Monday, December 06, 2010

Whoville Christmas, 2010

Here is our lovely Christmas tree for 2010 - a Whoville tree!

I refer you to this classic Dr. Seuss book (here is the text online).

The Christmas trees in Whoville all seem to have a jaunty curve to them.

We initially picked out a tree that matched the one in the book to the letter - narrow and slightly curved. Due to a mistake at the pickup point, we ended up with a different (and more expensive) tree. But, I think it still plays the role nicely. The star on top is wired in place at top to purposely be a little bit wonky.

(also notice on the right the silver bells to represent the ones that are ringing when the Whos are singing)

I picked out a majority of the ornaments on the tree last year at the after Christmas sales. Even the extra-large ornaments were super cheap (but unfortunately required extra storage boxes to keep them safe for the whole year).

Most of the ornaments are just filler ornaments in fun colors like orange, magenta, purple, and aqua, with a healthy dose of lime green, stripes, and red and white polka dots thrown in to reflect true Dr. Seuss style.

There are only a few character ornaments on the tree,

including the Grinch.

In watching the movie version of the story for inspiration for what to do at the bottom of the tree, it appeared that the tree was set in a wooden box on top of a round rug. My dad said that he seemed to recall people using boxes filled with sand to hold trees upright before tree stands were commercially available - can anybody confirm of deny this? In any case, we made a bright blue enclosure that covers our tree stand (no sand) and set it upon a round orange rug from Ikea.

(looks like somebody was messing with the lights...)

Several years ago, I planned a list of theme trees to do for - oh - the next 15 years. I have done 7 trees to date ( 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009). The Whoville tree was always the pinnacle - the tree I wanted to do the most. I have been buying elements for this tree for several years (like the red and white pompom garland, and gift wrapping supplies). So, now that I have my ultimate Christmas tree - what's next?

In the words of the Grinch I have been thinking that maybe Christmas...perhaps...means a little bit more. I'm not going all religious on you, as I feel - in a similar vein to Valentine's Day when people feel there doesn't need to be a single day to show somebody that you love them - Christmas shouldn't be the only day one (who believes in Him) thinks about Jesus Christ. I think of Him daily, and don't necessarily need a holiday like Christmas to remind me of my salvation.

I do, however, enjoy having one month out of the year where I focus on each and every person that touches my life. I enjoy the hustle and bustle of getting things ready and trying to pack in a whole load of activities that our family views as traditions. I enjoy the quiet moments just sitting and looking at the decorated tree. All of these things I look forward to year round, and feel I can only experience this time of year.

One thing that does give me pause, though, is the commercialism of Christmas. As those of you who are also friends with me on Facebook know, I am a raging liberal. I get very upset about the unfair practices employed by corporations. I admittedly have not instituted a ban of certain stores of products to date, as even the outlets you trust seem to eventually let you down, and then where do you go? But, there are certainly areas I am working on - like making more gifts and even stocking stuffers, and, well, not buying a whole damn tree's worth of ornaments every year.

It kind of dawned on me this year versus any other one that, though I come off strongly against conspicuous consumption, I am the only person I know who buys so much in relation to their tree on an annual basis. Other people focus on the tradition of decorating their tree with the same well-loved ornaments. Meanwhile I am scuttling off the store bought ornaments each year to Goodwill, forcing my handmade ornaments off on friends and family, and then buying a whole new collection of ornaments for ridiculously cheap prices that still represent a profit for corporations employing cheap overseas labor. But I digress...

Believe it or not, we DO have some classic ornaments that were purchased during the years were were dating, and guests at my bridal shower back in 2001 were asked to bring an ornament as a gift. So, I feel we will have a good start to a traditional family tree starting in 2011. I don't want to fill the tree with crap, though, so future trees may look a little sparse for a few years until we get a full selection of sentimental/handmade ornaments built up. It will be nice to have a place for that eventual clay handprint ornament from the Hankster.

Well, sorry that got a little rambly. Thanks for reading all the way through, and I'll be looking on your blogs for tree decorating inspiration for next year!

More about the gift wrapping tomorrow!


Favorite of the day: I'm calling this as the genius new idea for Christmas 2010!

Working on: Christmas cards


vilterietje said...

my english is not good enough to read the whole story, bur i love fully packed christmas trees!!
love, riet:)

telfair said...

Beautiful tree & very thought-provoking post. I love love LOVE your theme trees...but also think you will love having a tree full of heirloom & handmade ornaments. I really like the idea of a tree decorated with handmade ornaments...maybe if I start now I could have a few things ready for next year. :)

Heidi said...

I love your theme trees! This one is fantastic--I love that fluffy white garland and the red & white ball garland too. Such fun!

This is our first year of a "mishmash" tree because I don't dare use my vintage pretties with Destructo Baby around. I'm trying to make myself like it by enlisting Maren to help me make homemade ornaments for it. We get to spend time together, she has something fun to do (she's out of school and bored), it's inexpensive, and it helps fill the tree--so it's a win all around.

Have you done an upcycled/recycled/thrifted theme tree yet? I can't remember. You could reuse old existing things instead of buying new, but you could still have a color theme if you planned it right so it would look cohesive. Plus next year Hank will be big enough to help you make stuff. Could be fun!

smarti said...

There were many years (practically all of my adult years save this one) where I did buy new ornaments every year. My trees were only color themed from KMart's Martha collection. I have boxes and boxes of color-coded ornaments: purple, ice blue, red, green, gold, white, and silver. The white ones get used practically every year, the others not so much. I think if my husband actually looked at the boxes, he'd barf.

It was only 2 years ago that I allowed "other" ornaments on our tree...stuff both of our mothers gave us (our childhood ornaments). I will say that I am still able to use my color theme and tuck the "heirlooms" in. However, my husband has a large collection of dumb ornaments his mother bought him that I stick in the back of the tree (like the bright green Incredible Hulk). ;)