My trees. All three of them.

This weekend was an exercise in elf-like triumph.

Putting up trees, making a pajaki, ornaments, wreaths….candles blazing and Donny and Marie blasting out Jingle Bells all through the night. Anything that stood still has now been tinseled, feathered, or sequined. Only the bathroom remains untouched.

Not long, Bathroom, not long.

I’ll be posting pictures and projects in the weeks ahead, but I want take a minute to say this one thing now and get it out of the way because some people in real life think this is not normal and I am tired of explaining it. So let’s just say it now: I have multiple Christmas trees.

To be precise, I have three Christmas trees; a traditional green, pink flocked, and a smaller silver tree, all of them synthetic.  Some people don’t like this. Some people insist that the only Christmas tree worth having is one big natural evergreen, tall and fragrant, bedecked in generations of lovingly curated ornaments. I have had a couple of people tell me my way of doing this with multiple fake trees is flat out wrong. They say that I am buying in to the “War on Christmas” by furthering commercialism and distancing myself from traditions of Yore. And they might be right. But at this point in my life, do I give a rip?

*crickets*

There is a time for harkening back to Yore. There is a place for Tradition.  That place in not my living room. I love it hanging with Yore and Tradition in other people’s living rooms. Just not mine.  Trust me, it’s better for everyone involved.

See, the thing is, five years ago, if you had told me I would have not only one but three Christmas trees in my home, I would have written you off as crazy. As much as I enjoy the holidays, I have not always liked trees, at least not in my home. I like wreaths and garlands and the general idea of Christmas spirit. I like holiday parties and carolers and the general concept of brotherhood of man. But Christmas trees? 
Meh…
For one thing, Christmas trees used to make me a sad. For a number of years growing up my father refused to have a Christmas tree in the house because it reminded him of my Mom, who loved, loved, decorating for Christmas. After she died the very thought of opening those boxes was too painful for either one of us to bear.  And frankly, Christmas was never his thing anyway. One time when I was away he just went and threw everything out with the trash. Sometimes I wish I had those ornaments, then, other times, I think how thankful I am that I don’t have to drudge up all that emotional baggage every December. That kind of sentiment weighs far heavier than any fruitcake.
And, for another thing, I was burned out on Christmas for a while there. Until a couple years ago I used to be one of those people who got paid to put up other people’s Christmas trees (word up: not nearly as swell as it sounds). It was a lot of late nights standing in bank lobbies holding extension chords between my teeth, or standing on restaurant bar tops on Thanksgiving morning, using zip ties to attach garland to ceiling fans. No sentiment there—just some balls and bows and religiously ambiguous tree toppers. No doubt, this is why I love my hippo.
To the best of my estimation, excluding the homes of friends and family, I have set up over 300 Christmas trees. This includes one weekend at a department store where my only job was to string lights on 43 trees. The bows were another persons job. And the garland, another. And the base ornaments, another. And the eye-level “razzle ornaments” belonged to another. And the eye level “dazzle ornaments” belonged to another. And another. And another, and so on and so on. Don’t get me wrong — it was a great job and I was lucky to have it, but you can imagine how my current three trees seems like nothing compared to the past. My Yore might be different from your Yore. I hope we can be cool with that.

I think everyone should consider multiple trees. Maybe one to host a collection of ornaments, and maybe just one because it smells good. Or it lights up a dark corner. Or because you feel like having it around. There is no law that says a person is allotted one tree in life and I am not about to follow someone else’s arbitrary rule just because it is what they know to be familiar.

My house. My Christmas. My trees. All three of them.

:)

Comments

  1. says

    I think people who don’t have several trees are borrrrring. As promised, I painted my free yrd sale bedraggled white tree yest. It is now resplendently pink, ala aunt peaches’ blog story. My bf brought me a walnut from his beach walk and I added it to my collectiin of abt twenty of them. Told him I plan to spray pt them chrome. He said why? I dmsed u ask me why, when I just ptd my tree pink? Anyway, keep up the good work, auntie. The more trees, the merrier!!!

  2. says

    Not weird a t’all! One family we know used to have trees in several rooms. Now they have ‘just’ a big traditional antique-themed tree (with bubbling oil lights even, yowsa) and a ‘kids tree’ in the family room.

    You & garnet just gave me an idea- gonna do a child’s tree in daughter’s room, decorated with toys from her childhood as she grows up

    . Toys that are too bedraggled will get glitter or metallic treatment

  3. elw_ny says

    It is a mystery to me why anyone believes he or she is entitled to be so rude as to tell anyone else how to decorate their home, whether for a holiday or just in general. But in an age when people feel that they can tell others what they should wear, what they should eat, what deity they should or should not believe in – and how that belief should be expressed, how many children, if any, they should have, or who they should or should not marry, I suppose debating the number of Christmas trees in a home is a minor issue. Too many people seem to have forgotten that anagram we used so constantly to each other in my long-ago youth: “MYOB.”

    I happen to have two 7-foot half trees, because my living room is narrow, and a regular tree would block all passageways. They’re artificial because I want to keep them around a month or more, and it would be unsafe to keep a real tree that long. They’re not inexpensive, but they cost less than a series of real trees over the years, and though they may not be easy to get out of the closet, it’s a lot easier than this old lady having to lug them home without a car, and dispose of them afterwards.

