Friday, 2 December 2016

My Obsession with Christmas Trees.... Photo Heavy!

I can't be the only one obsessed with christmas trees, right?
It's a massive thing for me at Christmas.
I grew up obsessed with them, real, fake, in movies, at home.
When people think of Home Alone, they probably don't think of the Christmas trees...
it's an obsession, I know.
Don't judge me.
Or do - to be honest I get that much joy out of it (ya with me, my fellow KM'ers??) that I really don't care what people think.

Now, let me be 
entirely honest.

I am not Christian. I was raised Catholic, but I don't follow any specific religion. I have great family and friends who do, and I am respectful of any religion, but it's just not for me.
 Why does this have relevance?
Well, Christmas is originally a Christian celebration. I celebrate Christmas now because I believe, like many holidays, it has evolved for many into something more than just a religious holiday. For me - and many others, religious or not, I think of Christmas as a time to celebrate with family and friends, to show people that they are loved and cared for. I will raise my girls with the historical aspect of Christmas as well, and I've always been open to them following a religion when they're old enough to understand and choose for themselves.
For now though, Christmas is both a history lesson and a time for love in our family.

And for pretty Christmas trees.
Back to the trees. Christmas decorations, Christmas trees, you name it, I'm all for it.
Regarding my previous post, I'm quite happy to say that when I think about it, despite my obsession, I've always been pretty ethical and low-impact when it comes to decorations.
And so. I give you. The Brookes- Lundy Christmas Tree timeline. From 2012, up until this year.
If Christmas trees bore the shit out of you, look away now lol.

Christmas Tree 2012.

 Not in our current house, but a recycled tree and recycled decorations! My mum had owned the tree for a few years before she gave it to me, as well as the majority of the decorations. The rest I picked up in a pound shop the year before.

Christmas Tree 2013

The same tree as 2012, and the same decorations! This was our first year in our current house, we bought it summer 2013 when I was pregnant with Rayne and it was the year I decided I needed a bigger tree. The tree Mum gave us was a 6ft tree, but the last half a foot was one long skinny branch I had to fold down 3 times to get the star to stay on lol

Christmas Tree 2014
This was the first year with our new tree.
My DREAM Tree. Tall, fat and full! It is 7ft tall, 4.5ft wide, and I had nowhere near enough lights - or decorations! 
I ended up gifting quite a few of my original decorations to my brother and sister-in-law, including the tinsel, so they moved onto their THIRD home, and I needed new decorations!
I also decided this year I needed new lights...which led to this...

Christmas Tree 2015
 Far too many lights. However, they're all low energy LEDs! So I didn't do too badly. There are a few new decorations here too, I think about 6, handmade and bought for me as gifts. 
My two exhausted little helpers. I was so proud of Rayne and Harli. All the family and friend presents were left under the tree wrapped for weeks, and not a single one of them was touched - except for during the wrapping when Harli chewed a few of the boxes lol.
I practice gentle parenting, so I was seriously impressed with how well both girls understood, considering their ages!
And finally...

Christmas Tree 2016
I love it.
I hadn't planned to purchase new lights, but I was gifted them and once again they're low energy LEDs. They're only on here to take the photo, otherwise they're only on in the evenings. I was also gifted new decorations this year for our wedding - which we plan to keep and pass on, so they most definitely will be re-used.

 I'd love to get a tree skirt, but I'd need a large skirt for the tree and at the moment, funds just won't allow it! However, I'm somewhat glad I haven't already purchased one, as when I do, I can purchase one to match our new decor, AND purchase one which has been made sustainably.

Which leads me to my next point.
 I use fake trees, however I plan to use my current tree for the next 7 years - at LEAST. If not longer. This is it's 3rd Christmas, and so far it's showing absolutely no wear and tear -despite having rather delicate hinged branches.
In the long run, real trees are probably the more greener option, so I don't think I'll be purchasing another fake one.
In the future, me and Barry hope to move again to a house with a bit more land, and if that's the case, I'm hoping to purchase a potted Christmas tree that we can replant each year. If that isn't a realistic option, our old tree will be used for compost and/or firewood, and I hope to grow many of them ourselves.

As for the decorations, any future decorations I purchase for our tree will be fairtrade/recycled. I've seen some absolutely beautiful ones here that I've fallen in love with, so will most likely gift myself them after Christmas for Christmas 2017.

How gorgeous are they? Their ties are made from recycled sari, and the baubles themselves are made from 100% recycled glass.
I've always been fascinated with history, and I find the fact that they've been repurposed amazing. Especially the sari ties. They really are perfect.

I find it insane that some people buy an entirely new set of decorations each year to change color schemes. To me, the fascination with my tree is that the majority of my decorations tell a story. They're personal to me.
 Even the older plastic baubles that Mum gave me. I remember seeing them on her tree when I lived at home and that is very comforting to me, to see them in my home now. Their manufacturing might not have been very green, but they've done fantastic to have lasted as long as they have.
 I reckon some of them are easily nearly 8 or 9 years old, and I know for a fact some of them are much, much older. I have a few small material and wire angels on my tree that Mum bought when I was about 12 or 13, and I'm 26 now!
 I plan to pass them onto my girls for their first house, and hopefully they'll one day get the chance to do the same.

Does your family have any special decorations? Do you change your decorations each year or are you like me, in with the old, the old and the older!

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