing about Ten Thousand Villages is that everything is fair trade so you know that the people who made the angel are getting a good wage for their work.  I love how translucent the capiz shells are so the light shines through the angel - sort of heavenly, don't you think.

You might notice that our tree this year is - ahem - rather thin.  I like to think of it as chic.  You know, tall and thin like a French model.  The tree was all wrapped up when we bought it so we couldn't really tell what shape it was.  It actually is perfectly proportioned with branches in all the right places, just with a narrow profile - see what I mean about being like a French model.  If you look closely you can even see an Eiffel Tower decoration at the bottom of the tree and the word Noel under the tree, which just confirms my theory.

Every year we buy the kids each an ornament to commemorate something they have done that year, are interested in, or a place we have gone on vacation.  Since we have 57 years of ornament buying - the collective number of years our offspring have been alive - there are a lot of kid ornaments now and they pretty much fill the tree.   When the kidlets all leave home and take their ornaments with them I'm going to go wild and have an ornament buying bonanza.  

Let's have a little tour and you will see what I mean about our travel tree.

The apple below was bought when hubby and I went to New York City for our fifth wedding anniversary.  I bought the little glass Santa because it is a reproduction of the ones on my parent's tree (which you can read about here).  Okay, I'll admit those are bad examples as they aren't the kid's ornaments.

The Winnie-the-Pooh ornament was Kate's when she was 3 years old as she loved all things Pooh.  The cross in the middle was bought at Kensington Palace in England by Kate, when we spent Christmas there, the year she was ten.  The Statue of Libery is Malcolm's from his end of High School trip to New York City with me five years ago (Kate and my husband are going on her trip next week - details to follow).  The Garfield is also Malcolm's as he was crazy about the Garfield comics for many years.  Tucked into the branches in the upper left is a Corner Gas ornament (well really a key chain) that is William's.  Corner Gas is a Canadian comedy show that was filmed in a little town just south of Regina, Sastkatchewan.  We went there one summer a few years ago and bought this ornament for William as he has watched the episodes so many times he has them memorized.

The ruby slipper is Kate's from Washington D. C., the Santa, that is painted on a wooden dowel used to mend fishing nets, was bought in Nova Scotia and is mine.

 The wooden outline creche was bought by my husband and myself when we went to Israel many years ago, the Anne of Green Gables ornament is Kate's from Prince Edward Island, and the viking ship is William's from Newfoundland.

I'm sure you get the idea.  I have little books for each child where I record the ornament that we bought and why for every year.  Truth be told I'm a few years behind so I need to get caught up before I forget.  We stop buying ornaments for them when they reach twenty as that seems old enough.   

We didn't put all the decorations out this year as the tree is - well slim - so there was no room.  It's actually fine by me as then there are fewer to take down afterward. 

Isn't she lovely in all her understated elegance!   Joyeux Noël

Linked to Saturday Nite Special at Funky Junk Interiors
Christmas Tour of Homes 2010 at The Nesting Place


  1. Joyeux Noel to you too. That was a lovely tour through your lives. Never mind the thin tree, the memories are there, which is as it should be!

  2. Yea, what Angie said. Very nice :D

    Joyeux Noel!

    Ricki Jill

  3. I love your slim tree! Your tradition of buying each child an ornament is wonderful, and I loved seeing your sample of them and hearing the stories. For us this year, with the kittens, it's a very Plastic Christmas ... fortunately, plastic ornaments have gotten much better recently. Our lovely collection of glass figures will remain packed away until next year.

  4. I was wondering how you could remember all those gifts and the years they were purchased. That little book was a great idea. I like your thin tree. Merry Christmas and Bonne Annee.

  5. I love your chic and stylish tree. :)

    I like your tradition of buy a new ornament each year for each child. It's something I wish I'd thought of!

  6. I love your little tree the angel is so precious and the ornaments that adorn I am sure are as well.

  7. Your tree is lovely -- these eclectic, meaningful trees are my very favorites!