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Decking The Halls – And The Christmas Tree!

December 19, 2011 by admin

Finally, I get to show you how our Christmas tree turned out!

I’ve always loved decorating Christmas trees.  Since I was a kid I found it to be a magical process – selecting my favourite, most special ornaments.  One of my very favourites was a gold ornament depicting the three wise men on camels with the star shining above. You put one of the light bulbs from the tree into a hole in the bottom of the ornament and it illuminates the whole thing.  It’s really lovely and I saw it again at my parents’ house this afternoon actually.  Still my favourite.

For our own 2011 Christmas tree, Sara and I started with propping it up in it’s metal stand and giving it lots of water.  We use something called ‘Stay Fresh’ from Canadian Tire mixed in the water and that seems to help.  Also ours is a spruce and I found it really took the ornaments well and let them hang beautifully.  We added lights first, weaving them in and out as best we could (I actually hate this part and used to make my younger brother do it – where is he now?!?).  After the lights, some good-old-fashioned gold metallic garland from Loblaws.  It took 4 strands I think.

After the unconventional choice of gold garland (maybe you’re thinking it’s tacky?) I went even weirder with strands of red yarn as a homespun mini-garland.

I don’t know that I’ve ever seen yarn used as garland before, but I’m really into it and love it’s kind of whimsical, loosey-goosey look.  It kind of seems like some Beatrix Potter mice or bunnies did the decorating!  Next up – the ornaments, and lots of them…

My favourite ornaments are the old fashioned glass ones.  We have some from a close family friend, named Ruth, who lived her whole life just down the street from the house Sara and I would one day buy.  When she down sized to an apartment, she gave Sara and I her many colourful ornaments.  It’s so wonderful to know that their beauty lives on – just up the street from where they began their careers as tree decorators.  The ones above are from Sara’s grandparents house, so they’re an extra special addition this year.

Next up – some beautiful blue and white ceramic ornaments my mom bought us last Christmas.  It was for our first Christmas in our first house and they tie in perfectly with the Blue Willow plates on the wall in the dining room.  They were not too expensive at all and found at HomeSense.

These white pine cones are another favourite – from Canadian Tire no less – and from my first student apartment in Kingston.  They still make an appearance each year and I still love ’em.

One last addition – a big set of Martha Stewart ornaments from Home Depot.  Red, green, gold and sort of vintage-inspired.  They fit in nicely with all of the gold garland, red yard and their twinkling vintage cousins.

And voila!  The tree has transformed into a glittering, festive and oh-so-personal Christmas tree.  It’s all ready for presents beneath and adds a cozy, homey charm to our house on cold winter nights.  Hope you’ve had fun decorating your home for the holidays and that whatever your special ornaments are or what kooky elements you add, that your place feels special and happy and true to you.  Merry Christmas!


  1. margo ayotte says:

    WOW what a beautiful tree. Wishing you both a Merry Christmas and all the best in the New Year.

  2. smithers says:

    that tree is such a fatty! i love it. nice work pen and sarah happy hols to you both!

  3. Mike says:

    Lovely tree,well done! I’m glad I’m not the only one who’s sentimental about Xmas ornaments & the whole ritual… Merry Christmas!

  4. Nancy gaylord says:

    Beautiful tree, I’m sure that it makes the room just glow. I too am sentimental about my ornaments. I call it my memory tree. Merry Christmas to both of you Nancy

  5. Kristin says:

    I did notice your red yarn garland…& shocked myself by liking it. No blog about the tinsel tree?!

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