So I will share something else that's been on my mind. We decided not to have a tree this year.
tree alternative from CB2. How to here.
For years, I held an annual tree trimming party on or around my birthday, and after a hiatus during the baby and toddler years, we started the tradition up again when we returned to Minneapolis two years ago. December is always a challenge in terms of scheduling events, and sometime in November, as I looked at the calendar filling up, I decided I didn't have it in me to throw a party. I didn't have the energy, the time, the money. And since we are going out of town for Christmas week, it didn't make sense to put up a live tree.
I felt all ba-humbug for about 5 minutes, and then I felt great about the decision. I have a habit of taking on too much, and being over-extended already, I knew that the tree would be just one more chore to cross off my to-do list, and not the joy it has always been. I find that I already struggle with the pressure to creat holiday magic, and letting go of the tree was a huge relief.
The girls took it well (I do have a mini pink tinsel tree that we put up in their room with their special ornaments--ones they have made or been given specially) and the decision left me just enough spark to do an advent calendar this year. It has been a really wonderful trade. More on that tomorrow.
Making my way through my pile of paperwork this morning, I came across this image I had pulled from the Restoration Hardware baby catalog. I love the simplicity of this chalkboard tree, festooned with simple stars and a string of lights. While I am feeling okay about no tree at all, this feels like a doable, magical, simple solution.
For more ideas for non-traditional trees, there are tons of round-ups out there. Try these:
Style at Home
The Crafted Sparrow
While there are a few ideas that appear on more than one list, there is less overlap than you might imagine! The best part? There is still time to pull one of these off, if you are suddenly inspired to do so.