Tuesday, December 4, 2007

it's beginning to look a lot like christmas

this year has been exciting in many ways. this is the first year we have had a real tree, and the first year, I really decorated it. the last five years we have had this tiny fake tree with modge podge ornaments...so i've been collecting the last couple years, and found some "must haves" to bring this tree together. all of my ornaments have a reason or a symbol. i used only red, green, and a touch of silver. i also wanted it to be very whimsical with a touch of dr. seus-ness. i smile every time i look at it. even the pictures don't do it justice. i love it. but i love all the meanings behind it even more...

here they are:

1. snowflake - this will be our first white christmas...and we think the snow flakes are so pretty.

2. tree skirt - again, more snow flakes...and some embellishments that i will talk about later.

3. candycane - the candy cane is a stick of hard, white candy. white to symbolize the virgin birth and sinless nature of Jesus. the shape 'J' to represent the precious name of Jesus who came to earth as our Savior. it also represents the crook of the Good Shepherd which he uses to reach down into the ditches of the world to lift out the fallen lambs who, like sheep, have gone astray. the original candy cane had three small red stripes which are the stripes of the scourging Jesus received by which we are healed, and a large red stripe that represents the shed blood of Jesus so that we can have eternal life.

4. holly berry -
red is the first color of Christmas. red is deep, intense, vivid. it is the color of the life giving blood that flows through our veins. it is the symbol of God's greatest gift. Christ gave His life and shed His blood for us that we might have eternal life.

5. green glitz - i love glitz, and the lights make it sparkle and so lovely! plus, this is gracie's favorite color.

6. nail - (here is a poem that a dear friend showed me)

it's Christmas time at our house
and we're putting up the tree.

i wish I could find one simple way
to remember Christ's gift to me.

some little sign or symbol
to show friends stopping by,
the little babe was born one day
but really came to die.

some symbol of His nail pierced hands,
the blood He shed for you and me...
what if i hung a simple nail
upon my christmas tree?

a crimson bow tied 'round the nail
as His blood flowed down so free
to save each person from their sin

and redeem us for all eternity

i know it was His love for us
that held Him to that tree,
but when i see this simple nail
i'll remember He died for me.

7. jack with santa (who's a symbol of love and giving)

8. star/bow -
the star reminds us of the night of Christ's birth. the bow reminds us of the bond of perfection which is love.

9. pickle - a pickle used as an ornament on the tree seems odd at first, but this is an
old german tradition. when decorating the tree, it w
as a practice to hang the pickle ornament last, hidden among twigs. the first child on christmas eve to find the pickle ornament would get to open the first gift.

10. gracie with santa

11. homemade ornament - i saw ornaments like this in the pot
tery barn catalog for like $10 each, so i decided to make 8 unique ribbon ornaments of my own for a ton cheaper.

12. diamond - not exactly my best friend, matt is, but i love them any way. they look fabulous twinkling in the lights. also, you can see my garland that is pom poms (thank you martha stewart!) i love how it makes the tree a little dr. seus-ish.

13. metal stars - with the words: faith, hope, love, peace, & joy. these are the several meanings of christmas to me.

14. red star - again, LOVE the sparkles, it's red, and it's a star...i love stars. also, my mom gave me all of these ornaments.

15. poinsettia - the botanical name, Euphorbia pulcherrima means "very beautiful." christmas is very beautiful to me, and i wanted my tree to reflect the beauty of the season.

16. pom poms - i love to make things pretty, and i found the tree skirt at the store, but thought it needed some more pizzaz! i love how the skirt ties in all the red and green, and glitz and glamor of the tree.

thanks for reading...sorry it was so long, but i wanted to document this for myself. happy decorating!


Brooke and Brett Martin said...

WOW Lara- I love it. I love the meanings, colors, significance. WAY TO GO. That red and green are actually my ideal colors for a Christmas tree. I have seen so many decorated with those colors and it just makes me smile! LOVE YOURS! WAY TO GO.

Amber said...

So cute Lara. You are so talented!!

Kristi said...

Very fun! I love the pickle idea. I have those silver stars, too, and I love them. Also the snowflakes! You did a great job! I can't wait to get our tree up this year. We didn't have one last year because our house was a mess and our baby came early. I missed it!

Kate said...

I love the tree! What a creative idea. I will be calling you today to get the in on the homeade ornaments. I need innexpensive and yours is so lovely! And I thought matt would like the word "lovely"

Carma Lee said...

Matt showed me the tree the other night via IChat. It's fun to learn the what and why.

Anne said...

It's beautiful!

The Gotzingers said...

Very nice!! Love all the meanings! :o)

Aaron.Shara.Abby said...

Your tree look beautiful. Are you going to be in Ohio for Christmas? Your Santa pictures look great too! I wish we could have seen you guys at Thanksgiving.

Soelbergs said...

Lara - you are one of the most creative people I know. Your tree is so cute - but what I'm more impressed about is that you actually took the time to photogrph it, scrap it and write about it. I'm just so proud of myself that I got mine decorated - let alone making it meaningful and documenting it. You're awesome! I might just have to copy you now!We got the Santa pictures in the mail yesterday. I can't believe you got such great shots of my girls. I thought for sure with the way Mae was acting, we wouldn't get anything cute of her. Don't worry - they're already framed and haning on my wall - it was the last of my Christmas decorating that I wanted to do - I was so excited to get them. Thank you, thank you!!!! I hope you have a great CHristmas in your own home. THis is the first year we are enjoying that luxury too. It's so FUN!

Mortensen Family said...

I love your tree! You are so creative. How are you guys?

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Emilee said...

WOW! Your tree is amazing! I can't belive with all your busy pictures and everything, that you gad time to do all that! I can barely look at everyone's blogs! I still have one piece of garland on my stairs that only has 10 ornaments, it looks so lame! But I have not had time to even think about doing something to it...anyway! Love all the pictures and your deep thoughts about what Christmas means, we all need that reminder! Love ya!

Samantha said...

I love your tree. You are so talented. You make decorating look so easy. I love all the meaning behind your tree. Reading it helped me remember what Christmas is really about. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I visit your blog often. It is my therapy when I am having a down day. Your thoughts lift my spirits and help me recognize what is really important in life. I remember looking up to you in high school. You were always an example to me.
Merry Christmas, Laura!
-Samantha Allen (Fox)

Samantha said...

Lara, I am sorry I spelled your name wrong. I was typing way too fast.
Forgive me.