Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Naked Tree

The first Christmas is exciting.  You get to start fresh and buy all of your Christmas decorations.  The first Christmas is terrible.  You have to start fresh and buy all of your Christmas decorations.  Since we are incredibly limited on dollar bills for pretty decorations we had to to find ways to steer around our budget.  We bought some matte white ornaments and a couple of gold ones thinking it would suffice.  My parents came over one night to eat supper with us right after we had just decorated our Christmas tree.  The very next night they came Christmas caroling (literally!) and bearing gifts.. aka tinsel and more ornaments.  My mom is very much against a "naked" tree and she felt bad for us. 

(my favorite ornament my parent's gave us)
Oh ya know.. just classic pity gifts.  Don't bother me!  I got more ornaments!  Even still, my tree looked seriously naked.  So Colby and I decided to make some more ornaments to save on money.  We bought clear glass balls for like $3 a pack and filled them with twine and red ribbon.  We also spray painted some coffee beans with gold glitter and put them in a glass ball ornament - that's one of my favorites!  

We also cut down some wood and sliced them into 3 to 5 inch diameter coins.  We next got Colby's wood-burning kit and started burning them in several designs.  We did the outline of North Carolina, the state flag, words of the Christmas season like joy and hope, and bunch of other things.  We loved them.  We made smaller wood coin ornaments that we combine with keys to the multiple houses we had lived in since being married.  The ornaments were hung by strings of twine and dipped in polyurethane to keep them from warping.  

We loved them, seriously.  One more sentimental ornament I created this past Christmas was this one:

At our wedding, we had buttons on our cake.  I had kept them in a ziploc bag, moving them from room to room, trying to find their place in our home.  I had given up hope of finding that place and decided to toss them.  But I literally couldn't throw them in the trashcan.  It was like a force field had engulfed the trash can.  So I, impulsively, laced some baker's twine through the button holes and threw them on the tree, thinking at least it will get them out of that ziploc bag and out of my way for now.  And I actually loved how they turned out. 

We still have more ornaments to buy for next year.. so our tree will retire from nakedness.  But we will worry about that in December!

So as you can see, Colby and I are pretty good at taking what we have and making it somewhat decorative.  We were in my in-law's basement one evening during the Christmas holiday when I caught of glimpse of Colby's first deer he killed when he was 11.  I got completely fixated on it and we took it home.  We threw some old, red ornaments on the antlers with some fishing line.  And we threw a scarf around its neck.  Viola! A homemade reindeer.. a stylish one at that!

 I wanted to find a way to be very intentional this Christmas.  So I made it a goal, a vow rather, to write a personal note with each gift I wrapped.  Some explained why we bought the gift we did, some explained what we most loved about them, some were simple truths.  I want this tradition to NEVER stop.  I loved reflecting on the people we love and letting them know why.

I bought a gorgeous print from my sisters' new typography company, Leelyn & Co.  It is one of my favorite Christmas songs and this particular lyric completely sums up the season for me.  

And I had to throw my little gold-leaf reindeer in the blog because he is just too dang cute for me not to mention him.  

Regardless of our best efforts to not go over budget.. we did.  Only because of lights.  Christmas lights are going all LED this year, which I love and hate.  I hate that it doesn't give off that classic amber glow when lit.  But I know that this is good for safety reasons and the environment.

I do believe that the phrase a day late (or month) and a dollar short fits oh so perfectly into this post.

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