It’s Christmas In Our House

I have to say, the tree is my work of art. It took me days until it was all finished. My husband’s involvement was limited to unboxing, building and shaping the tree. Since our tree came pre-lit with clear lights, he didn’t even have to string the lights. But I’m not complaining, I had fun doing it and that’s all that matters.

xmas 2014

xmas 2014

xmas 2014

This pair of silver balls found their rightful spot along with a pair of  venetian glass teardrop snowflake.
xmas 2014

xmas 2014

xmas 2014

The coffee table is adorned with star shaped pine cone centerpiece.

xmas 2014

Live potted red poinsettia adds color to our Christmas theme this year

xmas 2014

xmas 2014

xmas 2014

Another pine cone centerpiece is on the dining table

xmas 2014

xmas 2014

This year, Christmas lights found its way in our balcony railings

xmas 2014

xmas 2014

xmas 2014

But let’s not forget the reason for the season. We have an Advent Calendar and Daily Advent Reflection Book. Since day 1 of Advent, opening the door of the Advent Calendar and reading the reflection book have been a part of my morning ritual.

xmas 2014

xmas 2014

xmas 2014

Inspired By Wedgwood

Warning: Photo overload

As I mentioned on my preceding post, decorating our home for Christmas this year is a lot more meaningful than the last. This is due to the conversion of my husband to Catholicism from his Jewish religion. By April next year, he’ll be baptized and confirmed. I no longer have to play safe and skip decking our halls for fear of alienating him.

I have to admit that I’ve purchased the tree ornaments way ahead of the tree. It sounds ridiculous but that’s how it went. I was inspired when I first laid eyes on this Wedgwood heart ornament (at a boutique in Manhattan) which undoubtedly is near and dear to my heart.

xmas 2014

I brought it home, yes, just one ( because pink is not our color theme). But when my husband saw it he agreed that our Christmas tree this year and the many more years to come will be adorned with Wedgwood ornaments in the traditional Wedgwood blue color. By early November, I have already purchased four of each, plus the heart, and a couple of pieces from Royal Albert to go with the color of the Wedgwood heart ornament, and our Lenox Angel of Peace ornament from last year.

xmas 2014

xmas 2014

xmas 2014

I wish the ornaments are not cost prohibitive (for us), because if they’re not, I would have really wanted a tree adorned with Wedgwood ornaments from top to bottom. Hopefully, we will be able to add more in the years to come until we have enough to deck a whole tree. But for now, I’m content with these at 4 pieces per kind.

xmas 2014

xmas 2014

xmas 2014

xmas 2014

xmas 2014

xmas 2014

xmas 2014

The tree at 7 foot would look ‘bald’ with just the above ornaments, so I decided to incorporate blue, silver and white ornaments. I went loco over these silver shatterproof Christmas balls in different designs. I’ve got 200 of them and yes, they are all in the tree.

xmas 2014

xmas 2014

xmas 2014

xmas 2014

xmas 2014

xmas 2014

xmas 2014

xmas 2014

Then I went ahead and added two dozens of each of these:

xmas 2014

xmas 2014

xmas 2014

xmas 2014

I also perused these silk flowers from last year’s tree.

xmas 2013

xmas 2013

The hardest to procure was the silver tree skirt. It took me forever to find this one. Was I relieved when I laid eyes on it! I was already thinking of getting blue but I was not too happy just the thought of it.

xmas 2014

By the way, I totally skipped putting up a tree topper. I’ve never been fond of one ever since.

Since our Balsam Hill tree came pre-lit, we decided to string last year’s Christmas lights in the balcony. Because it’s brutally cold here in New York, getting a remote control to operate the lights indoor instead of  heading out to do it manually is a good idea. We were lucky that there’s a system available that can operate indoor and outdoor lights in one. Needless to say, it’s really efficient since this can be operated within 50 feet and it goes through the walls.

xmas 2014

Unboxing Our Balsam Hill Christmas Tree

I give up! I can’t keep my word, because I didn’t update sooner. As usual, the update came much later and I apologize. Are you still there?

As I’ve mentioned on my preceding post, it was already beginning to look a lot like Christmas here at home almost a month ago. Was it a surprise to know that I was thinking of decking the halls this early?

This brings me to a conversation with the husband sometime in October when I strongly declared I was not decorating our home for Christmas. Reason being, my Allergist warned me against having fresh cut tree or live tree at home (was it a good thing that our live potted Alberta Spruce last year didn’t survive the winter?). In view of my allergy flare up which happened in the summer when I happily brought home several huge sunflowers from the North Fork, I was told not to bring in potential irritants. My husband equally opposed my decision not to put up a tree because he thought that there is a solution to that. But more so because he thinks it should even be more fitting that we adorn our home this Christmas, because we now share the same faith (although, he’s not yet baptized) and we have so many reasons to be thankful, joyful and jubilant about.

The husband won! An artificial tree was an easy solution. I had an early start searching for a tree that comes very close to the real thing as far as the look of real tree needles are concerned. I combed through a lot of online shops, bookmarked some that got our attention and by mid November, we went to several stores to see what they’ve got in-store but there was none that we both liked.

It was then that I seriously considered Balsam Hill. I went ahead and ordered a branch sample kit. Was I floored when I got the sample! Stunningly realistic indeed! There was no more if’s and but’s that our first artificial tree will be from Balsam Hill. I didn’t want us rearranging furniture to make way for a Christmas tree, nor a tree that may hinder our normal mobility. Balsam Hill fulfilled my requirements.

The 7 foot pre-lit Sonoma Slim of Balsam Hill was a perfect fit. It was shipped to us in a couple of days, and by November 22 we found ourselves assembling our tree. How’s that for a real early start?

sonoma slim

Assembly was relatively easy; as easy as 1, 2, 3. It came pre-lit with clear lights so we didn’t need to string the lights unto the tree. That made it a lot easier for my husband.

sonoma slim

sonoma slim

sonoma slim

sonoma slim

A storage bag came with the purchase.

sonoma slim

And these was the most useful of all – it came with two pairs of gloves which came really handy when it was time to shape the tree.

sonoma slim

sonoma slim

sonoma slim

sonoma slim

sonoma slim

We were done in no time. The pre-lit tree looks like this after some tweaking and shaping ( sans the ornaments).

sonoma slim

It took a few days to completely decorate the tree. Of course, I was on my own, but it was fun hanging the ornaments. I figured, I wasn’t going to wait for the next weekend to come around and hang the ornaments with my husband around. I did it on a piecemeal basis until every piece of ornament was in place.

Now, you may laugh at me if I come clean and say, our home was decked days before Thanksgiving. Yes, that’s way too early here in America but I’m glad we decorated early this year. For my fellow Pinoys, it’s fine, as we start playing Christmas songs in September and decorate our homes that early. I just have one regret though. I should have waited longer to avail of this tree at the sale price. I paid full price for it, and now that I see the discount they’re currently offering, I’m knocking myself for springing for it that early. But – as my husband says I should not just look at it that way. At least we have been enjoying the tree for a few weeks already. Who needs to decorate in a rush? I’m sure that’s no fun.