11.26.2012

CHRISTMAS COMES TO THE HOLBROOK HOUSE!


picking out a tree in the city is sort of an experience. 

last year's tree was my favorite. i was able to spend what felt like hours wandering from tree lot to tree lot in the city, it was quite spiritual really, and when i finally found her it was like angels were singing and a giant heavenly arrow led the way. and then dragged her home fifteen blocks, which was sort of the best part.

this year we had my whole family with us and i felt crunched for time and the trees were fresh off the truck and their branches hadn't relaxed yet so i couldn't really tell what i was looking at and the spirituality of the deal was just all missing. once i picked one out, we up and had her delivered! where is the fun in that! 

but anyway the holbrooks have a christmas tree!

here i am haggling* with the tree person. 

huck says, "oh betty!" because betty is her name.
the gentlemen putting her up
 i like to hang my ornaments as slowly and spiritually as i can. 

*no no no, there was no haggling here. i had her show me three trees and by the third tree i felt so guilty for all my waffling that i actually gave her $5 over her asking price, because i'm the worst with stuff.

i made a pom pom garland this year instead of a marshmallow garland, but i'm not sold on it yet. i'm sure betty and i will have a few more go-rounds before she's all together finished, and then i will love her forever. right now we're at that "just-friends" stage. you know, i wouldn't let her borrow my nail polish or anything.

(do you sometimes feel like this blog is the stupidest?)

bonus huck-is-adorable shot to take you out: 


pertinent question to start the holidays: do you name your christmas trees? how many ornament adjustments before you and your tree are satisfied with each other? do i really need to have a tree skirt? because my lazy bone is telling i don't. 

82 comments :

  1. I was totally going to do a mini-marshmallow string this year...now I am re-thinking it. Thanks for the heads up.

    you had to be there

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  2. I think a tree skirt is a must, and no i don't usually name my tree but i think i will this year! betty is a good name

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  3. Ah, this makes me want to put our tree up! I love your white/gold theme - I can't get my head around those people who put blue and yellow and pink stuff on their trees. Those aren't Official Christmas Colours, folks!

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  4. Instead of buying a tree skirt I just bought some burlap and draped it around the bottom of the tree! I love it even more than a store bought skirt. I have never named my tree before... but now you have me thinking!

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  5. Your blog is one of my favorites.. the randomness and every little sentence you write is what keeps me writing! so, keep on keepin' on. And naming the tree: i've never heard of such a thing until now! how fun! :)

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  6. wow. i meant "keeps me *reading*" ha

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  7. get a tree skirt if you dont have hardwood floors.
    trust me!

    xo the egg out west.

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  8. So, this post made me miss New York and Christmas in New York so hard my heart hurts.

    No tree skirt is better than an ugly tree skirt but a pretty tree skirt is better than no tree skirt. Never named my tree. I decorate once and then leave it alone but if my mother's around, she will re-arrange anything I've done.

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  9. i have everything up except the tree! and of course it gets named - otherwise how will we get to the stage where they can borrow my nail polish ;)

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  10. I wrap a red blanket we've got around the tree base! Although we have a fake tree so maybe you don't want one of your real blankets wrapped around a real one? Felt a little twinge of sadness when I drove by a tree-selling stand on my road today that we have a fake one, but they're so cheap! And you only buy them once! And no watering! but you know...you lack the smell of the pine...and nope, I decorate it and I'm done - but I'm a sentimental ornament hanger and I stick just about anything on it I've ever bought plus whatever cheapo garlands/glittery items I deem worthy at Target that year and call it a day.

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  11. I names every one. Or rather they come with a name that, after the hubs finishes with the stand and straightening and leaves us alone together, they lean in and whisper to me. Our trees tend to be very the very traditional sort of pines--Henrietta and Margaret and such.
    Trees require three decorative stages--first the kids help, then I make minor adjustments, then I redo the whole thing.
    And a long stretch of burlap folded this way and that, works best for a tree skirt. Required? Um, yes--these are classy lady-like trees who wouldn't feel their best going commando. But perhaps your trees are more modern, free spirits.

