December Already! I’m thinking trees…

December 1, 2009

I can hardly believe we have entered December… I’m still not over Thanksgiving!  Though my neighbors do not celebrate our American Thanksgiving, I would have believed I were in the States on 27 November.  The day after Thanksgiving, our neighbors began decorating for the holidays… the pressure is on!

While most of the unpacking is done, I have yet to venture out to the garage where boxes and bins of Holiday decor is wrapped in plastic bubble wrap.  Oh, Joy to the Season.  Don’t get me wrong – I love the holiday season.  What I do not love is the increase of volume in my house, the arguing over who gets to decorate what and the inevitable crying from the one who does not get his/her way.  I thought I would circumvent this sort of thing last year by decoration the house myself, while DH, DD and DS1 were out at their respective places of work.  Despite my cunning efforts, there was still arguing and an increased disappointment in Mommy.  Be Merry and Bright. Yeah.

Perhaps the most important decoration, the decoration which can make or break your holiday season, The Tree.  In years past we have had perfect-lush-just-the-right-height trees, too-wide-too-tall-bare trees, healthy-looking-get-it-home-it-falls-apart trees and :gulp: fake trees.

The fake trees began three years ago, when we realized the farming, cutting and disposal of Christmas Trees was blatantly wasteful.  We had considered purchasing a live tree, with roots intact, but considering the soil of our Hawaiian terrain and I did say Hawaiian, we thought it was time to buy a fake tree.

But, we were not quite ready for the commitment and we were not too sure if we would like having a plastic tree.  We decided to purchase three small trees, one for each child to decorate.  It went quite well, the decorating of the tree and the subsequent home decoration to include the small trees around the house.

That is, until the oldest child decided her tree must travel the house with her, to make her ‘happy’.  When Tweedle Dum moves the left foot, Tweedle Dee moves the right and Tweedle Do tried desperately to keep in time.  So many decorations were broken as a result, which in turn cause crying and general discord.  We would NOT do this again.

Still not ready to purchase a fake tree, two years ago I came up with a brilliant-to-me idea.  We would MAKE our own tree.  We had a family pow-wow one evening after dinner and I made the announcement.  I challenged everyone to be creative and throw out their ideas but there were restrictions.  We could not purchase anything for our tree, we had to use items we already owned.  Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Repurpose.

Each child and myself enjoyed the challenge while DH seemed unenthusiastic and doubtful.  Three days later we regrouped and shared our ideas, finally agreeing on a three-dimensional cardboard tree.  We made a small prototype, gathered a few of the many, many moving boxes we had stored and got to work.  When finished, we were all delighted of our success.  We hung our ornaments and garland, made hot chocolate with lots and lots of marshmallows and basked in our thrifty genius.

The days preceeding The Big Day, we did make note of a few oversights such as issues of top heaviness due to too many ornaments, the non-symmetry  of the tree overall and the fact that our tree was brown and therefore, not very festive.  On the first day of the New Year, we disassembled our tree, deciding to tear off one piece which we dated and tucked into the ornament storage box.  Last year we decided to make another tree, this time correcting some of the previous issues.  Again we basked, again we learned and again we saved a piece of the tree.

This year, being surrounded by such gorgeous nature and truly festive and merry people, we are somewhat indecisive as to how we will handle the tree.  Having just moved, we certainly have more than enough cardboard on hand but we also have a yard and I can see purchasing a live tree and planting it later.  Our landlords have been wonderful, allowing us to do what we’d like with the yard.  They’ve even encouraged us to rip out all the trees, shrubs and flowers and plant our own – to make the home our own.

I guess it’s time for another family pow-wow.



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