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O Christmas Tree December 19, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Nature.

During the holidays, we enjoy basking in the warm glow of our table-top tree, decorated with a multitude of angels, wreaths, musical instruments, birds, zebras, and a Santa (or two).

Like little stars, your candles bright
Send to the world a wondrous light

Festive lights and flickering candles fill us with peace, joy, and hope.

O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree
You set my heart a singing 

Despite its small stature, our tree holds many magical memories in its ever green branches:

* An artistic friend sends out a hand-made angel or wreath in her Christmas card each year . . . her creations fill the branches of this tree.

* The Angel of Kindness (under the tree, cradling a cat in her arms) reminds us of the joy of caring for those we love.

* My older brother’s wife created the embroidered tree skirt ~ she excels at needlepoint, painting, and baking delectable sweet treats  . . . designed to turn us into fat and jolly elves.  Ho~Ho~Ho!

* The tiny Christmas stocking dates back to my mom’s childhood.

For a super cute decorating idea . . . check out Jeanne’s Welcoming Snowmen!

Wondering whether to get a cut tree or an artificial one?  Check out Early Bird’s post to read a tree farmer’s ecological argument for buying a fresh cut evergreen ~ My Christmas Tree.


1. Jackie L. Robinson - December 19, 2011

I’m really enjoying your holiday sharing, especially the warm connection felt through the love infused into the artsy and crafted items you hold dear. These are some of life’s greatest treasures. ‘Made with love.’ xoxo

nrhatch - December 19, 2011

It’s been FUN sharing our decorations . . . and remembering the giving and receiving of gifts over the years.

2. suzicate - December 19, 2011

Lovely. Memories are great….and you’ve got a lot of them packed in there!

nrhatch - December 19, 2011

Thanks, Suzi. Memories are great . . . as long as we aren’t so weighed down with sentiment that we lose all forward momentum. 😉

That’s the line I’ve reminded myself about this week . . . wondering if I’m too focused on these “treasures.” If we aren’t mindful, possessions can come to possess us.

Embrace all with joy . . . relinquish all with joy. Anything can be a gift of gold in disguise.

3. sweetdaysundertheoaks - December 19, 2011

Little trees are just the best because you can get up close and see all the sweet ornaments. This comment coming from a person that is 5’3″ 🙂

nrhatch - December 19, 2011

I agree. We donated our LARGE tree to Goodwill 12 or 13 years ago and haven’t missed it since it was filled with ornaments with far less meaning. This tree hosts our favorites and is small enough to take them all in.

BTW: You’re TALLER than me! I’m an “elf.” 😉

4. LittleMissVix - December 19, 2011

Lovely Xmas memories!

nrhatch - December 19, 2011

Thanks, Vix. It looks especially pretty at night.

5. adeeyoyo - December 19, 2011

I love your tree, Nancy. I too have a little one which I love… Thanks for sharing.

nrhatch - December 19, 2011

Thanks, Denise. It’s been a pleasure.

My favorite ornament is the little stocking . . . yellow with age, but carefully preserved by my great aunt.

6. Tori Nelson - December 19, 2011

You are helping me get in the Christmas spirit, missy! Love the nostalgia a little tree can possess 🙂

nrhatch - December 19, 2011

Wonderful to hear that, Tori! Here’s to an abundance of Christmas spirit for everyone! 😀

7. Andra Watkins - December 19, 2011

One of the best things about Christmas is pulling all the ornaments from their dusty boxes and remembering all over again. I love the stories attached to the decorations of this season.

nrhatch - December 19, 2011

Some of the boxes we store them in are older than me . . . used by my grandparents before I got my hands on them.

Just seeing the box sets my mind to remembering. 😀

8. atreegrowsinbklyn - December 19, 2011

Nice post; the decorated tree branches are like a cluster of tribal talking sticks; each branch “speaking” a special story. Thanks for sharing. Merry Christmas.

nrhatch - December 19, 2011

Lovely way of looking at it . . . obviously trees speak to you. 😉

9. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide - December 19, 2011

Small trees are the best. We still have our first tree from when we lived in a tiny place and couldn’t fit a big one. And we decorate it each year.

nrhatch - December 19, 2011

We got this tree in 1992 when we moved back to NJ and most of our stuff (and ALL of our Christmas stuff) was in storage. We set it up in our teeny tiny apartment and enjoyed it as much as the BIG tree.

