How To Decorate the Christmas Tree

I don’t like Christmas. 

I don’t exactly dislike Christmas, but I definitely don’t like it either.

For some, that seems like blasphemy, but for the past few years I’ve found it increasingly difficult to get in the “Christmas spirit.”

I honestly wouldn’t feel any sense of loss if I quit celebrating the holiday entirely. I’m just not emotionally attached to this time of year and it often feels like unnecessary stress. ornaments1

I’ll admit, though, I love Christmas trees. No two trees are shaped and decorated exactly the same, and the ornaments say a lot about the decorators.

My family has traveled a lot, and every time we go somewhere we hunt for tangible representations of that place so we can decorate our tree like a map of our experiences. Sometimes those items are designed to be ornaments, but often they require drilling holes and creating hooks before they can hang from the branches of our Douglas fir.

Even though the individual ornaments say a lot, a few years ago my sister and I decided to position them so they’d make a cohesive story. We set up relationships between various “characters” and established political conflicts. It was so fun and added an extra dimension to the diverse branches. ornaments3Christmas is a time to reconnect with friends and family (it’ll be the first time I see my sister in six months), feast on ham and roast beef, and enjoy the gorgeous greenery and lights. It may not be my favorite holiday, but little moments like these make it better. 


I also make the holidays better by live tweeting them. Read how here

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10 thoughts on “How To Decorate the Christmas Tree

  1. I also don’t like this time of the year but just for the commercial part – gifts, business’ social gatherings, empty words on cards printed thousand times, and the list goes on. I don’t even have a Christmas tree in my house.
    But what I love the most is the family gathering, because it’s the only time when we can get our big family together.

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    • That’s why I much prefer Thanksgiving–it’s only one day out of the year with no more than two days of buildup (unlike Christmas which can occupy a month or more of brainspace) and is entirely centered around food and family–no gifts, no empty words.

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  2. I used to love Christmas as a kid, but now I think it was because I didn’t drive. Nowadays Christmas marks when the jerks get out in their cars and become super jerky (trying to keep it G rated here). I absolutely hate going to stores once the ‘holiday cheer’ has started — this year I swear it was before Halloween!

    One year I didn’t even put up my tree I was so upset by the stress of it all. But once January came around it didn’t seem like we ended the year right, if that makes any sense. Now I put up the tree on Dec. 21 (winter solstice) and don’t treat it as Christmas so much as a Winter Holiday that will be over by the 25, the tree comes down on the 26th and I’m done with it all. I also decorate my tree in blues and whites to be more Winter than Christmas… it’s the little things.

    I do enjoy having the time off to spend with my husband, I just avoid stores like crazy. Also we don’t give gifts, it’s just a nice time off.

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    • I literally saw Christmas decorations in the store on September 27th. The consumerism begins ridiculously early nowadays. I definitely understand having it not feel right to celebrate, but spending time as a family in the name of the holiday is nice to do (especially if you avoid the stress of shopping/gift giving).

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  3. I am not religious so for me it’s a beautiful winter Soltice celebration- a time to light up the dark days with the 3 F’s Family, Food,and Friends but spread out over a couple of weeks to New Years day. Gift giving isn’t important. And I really enjoy seeing people light up their homes with color too-it’s like an expression of cheery diffidence against the long nights.
    We needn’t tap into the consumerism- who’s says we should? Enjoy the spirit for spirits sake, not the dollar~

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  4. So is this a trend? We put up our outside lights and have no desire to do anything inside. I even started to do the winter “thing” last year and this year I have no desire for it this year. I have heard others say the same thing… amazed that they don’t have their tree up yet. IDK…. in some ways it’s sad. But I’m not entirely sure if it is wrong.

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    • Last year I wasn’t around to decorate the tree. We might again this year! I get the sadness of it–it’s a nostalgia thing–but our hectic lives can truly disenchant us from the holiday. It also doesn’t help that at school I’m completely isolated from all the celebratory stuff so I just don’t feel that mood at all.

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