the first christmas tree


 The most wonderful thing happened this year: my very first Christmas tree. Growing up Jewish, my parents so wanted my brother and I to experience the pure joys of the Festival of Lights, without ever feeling envy for our friends and neighbors with trees glimmering in their windows. Never was a pine chopped, an ornament dropped, or corn popped for stringing in the Seligman house. And I don't blame them! I grew up filled with pride in my menorah and my dreidel. But, I'd be lying if I said I never wished for a Christmas tree of my own.

In college, I lived alone and never had the funds to buy my own tree and do it up in ornaments and lights. I wanted my first time to be special, so I avoided small, pre-lit trees with determination that, someday, I'd have a tree to call my own.

When Dago and I moved into together, I knew it was time. I asked him a couple of months ago if we could get a tree, and he promised. Dago's real good about keeping promises. The weekend before Thanksgiving, we saddled up in the Versa and ventured down to the Target. Entering the Christmas decoration aisle was like a new puppy in a pet store. So much to see! So much to smell! Wait, what does that one do!?

We investigated our tree options and quickly agreed on a six-footer--for only $20! Since we don't have an ornament collection of our own, we picked out a super classy box of gold ornaments, along with a few strands of white lights. I may have never had my own tree before, but I know about class and sparkle. On the way to the register, I grabbed a pack of gold bows, because, obvi. I really love the finishing touch they give our tree!

Speaking of finishing touch, we realized that we didn't have a topper. Back in my Barnes & Noble days, someone gifted me a little Santa hat for Contessa, which she's not made good use of, so we plopped it on the top of the tree and called it good. I actually quite like it, and we may just keep it after all.

In an attempt to slowly grow our ornament collection, we I decided that we should exchange ornaments every year. I'm so excited to share what I have planned for Dago, and I can't wait to see what he comes up with for me!

Since putting up our tree, I've been completely enchanted in its beauty and light. I find myself staring off at it while blogging or catching up on our shows. Our tree is magical, and has brought me so much joy and comfort in our home.

What's your favorite part of decorating for Christmas? Do you have a stance on real vs. fake trees? As an adult, how are you building up your ornament collection?

9 comments

  1. Aw it's so pretty! Looks like Contessa is a big fan, too! I was a raised in a pretty non-religious family, but we've always celebrated Christmas and it's definitely my favorite holiday. Everything gets decorated all pretty and it's a nice relaxing day spent with family eating delicious food. Not the mention the whole give heart-felt gifts to the people you love thing. I love Christmas. I'm glad you're enjoying your Christmas tree!

    -Becca
    Ladyface Blog

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  2. It looks beautiful! I wish I had one but my place is too small for a tree.

    xo

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  3. Beautiful! Decorating the tree is the beginning of the holiday season for me. Ornaments have always been a big deal in my family, and I've been gifted ornaments since I was a wee one. I've adopted my mom's tradition of buying an ornament when I travel- so I can have a memory of the places I've been. Can't wait to see your collection grow.

    xo
    www.helloclementine.com

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  4. I posted an instagram of my tree a few days ago...I'm sure it will keep popping up in pictures. I'm a huge lover of real trees, we got ours at Home Depot. I post about my tree-making decision here http://makeitadoubleplease.com/christmas-is-about-to-throw-up-on-me-but-first-the-tree/

    I don't know what it is, but the excitement of holding them up in the lot and choosing "yours" is something I love. J and I have done it twice now together and I think our tree this year is perfect (and it was only $46! :D ) I also did exactly what you did and bought a package of ornaments last year from target and lots of lights because we got a stupidly large 10' tree. :O so this year I had a TON of ornaments, but I keep it all color-coordinated to only gold, silver or sparkle. yours looks lovely and i love the bows! :D Tree twins ;)
    Xx
    Lauren M
    www.makeitadoubleplease.com

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  5. Your tree is perfect. I wanted a tree so much last year, but this year I'm having a hard time getting into the spirit. Usually I do prefer real trees, but that's because growing up, it was actually an option to buy a tree that was still alive - roots all bound up. It was our family ritual to plant the tree in our back yard after Christmas every year, which taught me not to waste.

    After so many Christmases have gone by, and now that we're living somewhere semi-permanent, I feel as though it might be time to invest in a fake tree. It feels less wasteful than purchasing a tree that had to die each year, but I'm just not too sure. Nothing beats the smell of a real tree.

    xo!

    Kirsten
    co-inspirator.blogspot.com

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  6. I still haven't had my own tree as an adult. Since I've been in school foreva, I always have to travel home for Christmas which means there's no point in putting one up at my place. I would really love to do one next year, but I'll have to see where I end up! I think a pretty, sparkling tree is something anyone can enjoy, regardless of religion, and I'm so glad you were able to have a wonderful first experience. When I was a kid we would often get my mom some pretty ornaments for Christmas...for a while she had a pretty legit collection (many of them have slowly gotten broken over the years). She was particularly a fan of the icicle ornaments. Andy's mom gets a new ornament with the year on it every year to add to the tree, which is nice because they reminisce about years past as they decorate. I love the idea of giving a small token to add to the tree every year.

    Jen
    yourstrulyjen.com

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  7. Awww, so pretty! I can't believe you got a 6-footer for $20--that's amazing. I'm still living with my parents, and I think I'll refuse to move out until I can afford my own gorgeous tree.

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  8. I think it's great that you finally got to have your own Christmas tree! It's look so lovely with the gold decorations :)
    Lauren
    Exploring My Style

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  9. so exciting! my best friend is jewish, but they always celebrated christmas as well because her mom is catholic. i always thought she got the best of both worlds. in kindergarten i even told my teacher i was part jewish because i wanted a menorah haha. anyways, since we moved we have zero decorations. last year we got some dollar store items, but this year i decided i just wanted one thing, a real tree, a small real tree. we got a little live one and i love it. we put some colored lights on it and i'm very happy with it. with not knowing where life will take us next i haven't wanted to invest in decorations too much. also, in my family we rotated, every other year real tree and fake tree. i'm a big fan of real trees, the smell, you just can't beat them. but i definitely understand the need for fake trees. can't wait to see your collection grow.

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