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8 years of Christmas magic: A journey through my festive home decor and trees

As the holiday season approaches, and the air becomes filled with the scent of pine and cinnamon, many of us embark on the joyful tradition of adorning our homes with festive decor. For me, these annual preparations have turned into something truly special over the past eight years. It’s a journey that’s been filled with creativity, cherished memories, and a growing collection of pretty ornaments.

In this blog post, I invite you to step into my world of Christmas enchantment as we explore the evolution of my home’s holiday decor and giant natural Christmas trees over nearly a decade.

Each year tells a unique story, from the early mishaps to the carefully curated themes. I can’t wait to share this magical journey with you. So, grab a cup of hot cocoa, wrap yourself in a cozy blanket, and let’s embark on a heartwarming exploration of the Christmas wonder that has graced my home for eight magical years. And do not forget to look for the 2023 edition soon to be shown on my instagram.

Christmas decor tiptoes into our home with a slow transition from autumn to winter, integrating natural elements before the Holiday hoopla takes over.

In Quebec, our holiday celebrations extend from mid-December through to the 6th of January, ending with Kings’ Day, also known as Epiphany. Due to this extended festive period, we adopt the tradition of installing a natural Christmas tree later in the season, typically selecting one freshly cut in the colder climate. This ensures that the tree is frozen when brought indoors, and we diligently water it daily to prevent it from drying out, thereby minimizing the risk of becoming a fire hazard.

2015 Holidays

In May 2015, after three decades in our charming 200-year-old stone farmhouse with its cozy 7-foot-high ceilings, we made a bold move to our country home. As Christmas approached, the prospect of more space had us dreaming big – especially when it came to our holiday centerpiece. Little did we know, our enthusiasm for a grand Christmas tree would lead to a memorable mishap and a valuable lesson learned.

With excitement bubbling, we ordered from a small tree farm in the Eastern Townships the star of our Christmas show – a majestic 13-foot balsam fir. The anticipation of decking out such a grand tree was palpable, and with a trove of new ornaments in tow, we were ready to usher in a new era of Christmas extravagance.

As we adorned the tree with our collection of ornaments, the thrill of going big overshadowed a crucial detail – proper balance. Our enthusiasm, coupled with the weight of the decorations primarily on the front, set the stage for what was about to unfold on that fateful first night.

In a twist of holiday irony, our towering masterpiece took a tumble during its inaugural night in our country home. The crash echoed through the halls, turning our grand Christmas tree into an unintentional tumbleweed. It was a lesson in humility and a reminder that even the most enchanting holiday moments require a touch of practicality.

Undeterred by our tree-tipping mishap, we embraced a new tradition – securing our Christmas tree to the ceiling beams, ensuring that future trees stood tall and proud throughout the festive season.

In addition to our cherished Christmas Eve and Christmas Day celebrations, we’ve cultivated a meaningful tradition over the years – a New Year’s Day gathering with both family and the many friends who have seamlessly become part of our extended family. The essence of this potluck-style food fiesta lies in providing a warm welcome to those who may be away from their birthplaces during this festive period, ensuring they feel surrounded by a sense of belonging. In the embrace of our newer home, we hosted an extraordinary gathering that welcomed over 110 guests that year, hailing from nearly 30 different destinations around the world.

2016 Holidays

In our second Christmas in our home, we decided to elevate the festive spirit even further. Embracing the “bigger is better” philosophy, we expanded our decorations not only in the main room but also adorned various corners of the house with additional festive elements. The culmination of our efforts was a heartwarming Christmas morning, with family eagerly delving into stockings, recreating the joy and excitement reminiscent of when the kids were little. The success of the celebration affirmed that, indeed, the magic of Christmas endures and evolves with each passing year.

2017 Holidays

In 2017 we inaugurated a new tradition of acquiring our natural balsam fir tree from Plantations Robert in Lac Drolet. This involved embarking on a scenic four-hour drive from our home, dedicated to the quest for the quintessential Christmas tree-to-be. As a family-operated Christmas tree producer since 1959, Plantations Robert welcomed us to their enchanting farm, a Christmas wonderland with vast fields showcasing Balsam firs at various stages of growth.

2018 Holidays

Sometimes they say, “go big or go home,” and in 2018, I may have taken that advice quite literally! When consulting with the team at Plantations Robert, they recommended an impressive 18-foot tree from their fields. The home team found themselves wrestling with this towering giant, maneuvering it into the center of the sunroom, which, after its installation, left scarcely any room for seating. Nevertheless, the visual spectacle it created was truly remarkable!

That particular year, the chosen theme was a lush green, setting the stage for an immersive holiday experience. Since then, I’ve established a delightful tradition of alternating between vibrant green and festive red themes each year.

2019 Holidays

The abundance of wrapped gifts under the Christmas tree on Christmas mornings may surprise some. Even on birthdays, we generally refrain from exchanging presents among family and friends throughout the year. Christmas serves as the occasion when we express gratitude to all for their presence and significance in our lives. My daughter, a wrapping elf extraordinaire, takes charge, ensuring that every single item, regardless of its monetary value, is meticulously wrapped. The resulting mountain of presents stands not as a symbol of consumerism but as a testament to shared love and meaningful connections.

2020 Holidays

Then the world stopped, as announced on TV. Pandemic curfews and restrictions disrupted our usual festive gatherings. It was a somber reality – celebrating within closed bubbles only. The grand Christmas dinner and the customary New Year’s Day open house were conspicuously absent that year. However, within the confines of close family, we found solace and joy, cherishing the warmth of love that, despite the circumstances, continued to shine brightly.

2021 Holidays

Our Christmas tree is not merely adorned with ornaments; it’s a tapestry woven with memories. Many of these ornaments are souvenirs collected during travels by family members and friends, with each bauble carrying the essence of a different destination. Others are carefully chosen for the special meaning they hold within our household. For instance, there is a little elf that we selected when our eldest son was just born, fondly referred to as ‘Little Jeremy.’ Another holds a miniature football player, symbolizing our youngest son’s college football journey. Additionally, a flock of birds—blue jays, cardinals, and woodpeckers—captured in ornaments mirrors the avian visitors we enjoy watching outside the kitchen window. Some little figurines are simply for fun, bringing joy to curious observers.

Each ornament tells a tale, making our Christmas tree not only a festive centerpiece but a living narrative of the places we’ve been and the memories we’ve created together. It’s a beautiful blend of wanderlust and sentimentality that transforms our holiday decor into a visual diary of our family’s unique journey.

2022 Holidays

Back with the green theme in 2022 with a perfect tree as usual!

As evident in all my shared posts, our Holiday decor wouldn’t be complete without the adorable presence of our cats, Oreo and Miss Whiskey. They effortlessly infuse charm and coziness into many of my Instagram pictures.

Throughout the years, the holiday season for us has come to signify more than just Christmas trees and decorations; it embodies cherished traditions. One such beloved tradition is our family Christmas morning in cozy PJs, enthusiastically unwrapping stockings. Feel free to join in the nostalgia as I share last year’s photo without hesitation!

From my family to yours, I wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays in 2023!

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1 Comment

  1. December 1, 2023 at 10:15 pm

    Oh how well I remember some of those gorgeous trees from IG! (Most of them are saved in my IG library!) Thank you for sharing your wonderful photos and the holiday traditions they represent! I’m totally inspired! Happy Holidays to all your festive family!