Wednesday, December 15, 2010

How Lovely Are Thy Branches!

O Christmas Tree!

The Second Day of Christmas

The day after Thanksgiving is one of my favorite times of the year.  Yes, I always go do the insane shopping thing, but that's not my favorite part.  I love that by the time I get home, Joel has usually dragged up my Christmas bins and we can start to set up the tree.


Yes.  My tree is fake.  I am sorry to all of you who prefer the real kind.  I like fake because they are cheaper (this is year number 11 for this tree and I only paid 30 bucks for it), more convenient (no traipsing around in the snow to chop one down, although I appreciate many people love that)(also no figuring out how to get it home from a Christmas tree lot), and more consistent (I never have to figure out how to hide bare spots, for instance).  I actually bought it on my first ever Black Friday early morning shopping excursion the first year we were married.  We were poor students, but I didn't want to give up having a beautiful tree, so I got up at the crack of dawn to get one.  We made some ornaments that year (glass balls stuffed with pretty potpourri) and I bought as many as I could afford.  My mom (who loves decorating beautiful trees as much as I do) bought me several things for the tree as well--like the angel that still sits on top of the tree.

Angel on Top

While the glass potpourri ornaments are long gone, thanks to baby fingers and the linoleum floors of ASU student housing, I still have some of the first ornaments I put on that tree.  I've kept the same basic red and gold color scheme over the years and have added new things each year, and retired a few that are just, well--tired.

Golden ribbon

This year, my tree is the most beautiful it's ever been, I think.  I just love it.  Thanks to a certain squirrel, I couldn't even buy new ornaments, but my wonderful mother sent me a few this summer that she got somewhere on clearance and I decided that the papier mache ornaments I made for Thanksgiving would fit in with everything else beautifully.  And they do.

Music Ornament

The trick to having a gorgeous Christmas tree is to treat it like a giant flower arrangement.  I have lots of poinsettias just stuck into the branches, as well as other floral decorating picks: Berries and tons of those glittery twirly twig thingies.  My tree looks decadent, but I really have never spent all that much money on it, and I love putting it all together every year.  I never get sick of it..


And don't worry.  I don't hide all of my children's handmade ornaments on the back...they have their own little tree that those go on.  And they love helping to decorate both trees.  

the kids' tree

Although, by next year, we're going to have to get them a bigger tree.  

How do you decorate your tree?

Lara Neves
Lara Neves

Lara is mom to three daughters—two teens and a tween. She loves to share her parenting and homemaking triumphs and failures here at Overstuffed! She was diagnosed with Lyme disease in 2015 and has been fighting it ever since. When she isn't working on her mother of the year award, you can find her reading, singing, or taking photos.


  1. I want two trees. Big ones. Right now we have a big one and two little ones. One is Isaac's decorated in red, green and silver. One is ainsley's white, pink and purple.

    But our big tree (also fake) is decorated with colored lights (kids choice) and wood ornaments. That's it. kind of boring, but we have always had little kids around and I don't want anything to break.

    But hopefully in the next couple years I will bet to have a big beautiful tree decorated the way I want. . .

  2. What a beautiful tree!

    My mom gave us one (or more like three or four) ornaments every year for Christmas and now that I'm "grown-up" I have more than enough to decorate my own tree:)

    My parents do a fake tree, but a few years ago they added a large gathering room onto the house, and ever since then my dad and I go out and buy a real tree the day after Thanksgiving so we get both. I love it!

  3. How STUNNING!! It is gorgeous Lara! I love it, and I love how your camera captures the beauty of your hand in making it your own gorgeous tree that you can enjoy at this hectic time! Love you forever!

  4. Your tree is beautiful. Could you post (or email me) a picture of it during the day? I need some tree decorating tips, and I think viewing it in the light would help me. :)

    Oh, and to answer your question, I just pull out the boxes of Christmas decorations, and try to only include the nicest ones that look good together. I bought the kids a fiber optic tree this year so they could use the decorations that didn't make the cut on my tree. :) I've considered using pretty ribbon on my tree to help it out, but I don't know how. So, it's a little on the sparsely decorated side.

  5. Oh, it is really beautiful! I don't decorate mine that well. The kids mostly do it. We have never spent a lot of money on it. My sister made me a thousand crane garland when I got married and that hangs on our tree every year as well as assorted hand made ornaments and a few store bought ones as well. We also have a train under our tree that the kids (young and old) can't resist playing with.

  6. Wow. Gorgeous Lara.

    I have tree envy.
    Mine is sort of hideous this year.
    I blame it on the fact that this is the first real tree I've had in 6 years and Lucas.

  7. Yours is beautiful! I don't have a theme to ours, but I keep every ornament we get and it goes onto the tree year after year

  8. Your tree always astounds me. It's a vision. Truly.

  9. Gorgeous ... that just brings the Christmas spirit to me - what joy and beauty you have put together - and thanks for the pointers. We are a fake tree family, also - I go back and forth, but I do enjoy the convenience of my old fakie!!!

  10. Yes, your tree IS gorgeous, Lara. I confess, every time I am there, I want to just plop down on the floor and stare at it. Our tree this year is pathetic. It's a fake one, and this year, some lights are out on it (in two different places), so it looks as if we have lights in stripes. Jared has been too busy to find the ones that aren't working. Next year....but I too have a red and gold color scheme, and I've been wanting to get some pretty ribbons to put on. I've always thought strung cranberries would look nice, too, but it's probably a lot of work....but you give me inspiration for next year...

  11. I love looking at your Christmas decorations because they are SO amazingly beautiful!! You've got skills! :)