Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Oh, Christmas do I decorate thee?

The Christmas Tree is one of the most recognisable symbols of Christmas. This tradition dates back 100's of years and is celebrated by people all over the world. Every family has a unique way of decorating their tree, and the Warren household is no different.  Our tree is usually put up on 25 November each year. I know this is early, but it takes so long, I want to enjoy its beauty for as long as possible.

I am not an organised person. At all. But when it comes to my..sorry...our Christmas tree, I like to assemble it step by step. Last year was the first year I've actually allowed the kids to help. I love Christmas, and the Christmas tree, and I really like everything to be placed on the tree in a particular order and place.  It has taken a lot for me to let go and share. Sounds like a joyful family experience in our house, doesn't it. lol. Here's how the tree is decorated in the Warren house...documented for the future, so the kids can remind their kids how nuts their nanna was.

Step 1. Sort out the branches. Our tree is coloured coded, so the kids start by pulling each branch out and piling it in the appropriate colour pile, ready to be assembled.

Step 2. Assemble the frame of the tree, and have someone tall and strong (ie. Daddy) to put the top on and to tighten the screws in the base.

Step 3. Start adding the branches, row by row, working your way up from the bottom. Each row has a different colour, so the kids know exactly which branch goes where. Once all the branches are in place, fluff them up a bit, so the tree looks nice and full.

Step 4. Add the lights, and test to see if they're working and distributed evenly across the tree. Before adding any more decorations, the tree skirt gets tied on.  Next up, wrap the pearls around and around the tree until you feel a bit dizzy. Grab another coloured strand of pearls and repeat, going the opposite way to counteract the dizziness. lol.

Step 5. Now its time for the decorations. You can probably see the pearl strands running vertically down the tree. This is where I get particularly finicky. I like to have an even distribution of baubles on the tree. The pearls quarter the tree so that only 3 of each colour appear in each quadrant. nb. I did say I was anal...stop smirking. Once the baubles are on, all the special ornaments are spread across the tree. Seth and Eme have been making ornaments for the last few years and they take pride of place on the tree. I have been collecting ornaments from all over the world and many are very fragile. We only had one casualty this year...a glass bauble from Harrods, London that had a hand-painted silk feature. Seth was very upset that he dropped it. Don't fret. All is okay...there are another two.

Step 6. Last but not least, the Angel goes on top. The kids take turns each year, and the odd years belong to Seth. Thankfully Daddy was there to lift him up! Traditionally, an angel or star is placed on top of the tree. An angel represents the host of angels from the Nativity; and a star represents the Star of Bethlehem from the Nativity...there you go. One Christmas factoid for the day.

Here's our tree in all it's glory. The lights twinkle whenever we're at or night.  So far there's only one sad little present under the tree (for Eme's Year 6 buddy), but more will appear as they're bought and wrapped.  Each year I hang the word "Joy" near the tree. The vinyl forest was added to the wall in the living room a few months ago, so now the "Joy" looks like one of the branches. lol. The forest is available from EAD Designs.

So that's how its done in the Warren household. How do you decorate your family Christmas tree?  Come and share your tree here, and add this button to your blog post.  It doesn't matter how its decorated; whether its a fresh fir or fabulously faux; traditional green or metallic magenta; big or small; each and every one is beautiful in its own way and a part of your family's Christmas traditions.

Looking forward to seeing all of your glorious trees, and sharing in the Christmas spirit.

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