Wednesday, December 12

doh! tannenbaum

i left to visit my family for a few days on thursday morning, and so hans thought it would be nice to spend wednesday evening together decorating a tree. we'd agreed to get a small tree this year for many reasons, but i was still looking forward to going to pick out a nice noble fir together. hans decided to surprise me with a potted tree - a spruce! first off, i'm allergic to spruce. and then that it's potted...

i haven't gotten gift tags yet, please excuse the neon post-its!
1. our little tree / 2. tree close up / 3. alpaca soft trees / 4. pine gnomes

in my experience, potted trees kind of... die. they never really seem to recover from being ripped out of the ground and stuck in a pot, nevermind the trauma of spending a good fortnight in a warm, dry home covered in decorations. even if the tree makes it through its life indoors it then has to sit outside in a pot until the ground thaws enough so we can dig it a hole. poor little potted tree... hans of course said "poor potted tree? at least it's still alive. you think the one we'd have cut down would have had it better?" good thing trees aren't cognoscente.

so anyway, i am allergic to spruce. this was a problem in my dendrology classes at university where i was often laughed at while i'd sniffle and itch my way through tree identification labs. poor hans, how was he to know? needless to say, we did not spend wednesday night decorating said tree. what a bitch i am!

i went away for the weekend and made some crochet soft trees, and whittled myself some pine gnomes (not allergic to pine) pictured above and inspired by a swedish blog, but which i can't remember. then yesterday morning i broke down and tried to put lights on our little tree. the sad little thing couldn't support the weight of them though, but by the time i finally accepted our tree would have no lights i was covered from elbows to wrists in hives. i called my mum: "I HATE THIS TREE!" she was unsympathetic. they got a noble fir.

so no lights, no twinkle... why had hans gotten us this tree? he knows that i'm a control freak. i added the red wooden beaded garland, and the tinfoil chains a brother and i made years ago while spending christmas in york. i then discovered that 90% of our ornaments were too large and/or heavy for this sad little, hyper allergenic tree to support. i added some of the smallest vintage kugels we have, along with the eggs i bought at a market in prague a few years ago. but it was lacking, and the angel i'd purchased at an oxfam store in york looked ridiculous as a topper. don't even get me started on the god awful, black plastic pot this thing came in...

i used some left over cotton cinched with red rickrack to pretty up the pot, but it was still lacking. then i remembered how pretty i thought a tree i'd seen in domino looked and i knew exactly what to do. i used the turquoise satin ribbon i'd intended for gift wrapping to save our little, spindly, hive-inducing, lightless tree. and now i can't stop looking at it. it's still a bit of a "pathetic" charlie brown tree but i love it anyway.

it's so easy to get into the habit of picking out the same tree, and decorating it with the same ornaments year in and year out. it took a tree that had me yelling "I HATE IT! I HATE IT!" to break me out of that nostalgic comfort zone, and now that the rashy hives have gone i can honestly say that i love this awful little tree. so in the end everything worked out, but we will never again have a spruce in our home.


kate said...

oh! your sweet little tree! too bad about the hives....and the pot....and the no lights....but you've really made it look adorable! i love it.


Hello fellow Canadian! Greetings from Georgian Bay, Ontario. I just found your blog via Maryam and I am so delighted with your writing. Your blog is very sweet and honest. I've linked you over at my place. Happy Holidays!

erin said...

kate, i really think it's the bows that did it. i bought 10 yards of that satin at dressew for 25 cents a meter. i used 4, and am saving the other 6 for next year in case we get a bigger tree. i love the colour so much i almost want to go back and buy the whole roll.

and god what a whiny complainer i felt like after re-reading my post, so thank you liberty post person who's name i don't know for thinking my whining and complaining was sweet and honest!! i'm going to read your blog right now.