This past Friday, we bought a tree and put it up, and decorated it. It's hard to see but all the ornaments except for the balls and one Christmas angel (that I friend of mine made for me years ago) are all handmade and bought from a Ten Thousand Villages store. This is the first Christmas tree in probably at least 10 years I've put up, and definitely the first since getting married.
I'm quite a Scrooge when it comes to Christmas. As and adult, all I could see were people getting stressed out, people spending way too much on things that other people didn't particularly liked, and a general expectation of people having to buy gifts for others, etc. Generally, this holiday was getting too materialistic and too wasteful for my tastes.
I mean, how many times you were given something, and while you were taught to be gracious and accepting, deep down inside, you didn't like it, it was going to go into a regift pile, put aside to be forgotten, or eventually, just thrown away (and then in my mind, I cringe at the thought of yet another item going into our landfill). I've been through all these things with my gifts, which is why as a general rule I don't give gifts any longer unless it cash or a gift card, or something that's consumable or recyclable.
However, I'd found myself this year reflecting on my stance on Christmas, and thinking to Christmases past when I was a child. Christmas was fun, magical and wonderous. I don't know if it's the preggo hormones in me, but I was becoming somewhat sentimental, and discovered that I wanted to at least recapture that for the kid, and also teach him/her a little of what Christmas is really about. The practical side of me said that since I had pretty much no ornaments, it would be easier for me and more economical if I bought them this year, and re-engage my tree trimming skills now than a year from now when I have figure all this out and keep an eye open for a crawling baby that was going to threaten to tip the tree over.
I also wanted to be more environmentally friendly with the tree, hence we trudged down to our local garden centre and bought a real tree, one that can be recycled. The ornaments that I'd picked from Ten Thousand Villages, I wanted to make certain that they would last us for a while (we also spent wayyyy more than I was intending, oops!, but it's promoting sustainability for others, which is a good thing). It's not very big (it's probaby not quite 6 feet tall), and it partially blocks the view of the TV, but I love my little tree. I'm starting to get excited about Christmas again.