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  12. I think a tree skirt finishes off a tree nicely. Why name a tree and get very attached and let her go around without a skirt? Embarrassing! ;)

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  13. BURLAP. that's all i have to say about that (and yes, i intended for that to answer all your questions).

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  14. I usually name all inanimate objects in my possession, absolutely including my christmas tree! :) Happy to see I'm not alone on this! And I'm sure you two will have a beautiful relationship. Just give it some time.

    xo

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  15. Never had a tree skirt in my life, so NO! We are currently in Tokyo with my husband's job (me, the little boy and the husband) which is amazing and exciting but means I won't get a Christmas tree till we get home on Dec 16th. I was fine with that...till reading this post and now I'm a little bit homesick/treesick. Hmm...off to eat some rice to make up for it.

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  16. Ornament adjustments are usually until the dog can't get to them...one year he ate a bell (smartie pants, right?). I like your tree though. It feels cozy up close. And no I never think it's the stupidest :) Or it is in the best way, in ways I never thought of and are great; This blog is one of my destination spots!

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  17. That is a very beautiful tree....and now you've made me want to name mine too!! :)

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  18. My little fake foil desk tree is named Albert! He has tinsel and battery operated lights on him now, but I just can't seem to find the right mini ornaments. I wanted to buy him a tree skirt but since he's a dude maybe we'll settle for a wool scarf or something :P

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  19. Your writing makes everyday life exciting, therefore the blog is never stupid!
    Last year I decorated our Christmas tree by myself for the first time because all my younger siblings were out being cooler than me or something similar. Then they came home and told me it looked "sparse" decoration-wise. It was only sparse because I put all my decorations up and only half of theirs as a secret Grinch revenge. As for tree skirts, unnecessary, though as a kid we had a white felt one covered in glitter, I'd still use that if I could.

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  20. we always name our christmas trees...but i don't remember the names, except for the one year that our tree turned out to be infested with spiders, those little black hairy jumping spiders. and when we would sit by our beautiful tree at night, one would always slowly climb to the top of the golden spire and perch at the top and just sit there surveying everything like he owned the freakin' place. then after a long dispute my dad would grudgingly kill it- but every night another one would make the journey up the spire...like a disgusting christmas miracle. and so we named that spider- seymour, the christmas spider. now that story is the stupidest.

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  21. What a beautiful tree! And I think you have uncovered a secret society of tree-namers...who knew?

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  22. I love (LOOOVE) your quirky stream-of-consciousness writing and your blog. LOVE. In case the opening sentence didn't make that clear.

    That is all.

    Wait, 'cept it's totally not. Heh heh.

    The tree is fabulous and Christmassy and pretty and the lights exude such warmth and OMG I WANNA PUT UP MY TREE NOW. It's not the same, though, when you're aaaaall the way down in Australia and there's the pesky, rotten fact that it doesn't snow on account of it being southern summer and all.

    Fie on you, southern summer...FIE, I SAY!

    Ahem.

    I am SUCH a Kevin McCallister, I tells ya. A snowless Christmas makes baby Jesus cry (ah, Rod and Todd Flanders!).

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  23. Gorgeous tree! Saw the piano shot on instagram and it has to be one of my favorites! Tree skirts for me are a must.. only because our tree stand is ugly.
    You done this tree good Holbrook.

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  24. You're going to do a post of Christmas trees past, right? RIGHT?

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  25. Haha this blog is not the stupidest, but it is my favorite. My tree isn't borrowing my nail polish just yet either

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  26. The tree skirt is my favorite part! Definitely a must!

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  27. hahaha cute name for your christmas tree!

