It seems you can get some famous-looking trees online now…
We, on the other hand, have gone with the standard artificial variety this year. It bears some discussion each year — I really prefer to have a real tree, but at the prices they’re starting to command it seems less and less sane. A bargain can still be had, but we tend to average every other year between the real and the fake tree. Our artificial tree is only 5′, but since the “right” height for a tree is when you have to trim the top a little so that you can get the angel onto it without hitting the ceiling, so we always put the tree up on a box to make it taller — I can’t stand for the tree not to reach near the ceiling. ;^)
Our artificial tree is one we picked up on the day after Christmas the first year we were married. We had no money but it was a good deal. Each year there appears more and more ornaments on it chronicling our Christmases together, the new ones that appear tending to come from Ten Thousand Villages or from places reflecting some travel destination. Our first Christmas we were pretty broke and decorated with some cheap ornaments, even a few little plastic toys like you used to get in a Happy Meal™ — we also have several little plastic apple cores, each about a half-inch tall and made to look like they’d been nibbled away by mice. Most of our ornaments of that type and vintage are gone, but I always put up a few or the remaining ones from that time as a small reminder that God continues to care for our daily needs, and that Christmas doesn’t need to be filled with grand expenses.
I tried to resist the whole mini-light trend that lasted for years — I confess that I like the 3-watt bulbs the best. I know they aren’t energy efficient and will eventually give in to LEDs which look much better than the mini-lights, but these are the kind of bulbs that we always had on the tree growing up… and they were the kind my grandmother had. Except hers all went off when one of them burnt out. I had a string like that far longer than I should have as well! There were blinking lights and flickering lights and bubble lights… and a few oversize frosted bulbs.
Good Christmas memories… what holiday decorating traditions do you have?
Yes, we finally went through the tree ritual last weekend. Always makes the house feel warmer somehow.. and its always a family event, with the exception of last year when my eldest daughter was in Nepal..
I found your height rule interesting. In our living room with a vaulted ceiling that begins at 9 ft and peaks at 17 ft, I’m not sure what the “right” height would be. We have a really nice 9 ft artificial tree that fits the space well, but it’s a lot of work to set up. We also have a 6 ft artificial tree from our newlywed days that had become the kids’ tree. This year, no one had the energy or motivation to put up the big tree, so we are using the inadequately-tall tree in the too-large space.
The small tree is only big enough for our family ornaments. I buy each of the kids an ornament each year and another one for myself. Doing the math, that is now 92 ornaments. Really that’s the only significant part of having a tree for me. The kids enjoy unpacking and remembering their ornaments each year.
Other than that, I opted out of most of my decorating this year. I left several bins of decorations in the storeroom choosing not to deck the halls.
Bro. Maynard: The live trees available here in Crimea look just like the ones in your picture. They pull up the undergrowth in the forest and sell them as trees. More experienced Americans here tell me to buy two and wire them together to get a fuller looking Christmas tree. Lots of fake ones in all heights and more Christmas ornaments are now available.
Finding a nativity scene is hard, a Malaysian medical student found me one last year and even delivered it in the snow, a friend found one in Kyiv it has an orthodox feel, and finally this year I found one in the market. I leave them out all year because our new friends love to look around our small flat.
Please pray as we share our Christian traditions with our Muslim friends and that Jesus is the greatest gift ever because God so loved….
We just got our tree tonight. After much “discussion” as to size I think it is about 7 feet. I wanted to get a little bitty live tree … and was accused of wanting a shrubbery, a burning bush and other silly things. The laughter that ensued was well worth the “discussion,” but I still lost. Oh well … maybe next year.