In the hubbub of the holidays before heading home to Toronto, I completely neglected to make a note of our–Russell’s and my–first Christmas tree together. Oh, it was a lovely day when we picked up by faux douglas fir from Target (pronounced “tar-JHEY”) for a mere $50.
Other than the red beaded garlands from a late night stroll to Walgreens, multi-color glass balls from the Christmas Tree Store, which is the store of Christmas shopping nightmares (never mind the crowds, which is significant, but the moment you walk in there they have a personal body care section with shampoos and deordarants, which I find totally confusing and tacky to boot; it would be the equivalent of going into a Dunkin’ for a doughnut and seeing a stack of Clorox on display), and the lights, of course, everything else was handmade. Okay so most of it is made in China, but let’s ignore that.
The point is this is the first thing resembling the sort of Christmas tree I’m used to seeing at home–that is, one that isn’t two feet tall with pre-attached decorations and lights that has a plug trailing from the rickety plastic base that looks like the droopy tail of a small dog–that I’ve been part of putting up since moving to Boston three years ago.
I even got by boyfriend to buy the Swarovski snowflake ornament that they come out with every year. They’re gorgeous and something my mom and sister collect. I thought, we should start that tradition, too. And then I thought, I’m becoming like Mom and my über-responsible sister. Ambivalence ensued.
It’s a landmark moment for me, one that adults don’t take explicit note of the way they take note of the first job, the first lease agreement for their own apartment with no roommates, the first furniture purchase not from Ikea. Like the independent Thanksgiving I had with just the boyfriend, buying your own Christmas tree is one a moment when you start to take over the responsibility of tradition, memory making, making merry, ho ho ho, and getting old old old.
In spite of my near anathema to aging, I loved trimming our first faux fir (douglas, balsam, faser, noble, nordmann, grand? I haven’t a clue) and making some of the decorations. The 3-D star ornament I saw in the Christmas issue of Real Simple. They used paper, but I tried it with velvet ribbon and it turned out great. I’ll put up a post tomorrow showing how to make it. If you like origami, you’ll like this.
I even baked sugar cookie ornament and threaded them with red ribbon, trimmed the wreath on the door with pine cones and more red ribbon. I was Martha. And, let’s be honest, that woman is bad ass. Check out this badass wine bottle holder: it’s a Santa suit! I put a bottle of vodka in it for extra badassness.
Have a happy happy Christmas and hope you tree’s as badass as ours.
To see more pictures of how I decorated the apartment, go to Flickr.