The (Little) Tree and Christmas Tins

by Karen

We put up our Christmas decorations this past weekend. The decor is very light this year because we’re moving shortly after the holidays and we’re also traveling quite a bit during the next four weeks. For our married existence (thisclose to 7 years), we have traveled during every single Christmas vacation. The idea of staying home for Christmas is very foreign to us right now. I am sure at some point in our lives we will want to wake up on Christmas morning in our own home, but we’re still very content traveling. Some years we fly; some years we drive; and some years it is a mixture of both, like this year. For me, it doesn’t matter where I am on Christmas, just as long as I am with Clay and Weston.

This is the extent of our decor. We didn’t put up our full-size tree for the reasons stated above, instead we opted for what we refer to as the deployment tree. During Clay’s first deployment, he was gone for Christmas so I bought a little three foot tree so I didn’t have to set up the a huge one by myself. And before Clay came home last year from another deployment (just before Christmas!), Weston and I used the deployment tree so we could set up the full-size one as a family when Clay came home. I like our little deployment tree and honestly don’t miss have the full-size tree up. It may also because the family room in our rental house is quite tiny and there wouldn’t be room for a tree unless there was a massive furniture reorganization.

Weston is obsessed with the Advent Calendar, which is why it is at a two-year-old friendly location. In his world, there is nothing more fun than opening and closing the doors. I have had this calendar for a couple of years now – I found it at Target for $10, I believe (oh Target, how I miss thee). Our stockings are marked with a single silver monogrammed letter pin and Lucy and Desi are represented on our mantle, they’re family too, after all.

There isn’t room on the small tree for all of our ornaments, which is a good thing because Weston has taken a liking to removing ornaments and hanging them on door handles. This means that all of our breakable ornaments remain in storage and will not see the light of day for Christmas 2011. As with most families, we typically add an ornament or two to our collection each year, representing a milestone or memory. This year, we added a sled dog ornament that we picked up in Alaska.

I love the look of gifts under a Christmas tree. Before having a child, we would always place the wrapped gifts we bought for family and each other under the tree to serve as decoration. But with a toddler running around, wrapped gifts are a no go (they currently live on our chest of drawers). However, I have found that Christmas tins are a great substitute. They’re festive and toddler-proof! Weston loves to stack them and use them as drums and I am happy because they’re a functional decoration. A win-win!

And I’ll close this post with a shot of our decorations at night. There is nothing like basking in the glow of a Christmas tree while sipping a cup of coffee. I can’t even type that sentence without smiling. Just divine. Does anyone else travel over Christmas? What about decorations – did anyone else go light and easy this year?