Monday, 8 December 2008

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree....

i'm still in shock that we are already in december with christmas just around the corner. like a lot of other bloggers i've been visiting, i'm not big into the commercialism of today's christmas as, this aspect has often brought me a lot of stress in the past to the point where i have dreaded the season approach. however, for the past two years at christmas time, we opted to only buy gifts for my 9 year old son and then, my adult kids (6 in all, including, alex, michelle's boyfriend) and i did a 'secret santa' exchange instead of buying gifts for each other. we also set the gift price at around $50 so there was no pressure there either. we will be doing the same again this year. it takes the financial pressure off with only having one person to buy for, apart from aaron, and it's so much fun with the teasing, and guessing, leading up to the day and then......finding out who your 'secret santa' partner is on christmas day. peace on earth is what it's really all about and when i'm with my family, i feel at peace, content and happy. genie-sea, one of my blogger friends, is opting to help out in a homeless shelter this year instead of buying into the commercialism of christmas which i think is such a wonderful idea. to give of yourself is one of the most precious gifts ever.

aaron and i started working on a small ornamental ribbon tree in november and, yesterday, i finally got around to finishing it. it's kinda cute, don't you think?
also, this year, beau bought us a new artificial, fibre-optic tree!! i feel so spoiled as it's quite large compared to the previous one we had used for the last eight years and i've never had one with lights either. of course, in respect for the environment, we only light it up for an hour or so each night. these pics aren't the best because they were taken in poor lighting and i'm not camera savvy so please make allowances for me.
and lit up...
i'm not good with camera settings so,if anyone can tell me how to get a good pic of our tree, lit up, i would greatly appreciate it. i think i should have used a tripod, right?

addition - i just tried a nifty, little graphics program plug-in that kate mentioned on this post and it did improve the picture (reposted above). though still grainy, it has given a lovely ambience to the original pic. THANKS, KATE!!! my graphics program is paint shop pro 7 and it had no trouble recognising the plug-in. i think kate uses photoshop but, apparently, the plug-in will work with most graphics programs and it truly opens up A LOT of cool things to do with your pics. best of all.......IT'S FREE!!!! So, go grab yourself a copy of 'virtual photographer' here.

if you want to know about the origins of christmas, click here for an interesting read.

love, light and peace to all ~


  1. When our family got too large to buy for all the siblings and siblings children--we drew names, too. Makes Christmas so much more fun! Then you can save the most gift giving for the littlest kids, right! Wonderful way to do it--especially in this day when money can be so tight. We always used to draw at Christmas when we were all together.

    I haven't actually been with the rest of my family at Christmas for many years now since I moved away and my son and I opted out of the drawing of names back then (1999?). This year I donated to a child in Costa Rica. Just makes me feel good to do a little something since I don't buy presents anymore. :):)

    Love your ribbon tree and your new green tree. I think it looks fine lit up! :)

  2. Love your ribbon tree!!!

    My 2 ft. high fiberoptic tree this year is my pride and joy...that is about all there is here for Christmas decor this year with all the kids grown and gone, except one.

    Your holiday gift giving tradition is one I have wished for in my family for many years! It never ends up happening!!!

    Oh well.

    Happy Holidays Serena!!!

  3. I love your idea about the secret santa with your older kids. That is something I am going to think about for next year. I have some ideas, already on how to put our spin on it. Thank you!!
    Your tree is lovely! we have had the same artificial tree for about 15 years! and it still looks good and does the trick for us.

  4. I love that your world is getting more festive and the photos are great! They have captured the essence of the spirit and that is what truly counts. Thank you for including that link to the origins of Christmas. It bugs me that this day got totally hijacked and people should know what they are really celebrating.

  5. Love your ribbon tree and your mega tree! The secret Santa is a great idea and a stress-free option. Eliminating commercialism is so very freeing and makes the holidays even more special. :)

  6. oh beautiful little ribbon trees, they are so much fun!!! thank you for sharing the link to the origins of x-mas... i'm all for moving away from what x-mas has become. i'm very happy that my family is open minded enough to celebrate yule together as well as accepting my hand made giftings. i find that looking at the meaning behind the symbols of christmas has greatly restored my love for this time of year.

    have a very wonderful week!
    peace and blessings!!!

  7. I think that's a great way to celebrate Christmas. So much more meaningful, hence, memorable. That ornament came out just lovely! Thanks for that link to the download and the page to the origins of Christmas. Origins of Easter is equally interesting. I eat this stuff up! Blessings, Serena

  8. I love the ribbon tree you made as well as your other tree :-)

  9. Thank you, everyone.

    Rita, what a lovely thing to do. We usually donate a gift to the Target Christmas Giving Tree and these are handed out to those in need.

    Julie, I love how the Fibre-Optic tree is constantly varies it's's like it's alive with sparkles.

    Dawn, the tree we had previously was a hand-me-down from Mum and Dad 8 years ago and can't remember how many years they had it prior to that. It definitely served it's purpose well over those years though, for the past couple of years, it was showing it's age and one of the big branches was broken causing a huge hole which I used to have to place at the back. lol

    Jenn, handmade gifts are a beautiful idea!

    I'm glad you enjoyed the links, Serena P.

    love, light and peace,

  10. Both your trees are great Serena. Don't worry about the energy thing to much with the fibre optic tree, it's so much more energy efficient. We use the led lights now, the cost for energy is less than half, so don't be afraid to light up that beauty. Tell Aaron for me, that the two of you did a fantastic job with your ribbon tree, it's great. Ro

  11. I really like your little ribbon tree! People expect that since I am an artist that I am good with interior design and crafts. HA! God didn't provide me with talent in those paticular areas! So I can really appreciate your tree!

  12. Loved the post and that is what I deal with, this refusal to buy into the commercialism hence, it's hard to get excited anymore. But with the grandkids I must.

    Love the ribbon tree.

  13. Love your tree- so pretty all lit up. I'm with you on the excessive importance placed on gifts and the commercialism thast runs rampant during the holidays.

    That ribbon tree is just too cute!

  14. Your tree is beautiful.. I think lights are one of my favourite things of Christmas.. so much symbolism and cheer !!!

    you sound like you will have a sensible christmas.. a good thing...

    your ribbon tree is sweet.. !!!