I’ve lived in various apartments and townhouses for over 7 Christmases now, but for various reasons (space, non-celebrating roommate), I’ve not had a full-sized Christmas tree until last year. Even then, it was my roommate’s and her house, so while I was able to add my own ornaments and touches, the decorating was primarily hers.
Since this is the first year to be on my own, it’s the first time I’ve been able to decorate how I choose. Christmas is my favorite holiday, so I was excited. Growing up, my mom would literally put a tree of various sizes in every room (maybe still does…I’d have to count). Clearly, Christmas decorating is a big deal in my family.
Looking around my apartment and my budget, here’s what I came up with:
I made this small ceramic tree in middle school. It’s sitting on the kitchen/dining room ledge.
This nativity set was made by my grandmother (Hi, G. Zoe!). She made three sets: two for her daughters and she gave the third to me, her only, favorite granddaughter. This nativity set sits in the dining room, above the books that I’ve had checked out from the library for a long time… Maybe they’ll become a part of the double baby-watch, because I certainly haven’t been reading much fiction lately.
Since the birth of the Savior is the most important thing about this season, I actually have two nativity sets up. The other is on the bookshelf as you enter the apartment:
This wreath is on my front door (I realized I’ve been showing you pictures walking from the back door to the front. So if you climb up onto my balcony and come in the kitchen, this is the order you’d see things…). I assembled it myself, as I really wanted to use LED lights and loved this bow. The neat thing about these lights is that they’re also on a timer, so they’re on from 5-11 PM each night without me doing anything extra.
And finally, for the grande finale, the tree:
As you can see, I decided to make my tree match my apartment. Everything on the tree is new (that and the wreath are this year’s new additions). I had wanted a prelit tree, but then I had a hard time finding one that used LED lights, and that was important to me. For less than the price of a prelit tree with traditional lights, I put this one together with lights. Best thing? It uses less than 30 watts so I’m not wasting energy and money.
I also had hoped to get a 7′ tree, but ended up “settling for a 6.5′ one. I’m so glad I did…I forgot to factor in how short I am. This one looks great in the space, and I’m able to reach the top. Barely.
For those of you who are skeptical about LED lights because their light is bluish, check out the “warm white” color. It is a bit brighter than what I’m used to with traditional Christmas lights, but not bad/weird.
I considered adding a stocking (or two…being optimistic?) as I had the perfect place for them and I think they’re cute, but I decided not to put up a stocking. Certainly nothing against those who do, but I’ve decided to keep Santa and his accouterments out of my decorating. I find the whole Santa Claus thing (as it is usually done) not only distracts from the real miracle of Christmas, but also adds the whole “naughty/nice” thing which flies in the face of the gospel, which should be the real focus now and year-round.