Today, we I pretty much got the house decorated for Christmas. We decided against doing a tree again this year, and I'm sort of glad for it. I miss a tree, but I don't want the work of putting up a tree, putting lights on it (the most dreaded of tasks), and the putting all the ornaments on it. I really just want to be done.
We have to do a little decorating, because we are having a party this next weekend. I decided that decorating would be a more fun task than cleaning the bathroom, so decorating has become a form of procrastination. There is still plenty to do before the party. I'll be working my tush off most of this week.
Anyway, back to the tree issue. In the past, we've had a real tree. My immediate family has never had a fake tree, and I don't know if I could handle a fake tree. I know, it would eliminate most of the issues with putting up and decorating (or at least make it faster). I even heard of one woman who put her fake tree, fully decorated into a closet. When December rolled around, she just pulled the tree out of the closet and plugged it in. To me, that's just tacky. Besides, I don't have the closet space for something like that.
I feel better about having no tree than about having a fake tree (even one that twinkles and sprays pine-sol scented gas out at you). So, we have no tree. We have some lights. We have a nativity scene. And we have our new favorite decoration.
Every year, the college where I work puts on Advent Vespers. It's their version of a Christmas concert, but set to be in the form of a "lessons and carols" worship service. Thus, they have a processional of about 100 people carrying those red, long, glass-covered candles. Every year, they throw out about half of their candles, because they are burned at least halfway. These are dangerous, because choir members will be grabbing the quickly, so they don't want to burn anyone's hands. This year, we claimed all of the leftover candles. We are going to use these candles to make our home festive.
I know that a few of you are thinking the we have replaced our tree with an even bigger fire hazard. But, if you look at the photo (this is not exactly what the candles look like, but it's the closest I could find on the web), you will see that the flame is quite contained. In fact, all of ours are at least halfway burned down, so the flame is safely inside the jar.
Viola! Our new Christmas look! Sans tree.