Putting up our Christmas Tree is one of my favorite family traditions every year. Typically it comes with baked goods, sausage balls, and punch while a Chrismas movie is playing. Last year, the tiny root was 2 and decided that the tree would be best displayed in a horizontal position on the floor. Try as I might to instill at an early age that horizontal positioning both on your body and on the floor (until you are out of my house) is not at all flattering, she begged to differ and snatched our tree over, tearing it to smithereens along with most of our ornaments. Boooohooooo. Can someone hand me a hanky? Thanks. When Thanksgiving rolled around, I had decided that despite my husband's proclamation of being deathly allergic to living Christmas Trees, I would take my chances, stock up on Claritin and roll the dice on it. My goal was to create a lovely tree with ornaments that were made by the hands of artists that I admire and mix together my love for tradition and Earthly goodness, and that is exactly what I did! LOAD UP, Griswalds, it's about to get festive.
One of my favorite places to go in our little town is a place by the name of Dunkin's Market. Every Christmas they have a great selection of live trees, that of which, until this year, I have coveted from afar, but with ratchet straps and kids in tow, I wheeled in there like my hair was on fire, and within 30 minutes time, the heavens shed light on the perfect Festivus Tree to fit our available space. We made it home safely with the tree, and the roots couldn't have been happier. The husband was such a good sport. He brought it inside the house and didn't even take allergy medicine OR put on a respirator first. I'm guessing that might be due in part to the fact that I would most definitely take photos and post them for all the world to see. The next step in erecting the Rickman Family Tree is placing the tree into the stand. This is the point at which I am starting to question everything I have ever known to be true about Christmas trees bringing joy. In a matter of minutes, I am teleported back to my childhood. I am quickly reminded of the first time I ever recall hearing the word "FUCK!" used, and just as quick as I was in that moment, I am snapped back to the present moment when I hear "Jess! Is it straight?". I take a few steps back and examine the tree that is taking a hard left, and I suggest a bit of an adjustment. The suggestion is met with several sighs and after a mirage of four-letter words, he asks again for a determination as to whether the tree is straight. Despite what looks like an MJ Smooth Criminal gravity-defying lean, I nod. Perfection achieved.
When it was time to decorate the tree, I had very little to work with considering the great tree fiasco of 2016 which claimed the lives of many cherished ornaments. Lucky for me, I had planned ahead by dehydrating orange slices and turned them into beautiful pieces of stained glass looking fruit ornaments. I couldn't be happier with how these ornaments turned out.
I have been told that these dehydrated beauties will last for years, but while that has yet to be determined by me, I can tell you that I would do this year after year if I had to. I love it just that much. I also had Jane from Sweet Jane Co. send me a couple of these beautiful agate ornaments, and let me just tell you, when the light shines through them, it's stunning. Pictures do not do these justice. There is something about the solidarity of the stone along with the fluidity of the water element that creates this amazing earthy feel.
Another thing that I wanted to add to our tree is a Southern tradition that I would love to see carried on in younger generations but it seems to be a dying art. When I stumbled upon Wyman's Workroom , I had no idea the magical experience that I was in for. He was a lovely man who is full of life and wise words, and along with his love of whittling, I knew this was exactly what I was looking for. I am a bit of a sucker for gnomes and tree sprites, so needless to say, I selected a set of sprites as well as a Santa and a bird for my tree.
Despite having lost so many cherished ornaments last year, our mission to create a beautiful Christmas tree gave way to the creation of so much more than that. Memories. Live, Love, and Grow Roots.