Oh, Christmas Tree(s) + Elf on the Shelf

Growing up, the day after Thanksgiving, our family would load up in the car and head to the mountains to cut down our Christmas tree. It was one of my favorite traditions.
Kevin grew up going to Home Depot. 
So, we comprise. We switch off every other year going to the mountains or going to Home Depot.
This year was supposed to be a mountain year, but because the weather has been so warm here in California & because we have only gotten 3 inches of rain in 2013, we decided that the mountain trees would be a little dry, so we went to Home Depot (where the trees are shipped from Oregon)
It was a beautiful 70 degree day last Friday when headed to the Depot.
 My mother in law watched Luke while he napped, so the 4 of us went to get our tree. It was super crowded, and I wanted to get back before Luke woke up. So, we quickly picked a tree.
Chopping of the bottom:
All ready to go home:
When we got home & put it in the tree stand, we realized we bought the wrong size tree.
It was SO small.  Normally, we buy an 8 foot tree. When I looked the tag, it was a 6 foot tree.
We put it on a box to see if it looked better, but it made it look worse.
So, then I had a GREAT idea! 
We could get 2 trees this year. We could put the smaller one in the family room and put colored lights on it (since the girls were begging to have colored lights on the tree) and then we would go back and get a bigger 8 foot tree to put in the living room.

That night we had our town's annual tree lighting, and decided to get Tree #2 on the way home.
 We had fun at the Tree lighting, as usual.
The best part was the our babysitter Torrey was home from college, so we got to see her!

 After the tree lighting, we stopped by Lucky (a grocery store) Kevin's brother said that Lucky has great Christmas trees in their parking lot for only $39. So, we decided to stop by & get our 2nd tree there. 
Ta-da! The 2nd tree. Much better.
 Kate on the other hand, was NOT happy. She was hysterically crying. She didn't want to have 2 trees.

 The next morning, we made caramel rolls, listened to Christmas music, decorated the trees & put up our Christmas decorations.
Tree #1 All decorated:
 Tree #2 All Decorated:
 2 new ornamnets.
 I couldn't resist.
Coffee by the tree. Heaven.
Other decorations around my house:
 Our mantle:
Willow Tree Nativity Set. A Family friend gave this to us as a wedding gift. I love it!
Garland on the stairs:
Night view of the garland:
 I LOVE garland on our stairs. Besides the tree, it's my favorite decoration.

 The felt Advent Tree that Kevin's mom made us when Kate was a baby:
 Bowl of ornaments:
 I have fun bright colors for the kitchen decorations.
 And, of course another main decoration we have in our house during Christmas is our Elf on the Shelf, named Candle.
Candle arrives every year the first Sunday of Advent.
Candle brings the kids their Christmas pajamas & a little gift (the little gift this year was ornaments with their inittal on them.
Candle also brings them a basket of 25 wrapped Christmas books, 1 to open & read each night.
 Candle also writes them a note reminding them that Jesus is the reason for the season.

My sweet Kate still isn't happy that we have 2 trees. She was crying the other night after we put her to bed and when I went upstairs to talk to her, she told me why she was crying.

 She said she was crying because she was upset we have 2 Christmas trees.
She said that she felt "too lucky" to have 2 trees and that she would feel bad telling people at school that she has 2 Christmas trees and they only have 1. She said she didn't like that feeling.
And, then part of me died at that moment.
I felt about *this* big.
It made me do a gut check.
Yep,  we got 2nd Christmas tree because Kevin & I thought the first one wasn't tall enough.
The first one didn't met our expectations.
Talk about a humbling moment. 
How lame are we?!?! 
Although, I did always dream about having 2 trees as a kid, a "kid" one with colored lights and an "adult" one with white lights.
But at that moment with my sweet Kate, I realized how lame I had been.
Gotta love having a 6 year old that is a better person than you.
I was so thankful for that moment because it was just another reminder of how much God can use our kids to humble us & teach us more about Him.
God doesn't care about what our Christmas trees look like, how clever our Elf on the Shelf is or any of that. Sure that stuff is fun,  and I love all the traditions that come along with Christmas, but sometimes I can lose sight of what the meaning is TRULY all about.
It's easy to get caught up in all the "fluff" of Christmas...the cookies, the presents, the decorations, the parties. All of it is good & fun, but it is easy to make that the focus instead of the MAIN focus.
The TRUE focus of Christmas should be on Christ and his birth and being thankful for all God as done for us.
I am thankful that God used my 6 year old to remind me of that.


  1. What a great reminder! God does use our kids to remind us! Great post!

  2. What a great post. And a very humbling moment it brought tears to my eyes to read this, you've raised a very sweet girl.

  3. Love the entire post but wow the last part brought tears to my eyes. I have had a few moments like that with my little ones.

    I did not know that you still had Lucky in the Bay Area...I loved that grocery store and was sad when they closed in my area of Northern Ca. years ago.

    Happy Holidays!

  4. Beautiful job! i love everything - especially the 25 books.

  5. Oh, what a sweet, sensitive little girl you have! I love the idea about new pj's and books for each night. Great idea! :-)

  6. Amazing post. First of all, your photos are amazing, especially of the twinkling lights. I've got to practice this year. Hopefully we'll get our tree/decorations up tomorrow. I feel like we're already running out of time!

    What an incredible thing for Kate to say and feel. As I was going through your post I thought it was so cool to have extra decorations, but the end brought me to tears! God works in mysterious, wondrous ways!

    P.S. I love how you guys do Elf on the Shelf and, so far, Candle has been the best Elf name I've seen!

  7. I love the two trees but what a sweet, sweet girl you have!

  8. I just loved this post Mel! Not only is it full of gorgeous pictures of your family and home, it has the sweet message of Christmas inside. Love.

  9. Melissa... So glad you shared the two tree story... All of it... You're not the only one that needed that reminder.... You have such a sweet family...

  10. Wow, so beautifully humbling. From the mouth of babes, right? What a great reminder for us all, thanks for sharing.

  11. Love this. What a sweet girl you have. This is such a great reminder.

  12. What a precious girl your Kate is! You are doing something right!!!!!
    We have always had fake trees - I loved the whole Tree farm experience! Your home is LOVELY and so is your family! Thanks for linking up!

  13. Oh, no! I wrote a comment, and it disappeared, lol! So, if you get two comments from me, sorry! I'm a little spastic... Just wanted to let you know that your home is beautiful! LOVE those bright colors, and you have such a precious little fam! I just love the fact that your elf brought that note.... SO SWEET! Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  14. Hi, my name is Tammie and I am over from KK, she is such an inspiration, however your daughter is also a HUGE inspiration to so many, for such a little girl to think of others in that way just proves she has a very good Momma Nad Daddy that are raising one amazing little girl who will go a long way and do amazing things in the world! What a great story to share, Thnak you for allowing me to stop over. Tammie @ vermonter34@gmail.com



Blog Widget by LinkWithin