Let me tell you a little about my Christmas tree. It cost $38. No, it wasn’t on sale. No, I didn’t get it second hand. That was the full price at the store when I got it. See, I got married in September 4 years ago, and we weren’t exactly in a position to spend a ton of money on a tree, but we definitely wanted one. I waited too long to find anything early on at garage sales or online, so I got this one. I should also mention we lived in a tiny house, so the tree had to be small.

I still remember taking it out of the box, so excited for our first tree, and seeing all of the gaps in between the branches. It was a little disheartening, but I was determined to make it work. And I have. You see, we still have this tree. It’s the only tree we’ve ever had, and I dare say it doesn’t look like it cost $38 anymore!I almost never put up the tree on its original base and use a tree skirt, and the main reason for that is our dog. He things the skirt is a new bed for him, so I’ve started using baskets to put the tree in and I use an old blanket around it. The basket it’s currently in actually does allow me to keep the tree on a base so it’s nice and secure! Now let’s get to making this sad little tree a little fuller!

  1. First I start with the lights. Because of course, a $38 tree doesn’t come lit. You’ll notice it looks like I already have ornaments up. I don’t. Those are just bulb covers. These are good for two reasons: they fill in some gaps and they also give off a bit of a glow. Double win!
  2. Next I put in some branches with pinecones and even some that are flocked. I always always always buy these at the end of the season and get them for a fraction of what they actually cost. It takes no time to add them into the tree, either. I try not to tuck them in too much. In the big gaps, sure, tuck away, but otherwise I like to have a few that really stick out of the tree to make it look a little larger and less uniform, like a real tree!
  3. Now it starts to get fun! I add in a garland of some sort. I try to change this every year. I’ve used ribbons, scarves, and pom-poms in the past. This year I opted for a faux-fur ribbon because I wanted the tree to be more about texture than colour. I also added in some non-holiday florals with these little pom-pom like branches.I also really liked the look of leaves in the tree, which I hadn’t tried before.
  4. Now we start with ornaments! The first three are representative of our family. Each of the boys have one and there’s a third just covered in hearts. The star also goes up at this point – before any breakables go on the tree, just in case I need to do any wrangling to get it in place!
  5. Next come some gold geometric ornaments that are a little bit modern.
  6. Lastly, I add some more gold and a couple of other personal ornaments – a little dog for our pup Luther, and a small house, representative of our own home.

There aren’t a lot of ornaments here this year (you can see my little trick for getting them all put away safely). Some years I add a lot more, while other years I keep it simple. I know that will all change as the boys grow, so I’ll enjoy whatever little time I have left decorating the tree as I please! Or maybe I’ll just keep decorating this smaller tree just the way I want and have another tree just for the kids to deck out. Any moms out there ever do that?

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