Are you feeling the Christmas spirit yet? I sure am! Last weekend, Marlon and I put on some Christmas carols and started putting up our Christmas decorations at home.
After moving here and discovering the beauty of decorating with fresh and natural materials, I’ve tossed out most, if not all, of our matchy-matchy plastic Christmas decorations from Asia—yes, including our fake Christmas tree. Since we don’t get to enjoy them for very long before our annual trip home, I’ve learned to keep our Christmas decorations simple, minimal and natural.
This year, having a baby poses a new decorating challenge. With Tala grabbing onto all our furniture and trying to pull herself up to a standing position, a big tree would just be too hazardous to have around. We needed an alternative tree that would be safely out of the baby’s way, but still colorful, cheery and Christmasy.
There are tons of alternative Christmas tree ideas on Pinterest, but as the mother of an eight month-old baby, I don’t exactly have a lot of time for crafting these days. What I did have time for was a visit to the market, where I found these gorgeous bright red winter berries in abundant supply. An armful of these branches in a big glass jar make for a simple, easy and fuss-free alternative Christmas tree.
I didn’t want to overload our tree, so I chose to use just a few special Christmas ornaments. I took out only the ornaments we’ve collected from our visits to German Christmas markets (in Cologne, Aachen and Monschau), and kept the rest in their boxes until next year.
To complete our little Christmas vignette, I dusted off our hand-carved miniature Nativity scene and placed it at the foot of our “tree.” With the candles lit plus some tea lights on the side, it becomes a cozy sight in the evenings.
I like how this simpler, more pared-down tree made me more choiceful, and reminded me that we really can be happy with less. I’m still hoping we get to put up a real Christmas tree someday, but until Tala’s a little more grown up, this berry-branch tree will be our chosen pop of Christmas cheer.
Have you started Christmas decorating yet? Are you doing anything differently this year?