19 December 2015

Day 43 / 105 - Christmas Tree (simplified)

Early in the fall, I quoted Socrates in this post stating: Better to do a little well, than a great deal badly. I mentioned that this has been my theme in our home and in our educational journey this year.  Let's do less, but let's do it well!  Naturally, I need to constantly be reminded of this goal, especially during the holidays.

For the past several years, decorating for Christmas has been such a chore for me that I haven't wanted to do it.  I've always felt like I need to begin the decorating process by cleaning our home just so we can make a mess with Rubbermaid tubs of decorations.  Then, in just a few short weeks, we need to clean up the decorated mess, and attempt to once again cram the storage bins back into the attic.  There is little celebration as we decorate.  Throughout the entire season, I dread the clean-up.  Our decorations have always stayed up until mid-January just because none of us want to take the time to put them away.  Last year we were beginning our transition to Charlotte, so we didn't even set up a tree.

Because I was starting to feel a little bit like the Grinch, this year I promised to make it simple and enjoyable.  Less done well.  There is beauty and truth and goodness in this season all of which is worth celebrating.  Let us anticipate Christ's arrival with great joy!

This year, my family decorated this tree.  It is my new favorite.

This tree is simple.  This tree is enjoyable.  It is less done well.

The beauty is that everything on this tree can be eaten or disposed of come January 1st.  Except for the lights and a few strips of burlap, everything else on the tree is made of food or paper.  This year, I can appreciate the joyous anticipation of the season without the dreadful anticipation of the holiday clean-up.

We dried oranges. We used candy canes.  Nothing was dragged out of the attic.

We cut snowflakes out of coffee filters.  Coffee filters work wonderfully for snowflakes because they are already round.  What's funny is I actually ironed these filters so they would lie flat.  Ask me the last time I ironed an article of clothing.

We made these super cute ornaments out of cardboard.  Check out this link because hers are even cuter.  This was a win-win for us because it also forced me to unpack a moving box that has been sitting in my closet since July.

We spent the most amount of time tieing strips of burlap to the strings of lights to make garland.  I love how they turned out.  These I will hang onto unless the lights burn out.  (I don't believe it is ever worth keeping decorative lights if many of the bulbs are burned out.)

For the tree-topper, my daughter made a 3D paper snowflake.  Directions can be found here.

Less, done well.  May you appreciate the wonder, joy, and beauty of this season.

My daughter, who turned 12 two weeks ago, has been attempting to make videos with her new camera and editing software.  She enjoyed putting together some DIY clips of our tree.  If you have a minute, take a look.   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h8VfXJFwDQY

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