Nov 22 2014
We bought a real Christmas tree last year and it was exciting for about five minutes. I had to vacuum pine needles daily and the tree quickly became something we had to get rid of; I think only Alf was sad to see it go. We’re keeping it very simple for Christmas this year so we’re back to fashioning an alternative tree, and we’re taking inspiration from Tree #25 on this list. I’d be the first to say that it’s more of a meaningful tree rather than a pretty one, but I think that’s in line with our priorities as we shape up for the new year ahead. The tree’s not finished yet, but that’s intentional. We’re throwing a small pre-Christmas get-together for past and present neighbours, where Alf will cook for company for the first time. I plan to get the kids at the party to help us complete our tree.
It wasn’t hard to fill the tree, in fact it became addictive quite quickly. Right now, it’s got anything that vaguely reminds me of the Christmas spirit–godliness, love, peace, creativity, generosity–and is suitably small. The Merry Christmas postcard is from a batch of homemade cards from last year; I used Norfolk pine needles for the wreath and Alf stamped the cards. There was one left over so he decided to write me a quick note with a privately funny-sexy sign off. If that card falls off while we have company, he might have some explaining to do!
The camel craft was made by Layla several years ago when I attended a free bible study course with a group called CBSI. I stayed with the group for about a year but eventually left as I felt a disconnect with my study group mates, many of whom were older women from privileged families. Some of the lectures were really good though; I remember paying attention and taking notes, just as I do now for the online sermons that I regularly listen to. CBSI also has a drop-off class for kids as a service to the moms attending the sessions; the teachers were terribly sweet to a very shy Layla back then, and the crafts she came home with were so pretty that I saved most of them.
Alf made the blue card for Layla, maybe two years ago. When she saw it again, all she said was, “There’s a mistake in the card. Daddy should’ve cancelled “A” as well.”
I found that red note in Alf’s collection and it brought back memories of a last-minute project when Alf suddenly decided he wanted to give his students a homemade graduation gift. We put it together in a day and the quote’s not my favourite, but we needed something safe that wouldn’t be misconstrued by the kids or by parents.
Well that’s a preview of our tree! If you’re doing a DIY tree as well, I’d love to hear about it.