Sunday, November 28, 2010

Early Christmas decorating and Retail therapy...

Tradition was that we would pick out and and decorate our Christmas tree on the 14th of December. Because the 14th is our wedding anniversary, and we learned early on that the secret to long, and lasting connubial bliss is to begin each new year of marriage engaged in an heated argument! Oh, our intentions were always very good... And in theory, Christmas shopping, enjoying a quite dinner at our favorite restaurant on Cannery Row and stopping off for hot cocoa on our way to pick out a Christmas tree always sounded like the perfect recipe for a romantic anniversary... However, as well-intentioned as we always were, every anniversary still managed to end in massive disagreement. 

Over what, you ask? Well, it always began at the tree lot where he'd do his best to convince me that the only Christmas tree that actually looks like a tree, is his favorite, the Douglas Fir. And, being the passionate hobby-gardener he's always been, I get it... But that never stopped me from refusing to go home with him unless I got my beloved Noble Fir that reminded me of Christmas trees in Germany... The ones with the exact level of Charlie Brown, (bareness) so that each ornament dangled, and where lit candles could stand on every branch. And, for almost two decades I was the happy victor of that particular debate!   

However, when we got home is when the real disagreement began... Because he always felt that giving in at the tree lot obligated me to grant his wish for huge, multi-colored blinking lights... When everyone knows only tiny, clear lights belong on a Christmas tree!

Then we moved to North Carolina. And slowly our traditions have changed. First of all... No Noble Fir trees. Anywhere! They don't grow here. And apparently, they cannot be trucked or flown in either. There's still the Douglas Fir, much to his delight... But I just can't do it. So as much as it pains me every year... We put up an artificial tree. The only positives about the tree we chose is that it came pre-lit with tiny, clear lights and I can adjust (bend) the branches so that my ornaments dangle. But that's it... 
Another tradition that's changed now is when our tree goes up... You see, Brandon
has topped our family Christmas trees since he was big enough for us to squish
the angel between his hands. But while he no longer has to be held up to the
tree to reach it, the Army now tells us when he'll be home to help decorate  
Therefore, this is the second year our Christmas tree has
been put up and decorated long before our anniversary...
It is also the second year we face the holiday
season knowing our Ranger will deploy soon
So after we said good-bye to Brandon, I needed a little retail therapy...
I hit all my favorites... Le Creuset, Pottery Barn,
Williams-Sonoma and Sephora. And, I bought lots!
Because I just couldn't face his empty room again...
By the way... When I tried to pay Pottery Barn $60 for faux acorns to
fill my monogrammed hurricanes, the man I love begged me not to!
He said he knew where I could get even better acorns. For free!
He also offered to deliver! 
True to his word... I came downstairs this morning to find a whole bucket of cute
little acorns he gathered for me, (for free!) from the forest in my own back yard! 
What about you... How have your holiday traditions changed over the years?


  1. Now that the girls are older, the magic isn't the same anymore. They just don't find the thrill in the tree and the decorations and the baking. The eldest came home over Thanksgiving spouting about the commercialism of the holiday and the disgust she has over people equating love with how much you spent. While I agree, where did my kid go?

    However, looking at your beautiful home-and those wonderful therapy purchases-makes me hope I can bring a little magic back...

  2. Unfortunately, every other year it's just me and my hubby without any kids/grandkids(they go to in-laws), but we do this so on alternate years we're all together! Yippee, this year we're all together:) BTW, Douglas fir is my favorite!

  3. You home looks beautiful! Retail therapy sounds great :) but there is nothing better than finding treasures in your own backyard!

  4. I LOVE your monogrammed hurricane, did you get yours from Williams Sonoma? I have been looking at them yours the small or large? Your house looks beautiful!!

  5. Your home looks beautiful. It must have been so hard to say good-bye to your Ranger so soon after hugging him hello.
    Prayers offered for his safe return to you once again.

  6. You are a lovely decorator! Very inspiring. :) I have put up my Christmas decor, but its very minimal this year. Trying to purge the clutter from my home... and life. Thanks for the post.


  7. An unbelievable change for us this year. An artificial tree. My husband swore we'd never have one. He had major surgery in December last year and since I was not able to put up a real tree myself, I bought a 7-foot artificial one. He was so pleased with it that (to my great surprise) he ordered a 10-ft artifical tree for this year.

    I love your "arguments." When a couple has no disagreements, only one of them is doing the thinking.

  8. Oh Janet!
    I too like the Noble Fir!
    I believe that's what we got last year!
    I LOVE seeing your Christmas tree...and how SWEET that Brandon placed the star atop before he left.
    {you can cry on my shoulder anytime you need to.} But more than I liked seeing your lovely tree...
    I LOVED seeing all your goodies from Sephora!
    You must be the most moisturized girlie on the earth! I love all of that BODY BUTTER!
    I'm all about BODY BUTTER!
    Love all your Sephora goodies!
    I am sure you are well stocked with LUSH!
    And I just adore your acorns!
    Send me your address!

  9. Your tree is gorgeous Janet. I've yet to even pull mine out of the attic. I'm just not feeling it :-(

    Glad Brandon was able to help out!

  10. Thanks for the post and encouragement- wow you have lost an amazing amount! I'm relly hoping to plow through the rest of my weight loss with Medifast :) I'm definitely keeping everyone up to date with my journey!

    Love your blog btw :)

  11. Janet - I just noticed your kitchen cabinets in the last picture of this post. What do you have display on each cabinet front and how?? I love it! Where did you find that piece of furniture?

    Also, I made the Guittard chocolate chip cookies and they were absolutely delish...but I think next time I will take them out of the oven just a few minutes earlier so that they stay soft. They were a bit crispy...or are they supposed to be crispy?

  12. I just love your goodies. Retail therapy is the best and you deserve all those goodies plus more. You've been a very good girl this year!

    And I have to agree with your hubby, free acorns are so much better! :)


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