Friday, December 23, 2011

A Charlie Brown Christmas Tree

My sister and I take great pride in our talent for making somewhat dubious crafts, and Christmas trees are no exception. For the longest time, our family used a $15 artificial tree that my parents got at a garage sale (can you see where I get my thrifty genes?). Every year it lost another pound of needles, and it was looking more and more raggedy. Emily and I tried to make up for the big holes in the greenery by covering it with increasingly gaudier ornaments from the Walgreens' post-Christmas sales. Well, earlier this year, my parents finally threw it out, after over twenty years of service. Emily and I were horrified; that sad tree was one of our favorite Christmas traditions. We never even got to say goodbye!!

It looks okay until you see how it's drunkenly leaning on the windowsill.
So yesterday night, when our dad told us to go to BB&B and pick up a flashy new pre-lit tree, we took that as a personal challenge. We were not going to betray the memory of our old tree. We were going to make a new tree that would be just as pathetic as the old one. One cat scratching post, four pieces of cardboard, lots of tape, and four strands of fake foliage and tinsel later, we had a new tree. Once it was decorated, even my perfectionist mom grudgingly admitted that our tree turned out better than she'd expected. Not exactly glowing praise, but we'll take it!

Fenxi, our family cat, investigates.

Really? This is what you did with my scratching post?

You can see the cardboard fins of our tree taped to the scratching post here.
Our tree looks a little silly and more than a little pathetic, but that's okay. Christmas isn't about crazy over the top decorations or shiny aluminum trees, it's about being with family and not having to put on a show because they love you just the same. It's about quality time, the opportunity to be goofy and creative, and making something out of nothing with people you love. And ultimately, it's as Linus reminded everyone in a Charlie Brown Christmas:
"'And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace and goodwill towards men.'" Luke 2:8-14
Everyone, I hope you enjoy this season of celebration with your family and friends. 


  1. I love your tree, Cindy! It's so festive! You and Emily did a great job! Oh, and Fenxi is super cute:)

  2. I love your giant Totoro. My kids would go bonkers for it!


Thank you for taking the time to tell me your thoughts! I appreciate reading them and I try to reply to most, if not all, comments, especially when they are questions. I ask that you keep your comments polite, and if you're a spammer, don't bother because your comment will just be deleted! Also, if you're commenting on a post that's more than two weeks old, it will be moderated.