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  28. I grew up with a real tree every year. The branches peeking out into the stairs up from my bedroom and the smell of pine needles are some of favourite Christmas memories. Then I got engaged to an asthmatic with allergies. If I'm honest I actually resent him a little bit (or a lot??) for the crapola plastic tree we now have...does that make me evil. Probably ;)

    http://ducklovesrooster.blogspot.com.au/

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  29. i love this post. and i especially love the "(do you sometimes feel like this blog is the stupidest?)". ha NO! you have the best voice. it's why i love reading this blog of yours, natalie. and as always, huck is the cutest.

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  30. I have not named my tree.
    But I HAVE named the white, fluffy dog, lit up by Christmas lights, that I got at Walmart, and which currently resides on the front porch.
    His name's Frederick (Free-drick).

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  31. Got my tree skirt at the dollar store and don't regret it a bit. Of course I have an artificial, so tree skirt was not optional.

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  32. The fact that you are putting up your Christmas tree means I've been following your blog for one whole year! How exciting! We do not name our tree, but we do give her a tree skirt. I let my Hubby pick it out and of course he picked the most gaudy looking one he could find. Ah well - we don't want her going around half-nakey!

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  33. I concur with a bunch of the people here-- just a blanket, a sheet, a piece of burlap, some pretty fabric will do just great for a tree skirt! And then you don't have to store it all year long. For the little fake tree in my kids room I actually used a circle skirt that just sits around in my closet. Ha ha. But your tree is beautiful, good job!

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  34. I laughed out loud when you said that thing about your blog being the stupidest.

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE it b/c a.) you don't take yourself to seriously and b.) you are always so willing to be honest and open and say, "This didn't turn out like I'd expected." (i.e. the tree delivery!?!?! WHAT!?!?) instead of putting on heirs.

    We never name our trees but it's about high time we started! Jury's still out on the tree skirt. Right now I've got a red paisley placemat under ours (it's tiny)! b/c every year I Forget how a tree skirt works, exactly. Oh...it goes OVER the stand. ;)

    This is my second comment in 2 days. I'd probably stalk you if I had more time. ;)

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  35. Tree skirt= No. I love her! You make me want to have a real tree! :)

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  36. I bought a giant piece of felt and traced a bunch of circles onto it(so it looked scalloped) to make a tree skirt. No sewing and super easy. And if you use a smaller bowl you can just cut out a circle in the middle and a line going to it so its easy to get on and off.

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  37. no to tree skirts. so dated. yours is looking so modern.
    beautiful pics

    http://babycordle.blogspot.com/2012/11/lately-insta-mash-heavvvyyy.html

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  38. Yay for Christmas! I think this is so funny because I could have written half of this post! We got our tree on Saturday from a Canadian guy on York and 79... walked it home at 38 weeks pregnant. And on the way back found a tree lot on 1st and 82nd... nevermind we live on 2nd and 83rd. That meant eye rolls from my pregnant self which really is better than tears at this point. We named it James because last year's tree was named Joe so we felt an obligation to stay with the J names. Poor James has 2 ornaments on it only. We need to string some lights on him and decorate him but other pertinent baby and school things are kind of hampering our trimming party. I did go to Kmart at Astor pl today and got a skirt, I think a skirt is a must bc I hate the looks of the stand so now James at least has his private areas modest.

    Funny tidbit we also have a Merry Christmas garland above our couch. You can see it here http://ink361.com/#!/photo/332963711660768107_9357221

    One of these days I'll run into you around the city

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  39. loving the poms! i made some for my tree last year, and i couldn't be happier! i love a homemade, sentimental tree :)

    see it here:
    http://www.beyondthestoop.com/2012/11/thanksgiving-road-trip.html

    i shoulda picked a brighter color though... apparently teal doesn't show up well with a green tree. who'da thought!?

    cheers :)

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  40. We def don't have a tree skirt..whoops. ALso, not a lot of ornaments, maybe like 25? I kinda love the simple look. Yours is gorgeous

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  41. Yes to naming trees, especially names like George or Alfred which means no to the tree skirt.

