Christmastime at the G's

As I mentioned yesterday, it’s finally Christmastime at the G’s. Since the day after Thanksgiving I’ve had this anxiety that we were “behind” on Christmas because we didn’t have our tree. Every time I’d see a tree all lit up in a neighbor’s house I’d get all panicky, like, them too? Then I would find a house not decorated and think oh good, see not everyone has their tree yet. Never mind the Menorah in the window. 

Why didn’t we just go get our tree then? Well I was hyper-focused on getting ready for the craft fair last week. Besides, Joe gets home from work way too late to drag the baby out for tree shopping midweek. 

So Sunday, we headed out to a local tree farm – the real, family-owned kind, where you chop down your own tree. It was a really fun, old-fashioned experience, and we decided we’d make it a tradition… until I heard that the dead tree was $60. Is that just an expense that y’all factor in to your December budget every year? This is our fifth married Christmas, but the first year we’ve bought a tree bigger than 4′, so I had no idea trees could be so expensive. Our one-bedroom Boston apartment didn’t really beg for a giant tree, and neither did the tiny farm cottage. Our first year married we actually purchased a live potted Deodar Cedar and planted in our yard (at the house that is now a rental). The tree is still alive and thriving and we’ve left our renters with strict instructions to water it.


Yes, we still have the rabbit years that give us two channels. Tacky, I know. I thought about taking them down for this photo, but that felt disingenuous. Also I was lazy. So you get a glimpse into our living room in its most natural state. Oh and the crate on the ground is a feeble attempt at baby-proofing the tree. ^^

Our entire collection of Christmas decorations can fit in a couple of shoe boxes, so we don’t have that much to work with. We’ve moved around so much that we haven’t accumulated tons of stuff. So I set out our few humble decorations and then supplemented with lots of natural stuff after my dad brought me a garbage bag of redwood tree trimmings and giant pinecones from his property. He was pruning the tree branches anyways and would have just thrown them away if I didn’t use them. 


IMG_0229IMG_0235unnamed_6My grandma (who was the best person I have ever known, I kid you not), gave my brother and I this nativity set when we were little. I have such special memories of setting it up every year. My mom had a nativity of her own, but this one was OURS. Then when I was 17, a forest fire came through and took every material possession I’d known, including this. I had forgotten about it (when you lose everything, you don’t really keep a record of all that you’ve lost, if you did, you’d go insane) until I stumbled upon one just like it at a local antique store. (Toys from my childhood are antiques?!) Of course I bought it, and that’s the one you see pictured here. I set it up this year almost reverently. Soon Baby G will love to set it up herself… I guess I’ll let her. 


And here is our living room, all Christmas-ified. It’s not showy or Pinterest worthy but it is so us. It’s the kind of place we can relax, stare at some white lights and be a family. 

I’d love to see pictures of your home this season. If I get enough, I’ll feature them in an upcoming post. I love seeing what other people’s homes look like this time of year. Find me on Twitter: @carlygelsinger. 





  1. Allison on December 10, 2013 at 11:58 am

    My sisters and I still set up our nativity scene/manger together, even though we aren’t all living in the same house anymore. Our baby Jesus and manger are two separate pieces–we would always end up fighting over who got to put Him in His manger. Now, older and wiser, the three of us each hold an appendage and place baby Jesus in together!

    • creatingmom on December 10, 2013 at 1:08 pm

      That is so sweet, Allison. What a cool tradition you’ve kept up. I’d love a picture of your nativity.

  2. Ingrid on December 10, 2013 at 2:59 pm

    What a cozy and inviting room! Love the tree, yes-they can be very expensive even in Oregon and Washington but we’ve had so much fun finding and decorating the tree every year. This year, Matt and I were going to get the tree without the kids while we were on a weekend getaway and they were absolutely appalled that we would consider getting one without them. The tradition is more meaningful to them than I could have imagined. We have some great memories of bringing home trees that required four men to carry them in and a homemade heavy duty stand that bolted the tree upright. They were a lot of work, money, and time but well worth it, the fun factor was huge. Merry Christmas!

    • creatingmom on December 16, 2013 at 11:30 am

      Ingrid, I’m glad you said that. I too have wonderful memories of hunting for a Christmas tree. Baby G won’t remember this one, but we have pictures to show her!

  3. Katie on December 10, 2013 at 3:40 pm

    Love your tree! The price of trees are crazy. Check out where you rent trees. I don’t know the cost and looks like currently they don’t have them in our area but it’s such a cool and environmentally friendly concept!

    • creatingmom on December 16, 2013 at 11:31 am

      What a cool idea. We could also just buy live trees and plant them somewhere… I’ve always liked that concept.

  4. Jennifer | The Deliberate Mom on December 13, 2013 at 2:23 pm

    I think your livingroom is BEAUTIFUL and totally Pinterest worthy! Thanks for sharing!

    • creatingmom on December 16, 2013 at 11:29 am

      Aww, thanks, Jennifer.

  5. Lauren on December 15, 2013 at 1:16 pm

    I love so many things about this post, especially all of the natural elements you brought in. Your house looks beautiful! Our family has moved around a lot too, so we have our two small boxes of decorations as well. Sometimes I find myself wistfully dreaming of more decorations, more glitter, more, more, more, and then I remember that Christmas is all about humble beginnings.

    • creatingmom on December 16, 2013 at 11:28 am

      Wow, I couldn’t have said it better.
      “Sometimes I find myself wistfully dreaming of more decorations, more glitter, more, more, more, and then I remember that Christmas is all about humble beginnings.”
      Can I steal this sentence from you? 😉 I dream about a giant “department store” tree with giant poinsettia arrangements and crystal ball ornaments, but I am learning to love the beauty in simple, humble things.

      • Lauren on December 17, 2013 at 6:47 pm

        Ha! Steal away, friend! 🙂

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