This year, we aren’t doing much for Christmas- and we’re cool with it!
We decided before the start of this holiday season that things were going to look a lot different. While it is a little disappointing to think of not spending the holidays with our entire families, it’s a much safer alternative for everyone. We have several high risk members on either side, and it is simply not worth it. ALSO, money is tiiiiiight honey. Much like everyone else- we’ve had some unexpected expenses and setbacks this year. The idea of spending money on a tree or new decorations seemed frivolous and counterproductive.
However, the decision to not go all out for a classic Christmas quickly spiraled into not doing anything at all. And, I was getting a little sad about it. I mean, not making thanksgiving dinner was pretty cool, but we missed celebrating! So come December 1st- I dragged all of our lights out, hung them inside and out, and called it a day. We thought, “We don’t need a tree, our kids are little, and don’t know the difference. It’s not the most important thing.”
That lasted like a day. Turns out WE know the difference, and we set out to *cost effectively* fill the void.
How, though? More lights strung inside? Giant stuffed animal pile? A tree made from stacked household items? Our old mini table top tree, maybe spray painted? Paper snowflakes from the ceiling? Paper chains? Popcorn garlands? Taxidermied animals in a Christmas tableau? Squirrels; or maybe mice. Holiday Honeybadger?
Thankfully Amer stepped in to save me from further googles; with the brilliant idea to make a tree from fallen branches. We went for a walk together and found all the pieces in our back woods. We bound the limbs together, bolstered them inside of our old tree stand, and set it up outside. It needed to dry and the girls could get exposed to it gradually. Putting the tree in front of them before we set it precariously on top of a table and strung glittery objects from it was paramount. I then decorated the tree in stages over a few days to spare us any disaster scenarios.
Why? I’ll explain as best I can
I often liken the girls to cats when describing them. Besides Zara literally purring and meowing most of the time- They are both ADORABLE, playful, and have big “if I fits, I sits” energy. They can be selective with affection, but also very cuddly and lovey. They climb everything, follow a laser pointer with enthusiasm, knock things off tables, sit on top of you when you’re in the middle of something, and generally- DESTROY.
Even with precautions, we weren’t completely spared. Zara has been climbing in and out of the “rainbow cave” underneath the tree, and Lela has attempted a climb or two. We put some rocks in the base, and I bolstered the back of the table to keep it from sliding. Ah, children. They are sweet though.
For the decorations- I had to get crafty. I strung up some felt ball garlands, I painted/glittered some of their toys, I repurposed a rainbow garland we had, brought down our most mystical stuffed animals, and my mom made us some paper cranes! I wrapped the base with some scarves, put some blankets over our table, and boom- Now we have our very own Madesko tree. I was thinking about a tutorial but- there are no rules here, and I was mostly winging it.
It is not a classic tree, or even reminiscent of a Christmas theme! It’s more magical dinosaur forest. And, that suits us perfectly.
I’m reveling in the freedom and creativity that comes with breaking tradition. And you can too- If you want! What’s important is your family and the love and celebration between you. I know the holidays look and feel a little different this year, but I think the magic of the season is within all of our grasps. Budget is irrelevant!! If you don’t have it, make something else. I literally put some f*ckin twigs in a vase people. Do you! Celebrate, be proud! And if it would truly make you happy to not do any holiday decorating- don’t! I planned on making 28273649407 cookies and treats by now, but I haven’t had the time or energy. And that’s ok! Forgive yourself and forgive others- spread love- it’s free!