Saturday, December 3, 2011

Our Little Tannenbaum

That's the German word for Christmas tree, right? I just remember hearing "O Tannenbaum"...guess I could look it up, but I barely have time to be doing this...oh well!

I'm sitting here writing this while listening to Coldplay's Christmas Lights. That's right, they totally wrote a Christmas song! It's probably one of my favorites now! Click on the link and listen for yourself!

We put our new Christmas tree up right after Thanksgiving, while my sister and her friend were still here to give me input. My dad always set up our tree, but Mitch was working in the garage (that phrase is awesome!), and since our tree is just a little guy, I just did it myself.

Mitch and I have always struggled to see eye-to-eye about Christmas decorations, for reasons typical of our genders. Most men would probably agree that if, every year, you leave the state for Christmas and travel to visit family, whose home is already beautifully decorated, why would you spend time and money decorating your own? And most women would probably understand my reasoning to want to decorate for the season, so it feels like Christmas is on its way.

It also certainly helped my argument that we are in a bigger, more open place now that can handle us rearranging furniture a bit and accommodate a tree (it even has a window to sit in front of!). Plus, I had Camille and her friend Kinsey chiming in, being on my side as well. And Shelby the night before. Poor Mitch.

So, Mitch traveled from his home planet of Mars and I traveled from Venus and we met in the middle. We compromised on a small, unlit tree, cheap lights and decorations, and a strict budget. I managed to buy everything for $30! 

We got a 6 1/2 ft. tall unlit Christmas tree at Walmart for $20. Can't beat that! A set of lights was $3, and a shorter set (just in case we needed it, which we did), was $2. Then I picked up ornament hooks, a simple Christmas tree skirt, 3 stockings, and other little decorations at the dollar store for a total of about $6. With tax and the loose change in my purse, I hit $30 right on the nose! Woo hoo!

Here are some pictures! I'm so excited to have a tree! It makes me sooo happy for it to feel like Christmas around here, especially with finals coming up next week.

Awww...I love having this in our home! Christmas will be here before we know it!

Not all the ornaments are from the Dollar store, some were gifts. We put them up high so Nathan wouldn't tear them apart. I'm glad the rest are cheap! He's still not allowed to touch them (and we didn't hang many very low), but if he were to pull one all apart or something, it didn't cost a fortune!
"Baby's First Christmas" little ceramic shoes, a baby shower gift from a good friend.
Another sweet baby's first Christmas, from Mitch's parents last year.
Our First Christmas, a gift from Mitch's parents two years ago.

 Even though they're cheap, they're still pretty :o)

If you click on this picture, you can see it says "St Louis Temple", where we were married.
I bought a big bow a couple years ago 50% off after Christmas, and it worked perfectly for a tree topper!

These little friends are from the dollar store. They used to sit under the Christmas tree to keep Nathan from touching anything, since he's afraid of all things fuzzy. Now he's brave enough to play with the moose, even give it hugs and kisses, but he won't touch the snowman! (And they only lasted as a deterrent from the Christmas tree for a couple days. Our little boy is growing some courage!)
My dollar store tree skirt...not too bad, I'd say! It's just a 42" round felt skirt. One day I'll find an awesome one, but everything this year made for a good "starter" Christmas.
Last year this little Nativity was my only Christmas decoration. It's a cute little ceramic one that I found at Deseret Book for $2.99! Score!

This little Nativity sits on our bookshelf. It was on sale last week at our craft store! I was so excited! I love little Christmas decorations because they don't take much room to store. This one is so small you can hold it in your fist! I also love one-piece Nativities, because there isn't anything to lose!
 These pictures could be better, I'm sure, but I still don't feel like editing pictures, so they're all just originals.

 One of my favorite memories was my mom's Nativity collection. One year she had an interior decorator friend come over and help her display all of them. They used every surface in the "formal" living room and the piano room, including the closed lid of our grand piano. It was amazing! I think she had over 75, and they all came from different places. Now she's decided she only wants to keep a few favorites, and has sold the rest. It was a TON of work putting them together, then making sure we knew where all the boxes went so they would get put away the right way. The funniest part was that our youngest sister Melissa was just three or four years old. She LOVED the Nativities. One day we found her with a bucket, gathering all the baby Jesuses from all the Nativities. So then we had to figure out which of the 75 babies belonged in each of the 75 sets! Another funny memory of that year is that she helped my mom and I (and mom's friend) put most of them together. We let her set up one all by herself. It was a collector's set with TONS of pieces and characters and add-ons. When we went over to look at it after she'd finished, she had centered the entire scene around this little well figure. There was even someone fishing out of the well. When we looked inside, we found none other than baby Jesus! Manger or well? I think she was confused...

Merry Christmas! I'm excited to get closer to my absolute favorite holiday of the year. Hopefully the excitement will help me through this and next weeks' finals and heavy work schedules! 

This year one of my goals is to keep the true meaning of the season in mind all the time. Especially since this is only our second Christmas as parents, it's so easy for us to get caught up in the gift-buying and exchanging side of things. While it's great to give, it's not all the season is about. No matter what or how you celebrate this time of year, I hope we can all remember what this time of year means to us.


  1. I love it! Christmas is so fun! I think I am going to decorate today!

  2. Okay Trevor is TOTALLY the same about it all. Luckily my awesome mother in law bought me a tree this year! Good to know the dollar store has a tree skirt because mine is without one and a dollar store one is wayyyy better than none! I will have to scrounge up some change : )

  3. Alaina! I am so glad you guys got a tree! It is so pretty! I need to go find a nativity! I looked in the bookstore and found one for $60. Haha, definitely not buying that one. I didn't even think about Deseret book!

  4. Mrs. Heather Sheffer gave us our first tree & skirt as a gift and the idea to put the kids handprints on the skirt each year. We have done that with silver or gold paint each year and their initials and I love it! It is one of my favorite Christmas decorations b/c I remember when my babies actually were babies & my sweet friend! Paying that idea forward. ;) Merry Christmas!


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