A few years later, we gave the BIG tree to Goodwill with most of the average, every day, run of the mill ornaments. We’ve been using this one ever since and it’s just the right size for our favorite ornaments. 😀

10. Booksphotographsandartwork - December 19, 2011

You might want to give those santa’s a few cookies 🙂

nrhatch - December 19, 2011

Chub them up a bit, you mean? 😉

11. spilledinkguy - December 19, 2011

I think the best decorations are those that have sentimental value attached, too… just like these do for you and your family!

nrhatch - December 19, 2011

When we started de-cluttering our lives 13 years ago, we focused on giving away all the STUFF (including Christmas stuff) we didn’t LOVE or NEED.

We’re still working on it, but we’ve moved from a 4,000 sq. ft. house in NJ to an 1,800 sq. ft. house in MD to our current 1,100 sq. ft. villa. It’s great living in a smaller place with less to heat, cool, and keep clean.

But, every once in a while, BFF wishes he still had a “man cave.”

12. cuhome - December 19, 2011

Beautiful tree, with such wonderful stories to decorate it with!

nrhatch - December 19, 2011

Thanks, cuhome! Hope your holidays are Merry & Bright! 😀

13. Gracie Sam - December 19, 2011

Lovely tree and the wonderful thing is it is filled with good stuff and memories from family and friends. Happy Christmas!

nrhatch - December 19, 2011

Thanks, Gracie! Hope your holidays are filled with Light & Love! _/!\_

14. viviankirkfield - December 19, 2011

Thanks for sharing this beautiful and very meaningful tree with us, Nancy! I love putting special ornaments on the tree and around the house…it’s all about family and friends and the loving connections we make. I’ve so enjoyed connecting with you this past year. Have a beautiful holiday season and a Happy and Healthy New Year. 🙂

nrhatch - December 19, 2011

I’ve enjoyed getting to know you too, Vivian. Continued success with your writing (and reading) endeavors in the New Year!

15. sufilight - December 19, 2011

Nancy, you are inspiring me to start traditions even if it’s at this stage of my life. Your tree is filled with love.

nrhatch - December 19, 2011

To be honest, if I hadn’t collected Santas in my earlier years, I probably wouldn’t start now given our increased focus on Simplicity . . . but, since I do have them, I enjoy them! 😀

One tradition we enjoy is listening to carols while writing Christmas cards to family and friends.

16. kateshrewsday - December 19, 2011

You are a veritable Advent Calendar, Nancy, with a new Christmas thought every day. Wonderful. When I was small I was a singular child and made gravestones to hang on the tree.

Ho hum 🙂

nrhatch - December 19, 2011

That’s exactly it! I decided to do an Advent Calendar to share my decorations rather than a L~O~N~G slide show. The last post of this Advent Series is scheduled for December 26th.

And LOL about the gravestones for the tree . . . perhaps you liked Halloween (and things that go bump in the night . . . outside) better than the idea of some fat jolly elf sliding down your chimney while you slept. 😆

17. bluebee - December 19, 2011

Your house of decorations is a delight for children (big and small ;-))

I agree that real trees are much better for the environment (but not always for the children decorating them – we used a nearby haak en steek – acacia thorn – as our Christmas tree when camping with friends in the Kruger Park one year and there were lots of tears during the hanging of its decorations :-))

nrhatch - December 19, 2011

Thanks, BB!

And OUCH! on the acacia thorns. We loved decorating pine, fir, and spruce trees as kids . . . most had “child friendly” needles and NO thorns.

