It's that time of year when the season of glitter is at its peak. The season of glitter is what I call that time period between the day after Halloween and Christmas Day. As you might have guessed, I decorate with my fair share of glitter and shiny objects. It all starts with the bare trees coming down from the attic and placed in their respective spots in the house. There exists a debate of how many “Christmas” trees I actually have, and what exactly counts as said Christmas tree. I will leave the deliberation up to you.
Upon entering my house, you are greeted by my “Welcome Tree.”
Seemingly understated, it is a plain birch, adorned with very simple decorations of cardinals and bells, both in red. It’s definitely not the most attention seeking tree of the lot, but it’s perfect nonetheless.
Next is the “Mancave Tree,” a typical pencil tree, bedecked with ornaments, all from New England professional sports teams. That being said, I also include ornaments from sports that my boys have played throughout the years.
Allow me to indulge you with a funny story about this tree.
During one of my annual Christmas parties, the husband of one of my colleagues snuck a Pittsburgh Steelers ornament onto the tree. Unbeknownst to me, the chatter at work went on for weeks, as to when I was going to finally discover this uninvited guest. It was only when I was taking down the tree that I exposed the stowaway. I thought I would die laughing when I understood my coworkers' conspiracy. Now, every year I lovingly place that ornament back on the tree, and text my friends a picture, just to let them know I’m thinking about them.
Tree number three is my 1958 aluminum “Pom Pom Tree.” After more than two years of hunting on Ebay, I finally found this gem five years ago for the right price. Oh, don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of aluminum trees on Ebay. I had a set budget of $300, and it had to represent my ideal vision, as well as be in great shape. I discovered a new listing on Ebay, and snagged it for $250. Not for the faint of heart, this tree has 228 individual branches that must be loaded, one by one, onto a pre-drilled down rod. It actually takes longer to put it away, as each branch must be wrapped back into its own paper sleeve and stored in its original box. It is decorated with replicas of vintage ornaments, including a Chatty Cathy, and rightly so. Yes, this 60 year old tree is a lot of work, but it is a labor of love.
Next up is my “Pink Tree of Hope,” a sparkling white tree, standing tall, decorated in...pink, of course. Yes, this is a pretty color, but it also symbolizes my continued efforts to support breast cancer research.
This tree evolved from a collection of ornaments that I have received over many years. Originally on my largest Christmas tree, this specific genre of ornaments became so abundant as a result of gifts, that I needed to give them their own space. Hence, the “Pink Tree of Hope” was established. Inscribed with inspirational words such as, “hope, cure” and “promise,” these ornaments bring back fond memories of fulfilling charity work with friends, family and colleagues. Because there is still so much work to do with finding a cure for breast cancer, you can expect this tree to continue to grow and evolve.
The largest tree erected in my house for the holiday season is what I call my “Macy’s Tree.” So, this 2020 decorating session started with a panic...shocker, I know. As I started stringing the lights, I discovered that two strings just would not work or test out, so they had to be replaced. Well guess what? Home Depot, Target and even Amazon were sold out of “warm” white LED lights. If you know the difference between warm and cool lights, you’re probably feeling my pain right now.
Thankfully, I remembered seeing some at CVS, and was able to get four strings, enough to get the job done. Crisis averted, lights went on and I moved onto the decorations. Now, this tree takes up six storage bins of space in order to keep all the pieces in great shape year after year. Believe it or not, the only new decorations purchased for this tree each year are occasionally some lights and the current year’s annual ornament. I am envisioning the 2020 ornament as a roll of toilet paper wearing a mask, but stay tuned. Taking an entire day to decorate, I find that I really have to be in the right headspace to complete it. It is filled with memories and details that I take such pleasure in revisiting every year. For example, there is a St Nick Bear from the year my oldest son was born and five ornaments from the year 2000, when my second son was born. Ornaments of our fur babies, past and present, just make me smile. Overall, every single ornament is a step in the walk down memory lane. This tree is usually the last decorating event in the whole process of decking my halls, which means I can now sit back and enjoy the fruits of my labor.
So I ask, do all five of the aforementioned trees count as “Christmas” trees?
Five trees may seem excessive, but as a professional organizer with a LOVE of Christmas, I believe that you can have (many) things that bring you joy, year after year--if they are well taken care of. Yes, if I ever downsize my home, I will have to make some hard decisions, but that is a discussion for another time. One thing I know for sure, is that anything I part with will be in great shape for the next Christmas enthusiast.