Our DIY Christmas Tree and Why It’s My Favorite Holiday Tradition
I can hardly believe that Christmas Eve is two weeks from today. It seems like yesterday that it was Halloween and just last week that we were still living in Colorado – it’s funny (and downright scary) how fast time seems to go by without us realizing. And now Christmas is here and I’m trying to relish every moment, because I know soon it will be over.
Christmas trees are so special – they’re steeped in tradition and beauty, real ones smell amazing and it’s one of my favorite parts about our holiday decor. But our DIY Christmas tree? It means so much to me and I realized I’ve never really shared a whole lot about it on my blog. There’s a lot of cool ways to decorate your tree but I wanted to share about our tree!
Randy is allergic to real Christmas trees, which is a super bummer for me because I absolutely love real ones over the fake ones. I always had a real tree growing up and there’s just something magical about walking through the front door and breathing in that smell. Luckily for us nowadays, Glade makes it so I can have that same Christmas tree smell without forcing Randy to live on Benadryl and Claritin for the whole season. I use my automatic room spray and have it pointed toward the foyer area of our living room so that way when I walk in the house, fresh pine scent is the first thing I experience.
Now, my tree itself is snowy goodness, after living in Colorado off and on for nearly a decade, I love love love snowy trees and we have always had a theme around snowflakes and Randy’s favorite animal (bears). Randy finally gave in and we upgraded to a snowy Christmas tree a few years ago and it look our tree to a whole new level of festiveness. Randy and I both grew up with colored lights on our trees, but, we both love the clean look of the warm white lights after years of having a blue Christmas tree (I don’t even know how we got into a blue Christmas tree theme, but we literally had blue and teal lights and ornaments for the first 10 years or so of our marriage). A couple of years ago we switched to multi-textured red ornaments and we love it so much more than the blue and teal!
Just last year we bought a tree wrapper thingy-doodle, to use instead of a tree skirt. Our dogs kept messing with the tree skirt and I got tired of fixing it and the galvanized metal makes the tree look more rustic and farmhousey. Yes, that’s totally a word. And of course, we love to have our beautiful Santa tree topper atop our tree to complete the Christmas look.
I’ll tell you: there’s a LOT of homemade ornaments made by us throughout the years. We use lots of unfinished wood, glitter, craft paint and paint pens to make our ornaments. I’ve kept every single ornament that kids made for us at school and with their grandma whenever we go visit (like those cute glittery gingerbread people). We inherited some hand-me-down ornaments from Randy’s mom after she passed away, and Randy loves hanging them on our tree.
When Randy and I were first married way back in 2003, we didn’t have two pennies to rub together to buy ornaments for our tree. So I homemade some – we got our photos taken at Walmart (wearing the same clothes we got married in, fun fact!) that we handed out as gifts to our family, and I used some leftover wrapping paper to create a homemade frame with cardboard. I hand-painted us some personalized wood ornaments one year, too.
We will sometimes even grab special ornaments or souvenirs from our travels and make ornaments out of them, like this sand dollar from Morro Bay, California – where Randy and I spent our last weekend together before he left for boot camp with the Air Force. I remember waking up and watching sunrise over the beach, which was covered in these sand dollars, and picking one up and taking it home with me and adding some ribbon to it for our tree as an ornament.
It’s always so cool to me to find the store-bought ornaments from our worldwide adventures, too – and we will reminisce about it together.
We even have some of the homemade decor that my mom made for our wedding on our tree! It’s definitely survived a lot – around the world moves and nearly 17 years of use – but that just makes it that much more special to me.
My tree isn’t perfect, it isn’t one you’ll see on display at Magnolia or see pinned as “tree goals” on Pinterest – but our DIY Christmas tree one of my favorite things in the world. It’s us, our journey, our adventure, our story all wrapped into one beautiful place for us to enjoy throughout the holiday season.
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