O Christmas Tree

A simple gratitude post this evening, for a simple joy, bringing home this year’s Christmas tree. Today I packed up the fall decor. This evening, tabletops and shelves are empty, blank canvases awaiting creativity. Tomorrow the Christmas boxes get unpacked.

With temperatures in the 60s this afternoon, it was the perfect time to pick out my Christmas tree at Lowe’s Garden Center. No coat, hat or gloves were required. No shivering in the cold as I sorted through trees. I am grateful for such a gorgeous day and a pretty little fresh Fraser Fir.

I have always preferred a real Christmas tree. While I see the benefits of having an artificial tree, I love the earthy scent of a fresh tree and the feel of soft needles as I decorate. At one time Greg and I cut our own tree each Christmas. It is much easier and quicker to select one that has already been cut at a Christmas tree farm. Selecting a tree at Lowe’s is my yearly tradition.

The only thing that has changed over the years is the height of the tree. I used to purchase a seven foot tree. Then I downsized to one close to six feet. Now, my tree is in the five to six foot range. They are easier to handle, at this size, and easier to decorate as well. They still smell just as fragrant.

Lowe’s always has a great selection of Fraser Firs and Douglas Pines, in a variety of sizes.

I make careful considerations: Not too skimpily branched. No glaring empty spots. Nice shape. Not to big around. Greg stood trees up as I selected them so I could view them from all angles. Tree number three was perfect!

The attendant in the garden center made a fresh cut at the base and wrapped the tree in netting. They always have a bin of cuttings, free for the taking. I bring home green pine boughs, to use on the front porch.

I am full of gratitude for a mild sunny day in late November, fresh, aromatic Fraser Fir trees, Lowe’s Garden Center with its kind helpers, my friend Mike for the use of his truck, and Greg’s assistance in getting my sweet smelling tree home.

Tonight the tree is relaxing in its spot in my living room, drinking in cool water. It is as yet unadorned. However its scent wafts to me every time I walk by or enter the room.

Tomorrow, I decorate.

“O Christmas tree, O Christmas, how lovely are thy branches…”

Journey 341: Tis the Season

It’s been a busy day and an even busier evening. In between taking care of people, I continued decorating the house for Christmas. I love expressing my creativity this way. I’m not finished yet, but it will all get done. I needed a simple blog post tonight, as midnight is quickly approaching. 

Here is Christmas as it is appearing throughout the house. 

 

My little Norfolk pine in the bedroom gets decked out for Christmas. Love the new little colored lights this year. 

  

The vintage suitcase switched over to Christmas. The Merry Christmas postcard featuring Bob & Leta Moore is 71 years old!  
 

  

Santa mug collection.  
  
Vignette in my great aunt Roxie’s little red footstool, that I flipped upside down. 

  

  

Although my main tree is real, I’m scattering little artificial trees throughout the house this year. This one found a spot on a vintage chair. 

 

I swapped out a few items on the entry table to transition it to Christmas. 

   

The main tree, in process. I’ll finish it tomorrow as I have time. 

 

The two new ornaments for this year. The acorn, reminding me of my adventures during 2015, and those who accompanied me and those that I lost. 

And I made the cluster of hearts from the beautiful little ornaments that I purchased last month. I love the colors. 

   
This is what I love to do each evening before bed. Turn off the room lights and sit looking at the Christmas tree. Peace and joy fill me. It’s after midnight. I should get to bed. I have much to accomplish later today and more decorating to do. But for just a few moments more, this is where I want to be. 

  

Day 334: Fresh Christmas Wreath

wreath

Today’s first was a simple one, and very much a spontaneous moment. The weather was perfect early in the day, reaching the mid 60’s before a cold front moved through, sending the temps plummeting. I decided to go get a Christmas tree while it was still warm. I won’t be decorating the tree for a couple of days, but at least it was pleasant selecting it at Lowe’s Garden Center.

Greg graciously accompanied me with his truck to load the tree in the back. Last year I bought a small Fraser Fir Pine tree and LOVED it. I’ve purchased fresh Douglas Firs for years, usually 6  – 7 feet tall. But last year, wanting to change up the tree decorations a bit, and to conserve space, which is limited in my living room, I bought a shorter, smaller,  Fraser Fir and enjoyed it so much. I embraced my new tradition today and immediately found the perfect tree. As we were headed to the check out, Greg asked me, “Do you want a fresh wreath?” I’ve never had one before. I’d been admiring them at the front of the garden center. I love a fresh Christmas tree because of the way it makes my whole house smell wonderfully woodsy. I have nothing against artificial trees….I just prefer a fresh one for my own enjoyment.

The wreaths smelled just as wonderful. They were crafted from several types of evergreens, including fir trees, and have pinecones and little blue berries on them. When Greg offered to buy one for me, I said yes! I selected a wreath and brought it home. I switched out the fall wreath hanging on the front door for the Christmas one. Every time I enter the house, I inhale the scent and sigh, happily. What a perfectly simple and beautiful first.

Before the weather turned cold, I cleared the front porch of the fall items. That covered area is now ready to be decorated for Christmas. Inside the house, I packed away some of the fall décor and began cleaning. Greg climbed a ladder and handed down boxes of Christmas decorations.

This week I intend to move slowly, from room to room, cleaning, fluffing, and decorating. I don’t want to purchase any new items, but use what I have, in different ways. This year I’ve enjoyed keeping pieces out and moving them to a new location or combining them with different items for a fresh look, as I’ve decorated for each season. So some of the spring items, rather than all going back into storage, transitioned into fall. And those will now appear in my Christmas décor. The bird cages and birds especially will feature in my decorating.

I love this time of year. Partly it is because of Christmas and the way my home looks….so many candles flicker in my house that it raises the temperature on the thermostat! I look forward to time spent with family and friends. I spend time in silent meditation, grateful for the reason for the season and my spiritual journey. Also, December is a transitional month for me and I use this time to reflect on the past year, and release it. And I begin to think about next year and all that will unfold. It is a quiet, refreshing, magical time. I will have much to reflect on, as I finish up this incredible year of firsts. And, I am so excited about the upcoming year. My word, theme and symbol are all coming together, seeking me out, drawing forward into the next adventure. All will be revealed….soon!