Thursday, November 21, 2013

On the second day of Christmas... true love gave to me, a "family" Christmas tree!!

When you walk in the front door of our home, you immediately find yourself in our living room, which is home to our "main" Christmas tree. 

I really love our Christmas tree, so I'm going to share lots of pretty pictures with you. I'm also going to share with you some tips and tricks for making your own Christmas tree extra special. 

When it comes to Christmas trees, you first have to face one obvious dilemma; real vs. fake?

Each year growing up we would get bundled up in sweaters, hats and gloves to go to Houston Garden Center to pick out a real Christmas tree that was already chopped down for our Christmas convenience. We'd have so much fun comparing the different trees. Some years we'd end up with a big fat tree that looked grand and glorious. One year we somehow managed to pick out a scrawny little Charlie Brown tree. Each year my dad would tell the story of "Christmas 1972, your mother and I didn't tie the tree down tight enough, and we lost it going down the highway".
SIDE NOTE: I'm not actually sure this story was true because my mom would always roll her eyes, but it always made us laugh and is a happy memory. 
Then we'd get home and the entire house would be filled with the fresh scent of pine. I will always cherish these sweet memories, and I always swore I'd never "sell out" and get a fake tree.

But I did, and I'm glad. I'm gonna be real honest here, the main reason we decided to go with the fake tree is the cost. Our living room has two story ceilings and our first Christmas in our house (2011) we purchased a massive 10 foot tree that was AMAZINGly ridiculous. It was so big and SO expensive. I think it was somewhere in the $250-$300 range. Funny how my childhood memories of picking out a tree don't seem to include actually purchasing the tree. Ah, to be young and naive. 

So last year, we decided to bite the bullet and buy a fake tree. It was $250, but that is a one time cost, and this tree should last us at least a decade. It was definitely nice to be able to pull the tree out of the attic again this year without forking over any cash monies. It's also the perfect size for our room. We have tall ceilings, but the room isn't a very big space. So we got a nine foot tree, but it is narrower than your average Christmas tree. Here are a couple other perks to having a fake tree:

1) You can put it up early, instead of waiting for the tree farms and garden centers to start selling!
2) You can manipulate each branch so that there is plenty of room for all your ornaments.
3) Pre-lit! Such a time saver.
4) Less mess. No pine needles all over the floor.
5) Less likely to catch fire. Tree fire?! Ain't nobody got time for that. 

Whichever you decide, real or fake, you can have a beautiful tree! If you have a fake tree, here are a few pointers to make sure your tree is as beautiful as possible. 

1) Pick a tree that has some diversity in it. 

Our tree has some fluffy looking branches... 

 ...some pine cones...

 ...And some berries.

The variation adds depth and makes the tree look more realistic. I'm all about a good bargain, but don't be super cheap (I know I'm a hypocrite seeing as I'm the cheapest person ever) and get one of those rinky-dink trees with three branches and only one type of foliage. Make the investment in a good tree and it will be more beautiful and last longer.

2) Fluff it, fluff it real good. 

Here is what ours looked like "pre-fluffed". You may not notice the issues, so I've pointed out some of the worst spots for you.  See below:

You can see straight through the tree in some spots and there are strange gaps. I know, it is tempting to whip out those boxes of shiny ornaments and get to decorating, but trust me, taking the 30 minutes or so to complete this step will make a big difference. 

See! This before-after photo shows how much prettier it is! Much fluffier :)

3) Make it smell real. 

These scented ornaments smell super amazing, and if you hide them deep inside the branches of your tree, you can't even see them! They sell these at most major retailers (Target, Walmart, Walgreens, CVS, Home Depot, etc).

It's also a good idea to buy a few "tree scented" candles and have those lit throughout your house too. 

Now, you've either got yourself a real tree, or a convincing fake one. Next decision, to theme or not to theme? 

Themed Christmas trees, with color coordinated ornaments, ribbons, and an "over the top topper" are unarguably, gorgeous! 

I could literally drool over this tree all day. Gross? #sorrynotsorry

My heart goes pitter patter over these beautiful creations and a part of me desperately wants our living room tree to look just like that. However, each Christmas my sentimental heart overpowers my design mind and I end up making our living room tree a family/memory tree. I have so many ornaments that are near and dear to my heart and I have to showcase them, even if they aren't color coordinated or made of burlap. Hey, if Christmas isn't supposed to be about family memories, I don't know what is. Here are a few of my favorite family ornaments:

The ornament in the top left is filled with the dried flowers from my wedding bouquet. The "First Year in the New Home" ornament was gifted to us by our realtor Sherri on the day we closed on our house (which was also the day we got engaged). The "baby's first Christmas" ornament is from the year I was born, and my mom has saved it all these years for me to have on my own tree one day. 

 My hubs and I have started a collection of ornaments from all our travels. Just this year alone we've gone to the Cayman Islands, New Orleans, Charleston and Disney World! 

Every year I love putting up and then staring at our family tree for hours on end. 

I hope these pointers are helpful, and I hope you've enjoyed our family Christmas tree!



  1. Such a beautiful tree! My Husband won't let me put ours up until AFTER Thanksgiving. So guess what I'll be doing Friday night? Can't wait. I love this time of year.

    1. Thank you Miranda! Have fun putting up your tree! Friday should be a fun day!! :)


I'd love to hear from you!