Christmas tree 2.0, paper whites & a blue truck

Marian ParsonsDecorating, Family Room, Holiday, Living Room, My House

This year, I really took my time selecting the Parsons’ family Christmas tree of 2016.  It was the perfect height, fluffy, and full…just like I wanted.

I was practically giddy as I put on over 1200 lights, the garland, and ornaments.  It looked beautiful.


Here is how my glorious, perfect tree looked yesterday morning…


The tree was totally dried out and the branches were sagging, touching the floor.  This caused the garland to slide off.  Like a glacier, it was gaining ground each day.

 Since so much of the tree was on the floor, watering it became almost impossible (and probably pointless), and I couldn’t vacuum up the blanket of needles littering my pretty grain sack tree skirt, which was all but invisible, anyway.

I mean, how am I going to put presents under that tree?!  I started to joke with my sons that their presents would be buried underneath and they would have to crawl under to get them.

And some of the ornaments were just hanging on for dear life…


(By the way, I’m skittish about fire in general, so I don’t light those candles, but I love the idea of real candles on a tree.)

I tried to talk myself into riding it out, planning to take it down on Christmas day, as things started to wind down. But then I thought about how much we all love the glow of the lights at night and what a bummer it would be to not have that.

The tree looked so pathetic yesterday morning that I just couldn’t stand it.  We were going to either not have a tree or get a new one.  I approached the topic with Jeff gingerly, knowing that putting up a tree isn’t one of his favorite things to do…especially when he’s already done it once, thus fulfilling his Christmas tree duties for 2016.

He could see how important it was to me and agreed that replacing the tree wasn’t an entirely unreasonable request, given the sad state of it.  He agreed to help.

I went to the tree farm after working in the studio.  They only had four Frazier fir trees cut and three of them would be worse than having no tree at all!  The forth one was almost 10′ tall and it wasn’t as full as my beloved tree, but it was respectable and had a nice shape.  At the very least, it didn’t have bald spots or brown patches like the other three.  I had it cut down to 8.5′, so it would fit in our room, and the gentleman wrapped it up and put it on my van.  He took pity on the fact that I had to buy a second tree and, even though it wasn’t their fault, he sold this one to me for $10.

(As an aside, our noble fir has dried out as well and Kriste said her tree, which was only purchased 2 weeks ago, has dried out, too.  I already had to pitch the little white tree from Wegmans, because so many branches were bare.  We’ve been having other issues with static electricity zapping Calvin’s diabetic equipment.  I think this year is just extraordinarily dry.)

When we brought the tree in and set it up, Marshall, my almost-10-year-old loudly spewed, “Why is that tree so – ” and Jeff cut him off.  “It’s going to look great when mommy is finished decorating it.”  Translation – If you point out how sparse and awkward this tree is compared to the one we just hauled out and put on the burn pile, you might make your mom cry.

Surprisingly, I was hopeful about this tree.  I could see it had good bones and potential, even though it was a little tall and gangly.  So, here it is, Christmas Tree 2.0…


Not too bad.  Marshall said the tree must be a girl, because she’s “wearing a skirt”.

I think she has a tree-next-door quality about her, as opposed to the previous one that was a little more shapely and manicured.

The lights, ornaments, and garland all helped pull the branches down a bit, making it look fuller and it’s actually quite nice given that I only had four to chose from!

I am considering an artificial tree for next year, though.  They have come a long way with looking realistic, so I think it’s worth another try.

In other Christmas decor news, the paper whites are blooming!


They have been so easy to grow and fun to watch.  I am so glad I tried them this year.


Also, in the living room, I added a little toy truck to my village scene.  I was up tucking Marshall into bed and noticed this antique toy truck sitting on his bookshelf.  I found a small collection of old metal cars when I was cleaning out my Opa’s attic, including this truck.  They boys have never played with them, but I set them out on one of their shelves.  I’ve had them for years, but have never thought of using them in decor.  That night, the blue truck caught my eye afresh.  Well, hello there!  Wouldn’t you would look great with a bottle brush tree in your bed?  You’re coming with me.   




In addition to some actual work, I finished wrapping Christmas presents today.


I even used a little red.

I hope you’re all enjoy your Christmas preparations and it’s not too stressful.  I still have a few more things to do, but I’m looking forward to Christmas day and then taking a few days off to just enjoy my family and have some much needed down time.

Christmas tree 2.0, paper whites & a blue truck

Related Posts

how to fix “sticky” drawers

paring down

Room Refresh & Renew with Birch Lane

top 5 tips for decorating on a budget | part 1