05 December 2012

My Five, Yes Five, Trees

As you can tell by this panorama picture (an awesome feature on my husband's iPhone 5!) of our living area, I'm a little obsessed with Christmas trees!

It's my Grandmother's fault really. She started buying ornaments for me for my first Christmas. Every year she added to my collection. She continues this tradition to this day for all of her grandchildren and their spouses, and now for her great-grandchild, my son. As I got older, I became obsessed with Christmas ornaments. In fact during my teen years, I'd hang anything with a hook on the tree, including a miniature windsock and a Christmas pin! Anytime I travel, I can't resist picking up an ornament. And I love to hit up Hobby Lobby and Target after Christmas each year and pick up cute ornaments for 50-75% off! 

By the time I moved out on my own, I had nearly 100 ornaments. That first year, I went to Wal-Mart and found a six-foot tree (center in the picture above) that I decked out and set up in my tiny apartment. It was over-loaded with ornaments! By the next Christmas, I was engaged. (Actually, it was supposed to happen on Christmas day, but I ruined it. You can read that story here!) Since I was now going to be married and living in a bigger place, I went to the Hobby Lobby 75% off After-Christmas sale and found a nice 7.5-foot, pre-lit tree (far right in the picture). I figured I'd have enough ornaments to fill both trees the next year. After all, I was adding lots from our time dating. I even bought two on our honeymoon!

The next year, my in-laws, seeing my budding obsession with Christmas trees, asked if we wanted to have their very real looking, pre-lit tree (far left) from Bronner's (an amazing Christmas store in Frankenmouth, MI. It's worth the trip if you're ever in Michigan!) My father-in-law is a die-hard proponent of cutting down your own tree every year. My mother-in-law talked him into trying an artificial tree, so they bought the most realistic one they could find. But it wasn't the same. So we happily inherited it! In the bag they gave us with that tree in it, we found a whole other tree (middle left). When we asked about it, they realized they had inadvertently given us my husband's great-grandmother's tree. We offered to give it back to them, but they said to keep it. So we did!

For two years, we "made do" with four trees. But this year, I attended a class at our church where we learned how to make Jesse Tree ornaments. The idea came from this website, and is an Advent calendar of sorts. You and your family can trace the story of Redemption from Creation to Christ throughout the month of December. The blogger provides pictures to color and cut out and hang on the tree for each day, but our church's children's department leaders, being the amazingly creative people that they are, decided to spruce them a bit. They gave all of us the materials to make all 25 ornaments. They also provided all the devotionals in a spiral bound book. I am really excited about setting our minds on the real reason for Christmas with these daily devotions. I know our son probably isn't comprehending much, but it's never to soon to start giving him the truth of Scripture! So of course, I needed a small table-top tree for these ornaments (middle right in above picture).

And there you have it! Five Christmas trees, all pretty full of ornaments. Somehow, I don't think I'm done, either. There's no tree in the den, or in my son's bedroom, or in our bedroom. . . .

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