Saturday, 11 December 2010

Half a Christmas Tree…

You may not believe it, but we have only just started preparing for Christmas.  Yes, we’ve done some Christmas shopping (DS’s present has been well hidden for weeks), but otherwise, we’ve done nothing for Christmas until today.

Why? Busy, busy… DH has been working hard, J. is busy with school work, I’ve been buried under a small mound of other tasks – which has included my mother’s Christmas preparations, shopping, wrapping presents, helping with cards etc – no time for much else.

Today we did something about that.  DH went into the loft and passed down a number of boxes, containing the Tree, the Lights, the Decorations, the Cake Tins, the Christmas Stuff in general (found my advent calendar!).

We tidied and cleaned the sitting room, stopped for lunch, then set about assembling the Christmas Tree.

Thereby hangs a tale…

We only have Half a Christmas Tree.

You see, our sitting room is not very big and there are not really any places to put a large, floor-standing tree.  Except a corner, near the dining-room door, between the fireplace and the table.



So, we fix on the four sets of branches at the front of the tree, but if we attached the back ones, the tree would stick out so far, that we’d fall over it.

The back of our tree is not there:

It’s still in the box.


But once you open out all the bits of branch and “fluff it up” a bit, you can’t actually tell that we only have Half a Chrismas Tree!

* * *

It Wouldn’t Be Christmas Without…




The Tree (of course!)…

 The ornaments at the bottom of the tree are baby and cat-proof – all plastic or fabric and fairly unbreakable.



111210_Decorations3Home-made decorations. 
The paper ones were made by me, the “Hama Bead” ones by J.  We’re quite proud of our handiwork and enjoy seeing them on our tree (there are more, but I thought you could  only cope with so many photos…)


My little nesting Santa and Penguin ornaments… 


Our glass angel and the special tree-top robins… 111210_Decorations9 


My parachuting Santa, that I’ve had ever since I decorated my own  Christmas Tree, in my first flat, 26 years ago…


Our retro-1970’s kitsch… the (real) Swedish angel chimes and the hanging, self-assembly, cardboard Christmas card holder.  Fabby! 


The ribbons that hang on the fireplace, by the mirror and the robin-house that hangs on the outside of the sitting room door (to welcome us and our friends) 

The decorated mantlepiece – J. helped this year.



Our ancient, little-kids’ version of a Crib set.  The stable is cardboard, that you assemble yourself.  There is a set of toy people, a donkey and sheep, and the cows, goat and camels that came from the toy shop too.

Of course, the Baby Jesus and the Angel are put away for now.  If you look closely, you’ll see that the Shepherds are still Abiding in the Fields – on top of the fireplace – and Mary & Joseph and the Magi are still Travelling on their long journeys.


It really is not Christmas without our own tiny piece of Bethlehem.

* * *

I wonder what you feel you must have around you at Christmas, for it to really feel as if the Season is here and that it Really Is Christmas?


  1. The 'half' a tree looks gorgeous,Lizzie. We got all our decorations down from the roof today....and the tree goes up tomorrow.
    Marks and Spencer cinnamon candles are my christmas must have....the scent is totally evocative.

  2. Lizzie, I really like the idea of the ribbons hanging from the mirror and the mantle - I'm saving this away for our place once we are finished with all the mess. I would have never guessed you only put half the tree up if you had not pointed it out - it looks full and lovely!

  3. Half a tree is an excellent idea! I love the paper ornaments!

  4. Very clever! And I love that you have a mixture of ornaments with sentimental value, that's definitely the way I go, too :-)

    Our tree isn't up yet, we only just got The Boy's birthday done with (it was last Tuesday, but the party wasn't till yesterday) - that'll happen some time this week, and then it'll feel like Christmas :-)

  5. How funny - I spotted a "flat" tree for sale in M&S the other day and was telling everyone how clever I thought it was! You're way ahead of me! I loved seeing your other decorations too.

  6. Ha, ha - someone's finally caught on to our idea, Sian! The useful thing about our tree is that every branch slots onto a ring on the "trunk", so we can choose how many to attach.
    Of course, you can't see that there are 2 bricks round the back, sitting on the tree's base, to stop it tipping forwards!
    Yes, Sentimental Value wins out every time... I used to have a "designer tree" (though even then some old decorations from my mum crept in), but now I go for a "love and hugs" type of tree! It's having children - changes your whole perspective.

  7. lol, We have done the half tree too depending on where we set it up. Decorations look so pretty!

  8. What fun to see your half-tree and your lovely ornaments, Lizzie! It's very clever that you leave part of your branches off to make the tree fit.

    My little piece of Christmas must-have is decorating the fireplace mantel with garland and stockings. Oh, and Christmas those! xo

  9. What a clever idea to use only half the tree! And you can't even tell! I love your decorations!

  10. It all looks fab Lizzie. I know what you mean about the tree, they do stick out quite a lot. We have to leave the bottom layer off of our tree, if we don't the presents all have to be about 4 inches tall! :)

  11. Your half tree looks great! So clever :)

  12. This story made me chuckle lizzie! Once the tree is decorated though, I wouldn't have been able to tell it was only a half ! xxx

  13. A very clever card holder thingy you have to! That would be a fun tricky little project. (And you're just the talented paper artist to do it, too! Hint Hint) We have a loooooong banner that hangs over the door to the kitchen and I pin Christmas cards to it. But it's odd, that we haven't got any yet this year! It seems like usually a few early birds have sent us cards by now. Hope we're not on anyone's "too naughty to get a card" list...


I love to read your comments!


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