We always got a live tree for years, but 2006 was the last year we had one. It was getting harder and harder to find tree farms with good trees. We have an 11-foot ceiling in our family room and have always gotten a big tree. In 2006, we took our tape measure with us and got a tree that looked like it should fit just fine. But the tree farm we went to had many HUGE trees. The tree we picked, while it looked much smaller than the surrounding trees, was very wide. It was so wide, they couldn't put it through that machine that puts the net around it. They just wrapped rope around it to contain the branches so that we could tie it on top of our van. But when we got it home, we discovered how large it was. My husband and then 15-year-old son were bringing the tree in the house and it got STUCK in the front door! It took the two of them a very long time, but they finally got it inside. (We used to go to a very nice tree farm, not too far from home, for many years. But they finally built a subdivision there and the tree lot was gone. We had a hard time finding a replacement - best one was this one with the GIANT trees.)
And taking these large trees down after Christmas became a pain, too. Those bags they give you for your Christmas tree do not hold a large tree. We had trouble getting the tree out of the house in the past, so we started cutting it up into pieces with a chain saw in the family room just to get it out of the house.
So I never thought I'd really do it, but after Christmas 2006, we bought an artificial tree on sale after Christmas. Last year was the first year we put it up. It's pre-lit with white lights. I LOVE it! I never thought I'd be glad to get an artificial tree, but it has made life SO MUCH easier! So here is the 2008 version of our artificial tree, completely decorated!
A couple years ago, I decided to count the ornaments I had as I was taking the tree down. At that time, it was well over 600 ornaments. It takes a long time to put all these ornaments on a tree, but I have fun unpacking and unwrapping all my ornaments each year. Many of them have memories associated with them and I enjoy reliving those memories each year.
This post describes a cousin gift. Many of my ornaments are cousin gifts. And many of those are handmade. I decided to show you some of my cousin gift ornaments. We no longer do cousin gifts for every cousin. We now bring one gift and have a gift exchange. But over the years, I accumulated a lot of ornaments due to cousin gifts! Tomorrow I will show you some of the ornaments I have made and some that non-cousins have made and given to me. Perhaps they will give you some ideas of ornaments you can still make this year or sometime in the future.
The little angel in the middle is made with various types of pasta, then painted white.
The ornament on the left is a cinnamon stick. The rocking horse in the center is made from applesauce and cinnamon and cut out with a cookie cutter.
Santa in the middle is felt. The ornaments on either side are made from wood.
The bear on the far left is made from pine cones. The cute drum is some sort of can.
My Christmast ornaments are some of my most Prized Possessions! Do you have any ornaments that you just love? I'd really enjoy your comments describing your favorite ornaments or links to photos of your favorites!