    For years when I go away for the holiday and won’t be around much, I put up a different tree, a smaller one, with its own set of ornaments – less time-consuming to set up and take down.

    And for my bedroom, I have a small wire tree with miniature ornaments set on my bureau.

    So obviously I’m on your side in this argument. Do what makes you happy as long as it harms no one else, and hope that other people will do the same.

  4. Katie Golczynski says

    It’s our first Christmas in our first house and I have 3 artificial decorated trees and some sort of ‘tree’ decor in every room. 7.5′ natural look tree in the living room that has my life long ornament collection and big red bows looped throughout; small 3.5′ tree on an end table by the fireplace with my bird ornaments, snowflakes, and red poinsettias; and a 2′ turquoise tree in my 2yo son’s room that is decorated with eyeballs that I turned into ornaments.
    It sure is festive up in here! I’m loving it!

  5. says

    Just this weekend I had a conversation about wanting two trees: one real one, for the fragrance, and one fake one, so it can be pink and so I can put it up immediately after the turkey coma wears off on Thanksgiving without it dying before Christmas and so it can be pink.

    I wondered if I was crazy, but the other folks in my conversation said the same thing that you did. Just enjoy your own holidays your own way, and to hell with folks that think you’re crazy.

  6. lucasuk82 says

    I think your philosophy is great. I get grief for changing things out every year – different types of lights, different color schemes, etc. I figure it’s my house, my storage space, and my money – I’ll do what I want.

  7. Jaan L of Tx says

    I really don’t see how one tree would ever be enough. There are so many ways to decorate a tree, that would be impossible to do just one, or three. Maybe that older lady had the right idea of 90 trees. It does sound like a nice round number. And what does if matter if they are real trees or artificial ones? Mom was allergic to the real ones. Besides if any of you are like me and try to STUFF a 7 footer into a very, very small car….oh, well Put up as many trees as you want..real or not..and just enjoy them.

  8. Roseanne Winn says

    Funny that you posted this – we are currently debating having a second tree in the house this Christmas. Only because my husband wants a real, live one like we used to have. I want to use the artificial one that comes together, lights and all, in one minute – and never needs watering. Only have ornaments enough for one. I am thinking of using the real one for food items – candy canes, bon bons, etc. Can’t wait to see more of your decorating, maybe it will inspire me.

  9. HeartPiece says

    Multiple trees is the only way to go ! We have a Star Trek and a candy-themed tree plus a more “normal” one. :) Yours are exceptionally lovely.

  10. JBar42 says

    Those people are really, really, really small minded & lacking in Christmas spirit. Just about everyone I know has more than one tree-I’m in Houston. Maybe it’s a Southern thing?

  11. says

    Preach on, Sister. There was an elderly lady in my old neighborhood who had 90 in her house. Trees of every size, shape, color and theme you could imagine were stuffed into every possible corner. She would host an open house where, for a $5 donation to a local charity, people could walk through in awe. It was majestic.

  12. Meg says

    i have seven trees! (SEVEN–in an apartment, not a house!) and i love them all. my boyfriend thought i was crazy when i started putting them all up (“really? all of them? you can’t, like, pick and choose year to year?”) but now he says it’s like walking into happiness every time we come through the door. (finding rogue sparkles on his shirt or arm does not make him happy. but i say you can’t have one without the other. MOAR GLITTER.)

    peaches, you, your writing, and all your trees make my heart happy.

  13. Tracy Griffith says

    I have three as well (but they’re not out yet). A little green pre-lit four-footer where I put all my ornaments, a Charlie Brown tree (seriously, bent over with one red ornament and all), and a silver tinsel one. I dare anyone to tell me that’s not Christmas! Keep on keepin on, AP.

Trackbacks

  1. […] I mentioned yesterday that I have decorated a lot of trees over the years. A few hundred, in fact. It used to be my job.  Most of them were decorated for a purpose— either to sell goods or create a home-like atmosphere in a non-homey location (example: an insurance broker’s lobby).  To be clear, I never designed the trees – I was just a worker bee. Very few of those trees were anything special. Budgets were tight and time was precious, but, after all those trees, I picked up a few tricks along the way. A lot of people would be surprised how fast, easy, and inexpensive it can be to fill a very large and otherwise-empty Christmas tree. Before we go on any further, let’s be clear; there is no right way to decorate a tree. There is no wrong way either. I’m not trying to tell anyone how to do it. I’m just showing a few ways to thicken up a tree to bolster whatever decorations you already have. I like my trees big, thick and abundant. You might like something different. To each his own!  There are a lot of ways to thicken a tree, but the basic concept is this: repeat a pattern.  Pick one element and polka-dot it all over the tree. Lay that pattern under or over your regular ornaments and you will give a tree dimension. If you have the patience and pocket book to sandwich your regular ornaments between two ‘webs’ of pattern, even better. What I propose below are five ways to create inexpensive, high impact patterns. There are thousands more out there (I just couldn’t fit them in for demo photos last weekend). […]

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