Hey there friends, and welcome to my contribution to Boomama’s Christmas Tour of Homes, and the tour going on at Hooked on Houses. Let this post be a window into what a treeless Christmas looks like! Why treeless, you ask? Well, let me tell you. Since we are going home to Texas for Christmas, and because my two daughters are away at college and meeting us in Texas, Hubs suggested that we not put up the tree this year. At first, I was aghast at his suggestion. No tree? For the first time, not just in our 25 years of marriage, but, well, EVER in my LIFE? It helps to understand that ours is a tree from the pre-already-put-together-and-lit generation of artificial trees, and while it is huge and gorgeous, it take FOR.EV.ER. to put together. The more I thought about it, the more his suggestion made sense. So, I put a few other Christmasy touches around the house, and called it festive. Allow me to show you around.
As you approach my house, here’s the greeting:
I actually used two table sprays and, after adding ribbon, turned and hung them as “wreaths”:
As you enter and look to the left, you’ll see our nativity from ye olde Sears and Roebuck, circa 1986:
Should you look closely, you’d see that this little number has been loved and played with over the years; just ask this member of the Magi and the (one-winged) Angel herself:
I will never replace this because how in the world do you replace the memory of your children loving a nativity to near-ruin? Oh, that they would continue to love it to such extent.
Just beyond the nativity is our dining room, set with a conglomeration of antique glass ornaments, velvet and greenery, poinsettias and Mary and Joseph on their way home from the stable.
I love the way he’s looking at them:
From the entry, if you looked straight ahead, you’d see this on the living room coffee table. Simple, yes, but these are two Santas from my youth, their memory alive from a very early age:
Moving on into the kitchen, this frosty little guy graces our kitchen table:
On the bar, you’ll see the $20 tree I bought at Walgreens (because nothing says Christmas like Walgreens). This was the beginning of my realization that I’d made a tragic error by not putting up my actual tree. Surrounding it are all of our Christmas card pictures over the years, framed in Christmas frames. This is one of my favorite things, as it chronicles the girls’ lives and lets me relive some sweet Christmases:
Tucked in a corner of the kitchen cabinets are my collection of Christmas mugs, a Santa my mom painted for me years ago and another precious ode to my past, my first nativity:
In another corner, a collection of Christmas cookbooks:
Beyond the kitchen in the family room, is our mantle. It’s very simply decorated this year with a Santa holding two little dolls in his bag (representative of my own two little dolls, of course) and the girls’ stockings. I made and painted these when they were small, angels kneeling at the manger, topped with pieces of their great-grandmother’s lace:
Even though I have all these representations of the Season surrounding me and Christmas music playing 24/7, there still has been the ever-present feeling that something is missing. Could a tree be that important? I’ve come to realize that, for me, the answer is YES.
Certainly, it symbolizes all the Christmases that we’ve celebrated over the years, the memories of my children, wide-eyed with wonder on Christmas mornings past. It holds the products of their hands made in the school room, at a Girl Scout troop meeting, in Sunday School or at our own kitchen table. But more, what struck me in its absence was that it wasn’t just any tree but a symbol of a tree that would come some thirty-three years after the stable. The tree that held the first Christmas gift, a living sacrifice that bled and died so that I might live. Christmas is incomplete without the tree, just as the nativity is incomplete without the crucifixion and the resurrection that followed.
Perhaps I wouldn’t have learned this special lesson, had I put up my tree as usual. But I now know that our home will never be without it again. Oh how I look forward to basking in the glow of the trees at the homes of our parents in Texas! Henceforth, I’ll never look at them the same.
May your Christmas around your own trees, circled by the ones you love with lights reflecting in their eyes and hearts, be one of extraordinary warmth and gratitude – for them and the One who was the most perfect ornament a tree ever wore.
The merriest of Christmases to you and yours, from me and mine.
Tree or not, I think your decorations are lovely. Thanks for sharing them. And for visiting my place.
My Siamese Christmas cat is actually one of four…two chocolate points and two linx point. We have a Siamese herd around here.
It was nice to hear that you had one too that was so well loved!
Your home is beautiful, even w/out a tree. I love your front doors and your nativities!
On Saturday I decided to help lift my spirits by putting up our small pencil tree instead of our larger one, actually instead of NONE.
