For the first time ever, we decided not to put up a Christmas tree. We made the decision rather quickly after a very short discussion, so I wasn't sure how I'd feel once I'd finished decorating and looked around to see no tree. Turns out I feel fine.
Last year, as Carl was hanging the outdoor lights and I was decorating the tree we'd picked up at the local lot earlier that morning, I began to feel sad. Sad is not a feeling I've ever associated with a holiday. (Well, maybe when facing the stacks of dirty dishes after Thanksgiving.) I felt sad? Weird. There was something sad about decorating the tree by myself. So, I decided that I didn't want to feel sad during Christmas again.
This year when I climbed into the attic to pull down decorations, I decided to only bring down the things I really love. Those things included my four Dala horses, a few ornaments made by family members, the stockings that Carl's mom made for Ethan and Max, the felt elf musical ensemble that we bought in Curacao, the gnome book. the glittery red MERRY CHRISTMAS lettered string, and a few sets of light. The things I really love. The happy things.
After searching for inspiration online and thumbing through magazines, I decided to make a little table top tree. I knew I wanted to do something with textiles and pompoms. Happy colors. I bought a tallish styrofoam cone at the craft store and went through my collection of textile remnants leftover from my Wanderlust handbag series. Mexican embroidery, Guatemalan weaving, African mud cloth, Kente cloth, vintage novelty fabrics...humble American embroidery.
I patched them together on the cone form and used the pompoms as ornaments. Finally, I draped the tree with green stringed beads. It was a little unstable so I adhered it to a sweet little silver compote dish which served as the tree stand. Easy. Fun. Alternative. Yes, that's a lobster.
While Christmas shopping, I found a textile wrapped deer at Marshalls and a colorful rope wrapped tree from Anthropologie. They seemed to fit into my textile themed Christmas.
So this is what a happy Christmas feels like. Surrounded by the things I love. Soon to be surrounded by the people I love.
Merry Christmas to you and yours. I hope you celebrate the holiday in the ways that make you happy.