Time for joy and cheer! (Get ready for a butt load of personal opinion.)
And tree trimming. And people posting their trees on facebook. And me judging them. Over the years I have come to be quite judgmental of other people’s trees. I full-on detest a fake tree. Especially the ones that look like perfectly compact triangles. You know the ones, they’re skinny and have no erratic branches sticking out? And people fill them with the gaudiest of decorations!? Like hot pink balls and white garland? Or a bunch of Santa heads?
I suppose my love of the real tree can be traced back to my childhood, when every Christmas we’d drive to a family plot of land to stake out the perfect cedar tree. My father’s cousin gave us free reign to hack down any tree of our choosing and my mother would have him going over the whole plot for the perfect tannebaum. There are pictures of me with our chihuahua Baby under my arm, Dad chain saw in hand with the slain tree on the ground, and mom with her giant 80s permed hair. Oh the memories.
And then, tragedy struck. The cousin sold the land, and my parents bought a 10 foot fake tree. For many many years of life I was stuck spreading alphabetized limbs each December until adulthood when now I can shell out 50 bucks for my own memory making.
A fake tree provides no joy of tree hunting. No joy of strapping it to the roof of your vehicle and hoping to God it doesn’t fly off on the highway on your schlep home. A fake tree doesn’t SMELL! At most, you get the joy (can you even call it that?) of assembling the darn thing.
I have also come to be very particular about what goes on the tree. I am strictly a star girl. None of this bow or angel crap for me. Please.
Here is the recipe for a perfect Christmas tree. You follow this recipe and you’re set.
Tree: You want to pick a tree that is going to support your ornaments. The fraser fir has sturdy hardy branches and smells wonderful. They do have sticky sap but I would imagine all of the conifers do though I am only experienced with this variety. Make sure to water every.single.day. I personally think the more awkwardly shaped your real tree, the better.
Topper: Plain and simple, you want the star. I mean, hello, it’s Christmas! The star, the wise men, the baby Jesus? It’s just what you do. And even if you aren’t religious, I just think it’s right. Bows are poopoo and angels are gaudy. There. I said it. Stars.
Ornaments: When I was younger, there was this older woman my mom knew who gave me a Christmas ornament every year. These weren’t your typical balls, each one was unique and beautiful. These became the “special” ornaments and I’m sure everyone has their version of them. My mother so kindly gave me all those ornaments, and they happily hang on my tree. And now she gives me an ornament every year, and my ex gave me an ornament all the years we were together….this is how you build your special ornament arsenal. I also like to pick up a few new ones in stores because you can never have to many! I personally would rather have a lot of unique ornaments over balls and matchy matchy ornaments. Threshold at Target has affordable cute ones and of course Anthropologie and West Elm have some neat ones. How cute is this kitty?
Lights: Next, I prefer white lights (GREEN strand to blend in), over multi-colored lights. And please, skip the blinking lights. You don’t want to give your family members a seizure/migraine.
Balls: and tinsel or icicles. After you’ve filled your tree with special ornaments, you fill in the gaps with balls. This is where some people make the mistake of saying “I’m going to have an all gold tree this year!” and do all varieties of gold balls. No. All varieties of colorful balls are so much better. All that light shining and bouncing around! Beautiful! And how fun and vintage is tinsel. Can you even buy tinsel anymore? I have no idea because no one will let me use it because it’s so messy. So I have these stupid glittery and glass icicles I hang. I don’t necessarily love it but they’re now House of Mir Christmas Tradition.
Lastly, you need a tree skirt. I would go ahead and buy one and not go the bunched up sheet route or whatever it is some people do. Your tree is a thing of tradition and beauty!
That’s it. You’re ready to gloat about how gorgeous your tree is! 😉 Get to gifting and sitting beneath its ambient glow.
My lights don’t look 100% but I’m please enough with this years tree. It could stand to have a few more ornaments but this is all I have and I don’t care to go buy more right now. I decorated this tree alone. In the past I had helping eyes (sniffles, the boyfriend) so maybe that’s why it’s also a little off.
Quite fond of how the mantle turned out! Magnolia leaves, trimmings from the tree, holly, and vintage candle brass sticks.
I also substituted in this yellow chair in place of the throne since only one chair would fit. You know, spice things up a bit. I don’t know if I mentioned it but I went antiquing recently and got that orange footstool. Some people were complaining my place isn’t comfortable so now they can put their feet up! It makes additional seating as well (though it is as hard as a rock! eek).
Merry Christmas! Happy decorating!