I couldn’t believe how quickly it brought much joy to my heart. I mentioned it to my husband and he said he was the very same way, it just totally changed the moods dweling in us.
I loved seeing your home. You are so special to me and I appreciate the time it took to invite each one of us in.
Love to you,
Your house looks beautiful! Very festive, even without the tree. Although I do know how you feel. When we would travel to Ohio for Christmas, even though my tree was up, I would miss it while we were there. Something about looking at that tree with all of the ornaments through the years.
Maybe you can put up a small one like Yolanda! 🙂
Thank you for the tour! ENJOY! Fifi
Awww… what a lesson learned this year for you. I loved how you mentioned before to me that maybe you don’t do it just for the kids after all. True. Something so special about all the decorations that makes it feel like home.
I especially love your idea of your past Christmas Card pictures. I have an album, but to have a few framed… great idea. I may need to implement that one.
Merry Christmas, friend. And with how our weather is going here… a White Christmas may not be out of the question. It’s COLD!
I know the feeling well!
It was fun seeing what you selected as being “essential Christmas”. Looks pretty festive to me, complete with manger. It’s lovely.
Be blessed, my treeless friend. And whatever you do, don’t tell Elaine (Peace for the Journey).
It’s how my own treeless Christmas morphed into a tree’d one.
Those stocking are adorable. Thank you for sharing your beautiful home with us.
I love your treeless Christmas! Your home is beautiful – thank you for sharing!
Melinda — your home is gorgeous! I put up a tree this year….. well, part of one. The tree is one of those gi-normous things over 10 feet tall and we decided (that means I decided) to only put up part of it — the top 6 feet. It looks good and it’s really pretty. I haven’t done much with the other parts of the house. I may get some pictures up tonight.
Love your home! Those double doors are great. Tree or no tree, it’s beautiful.
Your home is gorgeous. I love your wreaths and your front door. Everything is so pretty. Thank you for welcoming us into your home.
With all this stuff, who needs a tree! Thanks for the peek into your home. I’m thinking of getting rid of some stuff next year. Honestly, it looks like someone with a hangover came in and just started throwing stuff everywhere. The Grinch in the manger doesn’t quite match up, does it?!
Much love to you this night.
I love the nativities….remind me of ones that my mom had growing up!
Merry Christmas!!! Enjoy your travels!
Melinda, I think a tree is a must, too. I love having ours up. (And I love your front doors!)
Your home looks wonderful! We went without a tree or even a single decoration one year when I was pregnant and we were about to move into a house we were renovating. It was traumatic. I think I’ve just now recovered, 3 years later. Next year I hope your tree shines extra bright for you! Merry Christmas!
What a wonderful tour Melinda!
and i am just so full of
‘gratitude – for them and the One who was the most perfect ornament a tree ever wore.’
love you girl!
This made me laugh! Especially the part about the Nativity from Sears. I have my Mom’s from my childhood! It’s not ornate, but I think of her every time I take it out. Love the pics of the girls from Christmas past. Loved visiting w/you last night. You are a source of joy in my life and I love you so. xoxo mich
I love every piece of what you showed Melinda!! AWESOME!! I’m sorry about the tree, but I’m glad you’ll be in TX. 🙂
I love ya girl!
I think your home looks lovely and very Christmasy (let’s see if spell check goes for THAT!!)
I pray that you will have a wonderful family trip and expect that next year, you will be the first at the tree lots!
Don’t worry, honey. I put up enough trees for the both of us. What’s different about my house this year? I ONLY did trees. (And one nativity scene). Usually I go ALL out. Thought I’d do it differently this year. Not liking it so much. Meh.
Thanks for stopping by She Lives!
Your home is beautiful
What a beautiful home tour! I loved every picture and narrative that followed. 🙂
God bless and merry Christmas! I will also look at my tree in a more adoring way realizing that my Savior used a tree to give me salvation!
Hello, I wandered over here and I’m glad I did! I have to admit, I love our Christmas tree. Thanks for putting the meaning of it so beautifully! But my sis doesn’t put up a tree. whether you do or don’t doesn’t really matter. As you expressed so beautifully, the GIFT has already been given! All we have to do is receive Him.
Your house looks just lovely and Christmassy even without a tree. Thanks for inviting us in.
What a beautiful, beautiful home! I love all the sentimental pieces and the Christmas cards. Your front doors are really welcoming too.
Thanks for sharing!