That’s Not a Christmas Tree

I used to do a lot of decorating for Christmas.  I hung garland and swags on railings and door frames.  I put decorations on every available space on walls and shelves.  There were lights for all the windows.  My children helped me decorate our tree – we had more ornaments than we could possibly fit on the six foot tall tree.  I put the tree on a two foot tall table so the top of the tree touched the ceiling and there was plenty of room for plenty of gifts underneath.

I began all this decorating on the first day of December and took it all down on Boxing Day.  I felt it was a lot of work – it was something that I considered a duty not something that I actually enjoyed.  Some other members of my family would occasionally agree to help but I found out that they only did it because they thought it was important to me.  Huh?  I only decorated for them.

As my children got older I decorated less.  We bought a four foot tree and later I recycled the old six foot tree as part of the nature area in the playroom.  It was still difficult to persuade anyone to help me decorate the four foot tree and no matter where I put it it always seemed to be in someone’s way.

I got a two foot tall tree – I selected all the smallest ornaments and only decorated the tree once.  On Boxing Day I put the still decorated tree in a box and tossed it in the attic to wait for next year. It took just minutes to get it down, plop it on the table and fluff it up a bit.

This year I forgot to get the tree down at the beginning of December.  Maybe it was the warmer weather and lack of snow but I didn’t even think about decorating until it was almost the middle of December.  I put up my winter village – it stays in the window until spring.  I didn’t bother getting the tree from the attic.  I didn’t even put the window clings on the windows.  Nobody seemed to notice though.

Then last week one of the daycare children asked ‘Hey Cheryl, where’s your Christmas tree?’  I was going to tell them it was in the attic but instead I said, ‘It’s in the nature area’. There was silence as the children looked at each other – they seem puzzled.

There is no Christmas tree in the nature area.’ one of them said.  I pointed at the pine tree in the corner;

That’s not a Christmas tree’ they said in unison.

Why not?’  I asked

It has no decorations.’ They replied.

‘We could decorate it,’ I suggested, ‘but my decorations are in the attic so we’ll have to make some.’  I had seen a Christmas decoration craft over at The Crafty Crow that I thought would be suitable for all the children – and I had some sparkly poster board that would work for this purpose.

I gathered some supplies and started cutting out the circles and some pieces of yarn.

The preschoolers were most interested in the scraps that were left over after I cut out the circles.

The cats liked them too.

We got busy making decorations.  Everyone had their preferred method.  There were intricate designs with multiple colors and simple designs that had really long loops for hanging.  Some children spent a lot of time on each ornament and insisted that each one they made was different from every other one.  There was one child who mass produced a dozen identical ornaments in less than 15 minutes!

We hung all the completed ornaments on the tree;

There was still plenty of room on the tree and enough supplies to make many more ornaments so I’ve left the tray out in the sun room.  Each day there are some more ornaments to add to the tree.

Now we have a Christmas tree.  It’s ours and we love it.  There are no Christmas tree rules – each tree is special and unique.  Small or large, exquisite or plain, artificial or real, traditional or unconventional; it’s your tree – you decide.

Go check out some of these interesting Christmas tree creations

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