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  42. this is the most non stupidest post ever. love... love huck. love betty. love christmas. =)

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  43. Never stupid. Don't go changing. We love you just the way you are :-)

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  44. The tree is looking so lovely Natalie! love that you named her. betty is very fitting. she seems like a betty.

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  45. I love your blog and your sense of humor.. not stupid at all! I've never named a tree before but you've inspired me to do so. That's if I ever get around to getting one this year. I have a one year old and I'm terrified of him pulling it down. Perhaps a small one on a table might be better? As for a tree skirt.. I think it depends on people's style. I bought a round table cloth last year and cut it up the side. Not the biggest fan of it this year. Tree skirts are a pain in the butt (personally) and maybe thats just because I never "fell in love" with one. I love "Betty". She looks beautiful!

    xo
    Rachel

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  46. Last year we wrapped my son's blanket around the Christmas tree for the skirt. Like Linus. We liked that. I think we'll do it again this year.

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  47. I love your blog & I love this post! so adorable x

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  48. love it!
    no on the tree skirt...do whatever you want girl! i used a vintage christmas table runner on ours (it was my granny's). and while our tree is nameless, she looks ready to party.
    i have a 2 and 5 year old who love to hunt/gather/collect. so we throw a few decorations on the tree, but know that by the 25th they will have her fully decorated with findings and things they make all season long.
    be merry!

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  49. i seriously love you style!! and, your blog is definitely not the stupidest.

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  50. What a beautifully decked out tree :) I loved that it has a name and now I think when I get a tree, I will have to name it too!!

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  51. Oh, don't worry; though I don't name it, my Christmas tree and I take awhile to become BFFs, too. Especially this year, when my husband wanted to decorate it ASFASTASPOSSIBLE and my 2 little ones thought it would be fun to play "drum" on my glass ball ornaments. I made everyone stop and I'm going to decorate it myself after the kiddos go to bed. Right now, it has lights and a few felt ornaments that the kids added, and I shall enjoy the rest of it later. We use a kilt we bought in scotland as a skirt, and I def. no NOT think this blog is stupid!! :)

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  52. If I had an artificial tree I would name it ... but naming a real tree is kinda like naming a pet chicken before it becomes dinner, you know? At the end of the season it gets thrown in the chipper and then ... well ... :(

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  53. Yes to the tree skirt... would you go out without a skirt? Don't make Betty do it either.
    I think once you get to know her better and you start to really love her, you could lend her one of your skirts? Or even better... I wonder if a tutu could fit around the bottom of a tree... something super cute but unexpected? Maybe I should see if this works before sharing my silly idea!
    hellobougeotte.blogspot.com

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  54. isn't it great how differently everyone decorates their trees? i've never had a theme, but i mostly decorate with hallmark keepsake ornaments i've been accumulating since my high school years. we usually get one or two new ones each year!

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  55. when i need a laugh i peruse your blog so not the stupidest!

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  56. You dress yourself, right? Of course you'd want to dress your tree well. Any number of refashions is absolutely neccessary. After all, Christmas is the biggest party of the season and the tree is kind of the guest of honor so, yes. She must be done up right.

    I don't think naming your tree is stupid. But I have a fake tree, actually two fake trees, actually, no, in all I have eight fake trees (I know, right?) Naming them would be impractical and I'm certain I'd forget what I had called them before Christmas even got here.

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  57. Somehow Christmas tree shopping in New York sounds very romantic.

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  58. (do you sometimes feel like this blog is the stupidest?) absofreakinlutely not. and for the first time ever, i'm thinking of doing a popcorn string AND a marshmallow string.

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  59. We ALWAYS name our tree Bert. It's a tradition that has stuck with us:) Merry Christmas Natalie!! xx
    Kate
    www.365til30.com

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  60. Not the stupidest! You tell stories like I do :) and Betty sure is lovely, but I used to always have to take a little time before I fell in love with our tree growing up.

