Traditions & Celebrations

This Is How We Christmas: “Decorations”


Last week, the theme for Lisa’s blog party was “Quirky Traditions.”  The sad part was, none of my traditions were reallyall that quirky.  Anything I thought of that might be considered “quirky,” had more to do with my décor (if you can really even call it that).  So, even though this week’s theme is actually “Decorations,” this is probably where you’ll get a real glimpse of some of my quirks.



Snowmen.  I know a lot of people choose to decorate with snowmen this time of year.  However, I’m guessing that the majority of them do not live in the middle of the desert.  Maybe I just live in denial, but, I like pretending like I live in a “Winter Wonderland,” even if it was sunny and seventy degrees outside as I unpacked them.  But, I like them, so they stay.


The Tree.  Our first few Christmases together, we went out and got a real tree.  It wasn’t exactly the picturesque trek into the woods to cut down the perfect holiday centerpiece, but it was fun.  And it smelled good.  But, it was also expensive, and messy.  So, when we got our 2 cats, we decided that a fake tree was the way to go.  We were afraid the cats would climb or eat a real one.  And, after vacuuming rogue pine needles for months following the Christmases with a real tree, we also thought that a fake tree would be a lot cleaner.  We were wrong.  About everything.  I have walked into our living room on numerous occasions to find a cat perched in the uppermost branches, comfortably napping!  They also chew on the (plastic) “needles.”  And, this tree…I think it drops as many needles as a real tree! 


But, it does score one point on the convenience scale that a real tree does not – and this may the only thing tipping those scales in its favor…it is always in the garage, ready when we are.  Even when the budget is tight, we will still have our tree!  (We have had a few “tight” years, and a Christmas tree is just one thing I can’t imagine doing without…I would if I absolutely had to…but, sometimes, it’s just nice to know I don’t have to.)  And, we don’t have to find time in the schedule, or brave inclement weather to go find it…and, while it is not all about convenience this time of year, anything that saves a little piece of my sanity is welcomed by all in our home!!


Before we had Hannah, I thought it would be nice to have a “pretty tree.”  You know, the kind you see in the Pottery Barn catalog, or a Martha Stewart Living magazine…with the twinkling white lights, and sparkly themed ornaments that perfectly matched the shiny star at the top.  But that is so not me.  I actually prefer the look of a “family” tree.  I love that my collection of childhood ornaments hang next to Hannah’s growing collection.  (We are that Hallmark commercial!)  I love that the paper plate and twisty-tie angel she made in Sunday School hangs next to the communion cup and fishing line bell I made around the same age.  (How that thing hasn’t broken in all these years, I will never know!!) 


And, you know what?  I did get my “pretty tree,” after all!!



Nativity Scene.  We have two…I’d love more, someday.  One sits atop our bookcase (well out of reach of kitty paws, wagging doggie tails, and little hands).  I tried to “light” it this year, using leftover lights from the tree…  Um, I am not a decorator, and stunts like this prove it.  So, I put the extra lights on the tree, and stopped playing interior decorator.


Our other Nativity sits atop another bookcase.  But, it is lower, and is intended to be touched, and played with!  I never wanted to have a house that was full of “no touch” things.  Yes, there are a few of those items – we must have limits, and learn self-control, and how to be careful with, and care for the things we have.  But, this is Hannah’s home too, and I want her to be comfortable in it – even, and especially, at Christmas!  So, I wanted to have a Nativity scene that she could do more than just look at.  I wanted her to hold the pieces, and act out the story.  I love hearing her “play manger” because she practically recites the entirety of Luke 1 and 2 while doing so!!



Christmas lights.  Of course.  I love Christmas lights!  I strung lights inside our one-bedroom apartment our first Christmas together, because there wasn’t anywhere to put them outside!  Now, I watch as Jason puts up the lights outside.  Hannah and I pretend to “help,” but mostly we just watch and try to stay out of the way.  Oh, and just a note about lights…white lights are for the tree, colored lights are for outside.  (I haven’t gotten a good nighttime picture of our lights…I’ll add it when I do!)


  1. That Christmas tree is beautiful! It looks real. Unlike my skinny little thing.

    Next year . . . a real tree!

    I LOVE the nativity sets. Love the first one. It’s precious. And love the second one for little hands. Just told someone in another comment I remember having one similar for my oldest daughter who is now 19. I need to find another one like that for the three-year-old.

    Is it Little People by Fisher Price?

    1. Thanks, Rena! We got the tree because it looked real. It is kind of a pain to set up – branch by branch, but the final result is decent. 🙂

      Yes, the nativity is Little People, by Fisher Price. I think I found it at WalMart…

  2. I like a “homey” tree too! No themes at my house, just a general hodge podge of things collected over the years. I especially love those ornaments from my childhood!

    I felt great guilt the first year we went with a “fake” tree but now the convenience has totally made it worth it!!!

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