Some years we cut one of our own pines and decorate it on the porch and other years I choose a more simple (easier to watch the traffic on our country road) route of lights on my deck only.
Inside we heat by a wood stove. Our LR and Kitchen take up a big, long, narrow rectangle. Three children 5 and under and a hot fire is already enough *excitement* for me in the winter. The thought of a baby who walks along anything she can grab ahold of and two boys that are either ASLEEP or WRESTLING just reinforces my desire to have no traditional Christmas tree.
After my husband left home in college my MIL would decorate her HUGE Jade plant with garland. I think she put up a Christmas tree only one year throughout those college and post college years.
We recieved a tiny little Jade start from my husband's grandmother. It grew into a HUGE Jade. It lives outside in the warm part of the summer but needs to live inside with us during the Winter. IT occupies the corner that I would likely put a tree in. SO................. a few years back we decided to decorate it and turn it into our Living Christmas tree.
Christmas in this house is simple, basic, scaled down (some might call it dreary). I rebel against the wider culture telling me I *HAVE* to decorate with the sky being the limit. I refuse to do things because I *SHOULD* do so *because it's Christmas!* Christmas is about a Savior. If the extra activites and extra decorating stress me out and make me exhausted or make me feel obligated to do things that deep in my heart I don't want to do.......then I wonder what the point is. Is Christmas activity SO important that I need to resent all the busyness, all the decorations, all the imposed upon me Merriment?
Christmas is about a Savior who was born in a dark, stinky, cold place without the splender that others keep trying to push upon me and my family.
We LOVE our Jade. We LOVE our Christmas Tree.
One added blessing that surprises me each year: It blossoms with little delicate white flowers every December about a week before Christmas. If you look very closely you will see these little white flowers up at the top. I love simple surprises found in the ordinary ESPECIALLY at Christmas Time.
I LOVE Christmas.
Nice, Simple, Beautiful and sometimes quiet.