Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Deck the Hall with All Our Tractors!


Deck the halls with all our tractors!
Falalalalaaaalalalalaaaa!

Though this is our second Christmas since we have been married, it's a big happy first for us. We got a real tree!! Last year around the holidays, I was still having major gut pain. I had been just diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis after being in the hospital overnight on my 21st birthday. No, I'm not looking for sympathy. You don't have to call the waaaahhh-mabulance. I just want to make a point how much more happy and lovely this Christmas is compared to last year.

I love real trees. Most of my childhood, we had a fake tree. Which was probably a good thing, because my sister and I would have probably wanted to love and cuddle the real tree and been in a constant state of stickiness. Good choice, Ma and Daddy! When we did start getting real trees, however, I knew there was no going back for me. The magical festive spirit surrounding tromping to the tree farm and arguing over the 'perfect' tree for hours is something I loooovveee.

And there's the smell of pine.

So fresh. So clean. So.....winter. The only other smell that makes me all giddy-festive feeling is cinnamon.

I might need to go pour some cinnamon all over the tree after I write this...



Despite the fact that we are not living by the most spectacular tree farm of all times anymore (aka, William's Tree Farm), I was really excited about going out to get our tree. It has been soooooo coooolllddd the past few weeks here, we opted to just grab our tannenbaum at a parking lot tree lot. Tromping through the woods is no fun when you can't feel your face. ("But that's part of the magi-" "You don't understand how cold it is here.")

Maybe I'm a nerd, but I was totally stoaked. I was channeling all the posh New York City tree lot images in my head. Which, really makes no sense, because I am not a city person. Maybe it was more of a "Christmas Story" motif I was feeling.

We set out bundled to the eyeballs, armed with my camera, to make some Christmas-in-a-somewhat-small-city magic! It was slap-in-the-face cold. Eight degrees with windchill at -5. Yuuummm. So, I didn't really want to take time to set up a good photo. Enjoy the two blurry images I captured:
Christmas magic, yo.
Let's not dwell on my lack-of-camera-skills. On to the ornaments.

As you may have noticed, I am obsessed branding and color coordination and marketing and whatnot. I stray from this obsession somewhat when it comes to decorating the Christmas tree.

Christmas is all about remembering. We remember our Savior's miraculous birth, we remember our blessings, and we remember cherished traditions. While the perfectly decked rooms in Better Homes and Gardens this month make me want to paint every piece of furniture I own to match the season, I think it is so much better to have meaningful, memory-filled decor.

Sailor and I both grew up on farms. As kids, we both had tractors. Sailor was a bit more....rough on his toys and thus many of them are no longer around. I was nicer to my toys, so one Christmas when we were dating, I gave him my old ones. Now that we are married, our combined tractor collection is impressive. They are displayed all over our kitchen and living room. Being the adorable fellow he is, Sailor decided we should hang them on the tree.

A few of my fave tractors we have on the tree. The lower left is mine from when I was a kid!
Another tradition I cherish is the reading of T'was the Night Before Christmas. My parents got four copies of this beautifully illustrated edition of the book. My mom, my dad, my sister, and I each have a copy. On the inside cover we write the date it was read and who read it. It's so fun to go back and see who read it where.

You can find copies of this lovely book here. It's the original text as it was published in 1823, with stunning new illustrations. Puh-ree-tee!!

I know Santa isn't really the true meaning of Christmas, but this book makes my heart smile.
My lil fluffeh helper!


Can't go wrong with Disney, in my mind. These are ones my Grandma has given me over the years. She is the Christmas ornament queen. That box Arlo was standing by? Yeah. She gave that to me when I was one or two years old. Every year she gave me a few more ornaments to add to the box. Some old, some new. 
When I was little, I had a small tree in my room that I got to decorate however I wanted. It made me feel like such a grown up to take down my box of ornaments and my little tree. I would string up the lights and start greeting all my favorite little decorations. I loved them so much! I remember sneaking into my box of ornaments during non-Christmas months and pulling some of them out to play.

These tiny, hand-crocheted animals were given to me by my great uncle on my father's side. Uncle Warren worked on the family farm during the growing season, and traveled the world during the winter. He brought these back from a trip he took to China in the early 90's. They are my absolute favorite ornaments. They had names, personalities, and ridiculous voices that I gave to them. I have so many fond memories of playing with them at Christmas time.

Roosty, the rooster

Hobby, the horse.

El, the elephant
 My names were so clever. I know you are jealous.

Seal. Yeah, I guess my well of creativity ran dry here.
Love the tinsel they used on them.
My Christmas village. Dat windmill!!
Proportions. Yeeeaahh...
My type of Christmas village. None of that crazy, light-up porcelain schtuff. I'd break it. I'm not really sure who gave me this set, but I love it. And the whole rustic-homemade look is totally in right now so....bonus points for me...?

What are you guys doing for decorating? Have some childhood faves or cool traditions?

Yours well-decoratedly,
Carolyn





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