18. barb19 - December 19, 2011

I love your little tree full of memories – especially the tiny Christmas stocking dating back to your mom’s childhood!
Oh, and by the way, I am only 5′ 2″ – my kids call me a little munchkin!

nrhatch - December 19, 2011

You and ME are the same size! I’m a munchkin too! 😉

I love that little stocking (but am glad that my childhood stocking was designed to hold a few more presents).

19. ceceliafutch - December 19, 2011

You have the neatest decorations. We don’t do that (as you know) but it’s fun seeing what other folks do. Enjoy the holidays!

nrhatch - December 19, 2011

Thanks, Cecelia. Your post today about the snow, your sabbath, and the lights of Chanukah was beautiful.

20. Pocket Perspectives - December 19, 2011

What a special tree….I love the whimsical look of it…it looks like you saved the best of the best…it’s wonderful!

nrhatch - December 19, 2011

Thanks, Kathy. We donated all the “non-essential” ornaments and garland, along with the big tree, and kept only those with meaning for us. It’s a delight to turn on the tree lights each night at this time of year.

21. souldipper - December 19, 2011

Those wreaths and angels are a delight,,.great way to gift and remember friends.

nrhatch - December 19, 2011

It’s always FUN to get her card and see what she dreamed up this year. Each ornament is simple . . . and elegant.

22. Tammy - December 19, 2011

I love trees with a story. Ours is like that and obviously yours is – thanks for sharing Nancy.

nrhatch - December 19, 2011

I say this often ~ one of the best books I ever read was Simplify Your Life by Elaine St. James. Her words made me examine HOW I lived my life . . . and whether I was doing it for “me” or because I was trying to live up to the expectations of others.

She gave me the courage to make changes so that what I think, what I say, and what I do are in greater harmony. Swapping a BIG tree for this one is just one example of that increased harmony in my life.

Life is not one-size-fits-all . . . it pays to remember that we don’t need a permission slip to live OUR life.

23. thirdhandart - December 19, 2011

A beautiful Christmas tree! I love your Angel of Kindness. I have the Angel of Learning. Thank you so much for sharing your magical holiday memories. It’s making the season so much brighter!

nrhatch - December 19, 2011

Thanks, Theresa. Glad you’ve enjoyed my “Advent Calendar” of Christmas posts. Only a few more days to go before the BIG day arrives. 😀

24. jannatwrites - December 19, 2011

I like that you have a lot of memories packed into a little space. That’s the way to do it 🙂

Who needs a 6ft. tall tree, anyway? (Well, I don’t need one, but I do have one :))

nrhatch - December 19, 2011

If we had young kids, we would have a BIG tree . . . with presents piled under it. If we even celebrated Christmas Day in our house, we might.

But we don’t. And we don’t. We’re always somewhere else on Christmas Day and BIG trees get lonely. 😉

25. jeanne - December 20, 2011

Such a sweet tree filled with special momentos is what makes decorating for Christmas worth the effort.

nrhatch - December 20, 2011

Exactly! But I’m not one to start decorating by stringing lights in September or October for days on end ~ I like to keep it SIMPLE. It only took a few hours to unpack tree and the trunk of Santas and place the decorations around the villa on shelves and tabletops.

26. Christmas is.. | jeanne's blog…a nola girl at heart - December 20, 2011

[…] Oh Christmas Tree (Spirit Lights the Way) […]

27. earlybird - December 20, 2011

Decorations are full of memories, aren’t they. We have a clay wombat with gold wings (?!) which the children and I bought near the Sydney Opera House… And I still have some of the bells they made at primary school (foil covered egg box pieces!)

Mine are still in their wrappings this year… maybe next year…

Thanks for the shout, Nancy.

nrhatch - December 22, 2011

This year, everything’s out. Other years, we enjoyed just the Christmas tree and a Santa or two. It depends on how much we plan to be around to enjoy them . . . and whether they are stuck in storage because we’re in the midst of a move. 😉

28. eof737 - December 22, 2011

What an adorable tree… I love it! 🙂

nrhatch - December 22, 2011

Thanks, E! It packs quite a punch for a tree of small stature . . . especially at night when the lights are low and the tree’s aglow.

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