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  61. Your tree is gorgeous. We picked up ours this past weekend too. Love seeing your decorations!

    xo Emily

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  62. i want a live tree so bad this year! we may just have to do it! love the one of huck cheering on betty and the one with buzz is too cute!

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  63. oh Natalie,
    you've responded to my tweet questions before so I'm going to pretend that we are the bestest of friends. You're blog is an inspiration, a statement and a shining star that tells you it's ok to state your opinion, and be yourself. On my own blogging journey I am constantly backspacing due to the concern of judgement from family/friends. I applaud your unapologetic "this is me, take it or leave it" approach. You're just adorable. Don't change a thing.

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  64. I have never named a tree, but it seems like a good idea since it's going to be a guest in your home and such a big part of your life for the next month. Also, I think you need a tree skirt because of all the needles that drop. But I'm not really an expert. If you hate the idea of one and are ok cleaning up the needles from the floor, then don't get one! Also, one last thing, I love the decorations on your tree - very inspiring!

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  65. i name my tree, who doesn't? isn't it part of the fun.

    and i might readjust my ornaments and decorations more than a few times, and be a control freak about it so that i probably remove the fun for jonny but hey filler baubles cannot be at the front.

    and on that note i will stop as i already sound like a complete weirdo.

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  66. Betty is beauuutiful! I think the only thing this post is missing is a pic of the Julie-tree! The awesomeness f your Mom's tree is etched in my brain forever!

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  67. Oh that Betty is a looker there in your living room! I don't think she needs a skirt but it must be personal preference

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  68. my husband and i have had 2 trees together...the first was prince charles (it was a royal spruce) and the second was edward scissorhands (because that thing was sharp!).

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  69. where oh were did you get that cardboard-looking merry christmas garland? did you make it? it'll go perfectly with my country-esque christmas decor. i'm really into deep reds and greens and burlap this year. oh and yes, i'm going to buy my very first live tree as well. go time.

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  70. I love the rambling. It makes it worth reading. It makes me think you're my friend. Creepy? Sorry.

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  71. No ornament adjustments here once they are up we leave them be. We also don't name our trees. Maybe we should, my husband names his guitars.

    I love a good tree skirt. I feel like it adds just the extra Christmas pop.

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  72. Oh, Huck is edible now as well as one year ago. He was so tiny back then. Le sigh. How they grow.

    I wish I had to haul my tree fifteen blocks. I have strapped them to the top of a VW Beetle as well as stuffed them inside a minivan... and tree skirts are only necessary if they make things more festive.

    P.S. I think your blog is pretty delightful. So there.

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  73. Love the tree! We name our trees, cars, sometimes furniture, etc. This year my little Ava has named the Christmas tree Coco which seems fitting because she is rather divine. :-)

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  74. Oh gosh, I'm so excited / nervous because this year will be the first time the mister and I actually get ourselves a tree, since we usually just go home for the holidays. We shall see how it all turns out. And you may have convinced me to name it too ;)
    xo TJ

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  75. Oh, and I say no to the tree skirt. So overrated, ha!

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  76. What a wonderful tree!
    Emma
    http://emmavogelsang.blogspot.com

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  77. Love the tree. Don't change a thing. PS if you want an easy tree skirt, some years I have taken a piece of Christmas-y fabric and swirled it around the tree (mostly to cover the stand), tucking under the edges so no one can see its unhemmed. :) Works like a charm.

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  78. umm I'm in love with the doilys! may just have to copy that.. how are they attached or have you just poked them into the tree?

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  79. I was going to make a tree skirt this year, but my lazy bone said "just wrap an afghan around it," and actually, I'm pretty thrilled with how it looks!

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  80. i love this pic of huck with buzz lightyear. ima have to show the animators at pixar this priceless photo of the two!

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  81. I LOVE THE CHRISTMAS TREE :o)

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