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Oh Christmas Shrub, Oh Christmas Shrub,…

By December 15, 2010December 16th, 2014Family

Our tree

With finals now over, Neil and I finally got a chance to put up our tree. And it took all of…twenty minutes. Being that we’re persistently nomadic for the time being (I’ve moved at least once a year since 2000) and currently renting in the hopes of swapping states in the coming year, we’ve opted again not to get full-sized or even a small-ish tree. We’ve made the sacrifice in an attempt to minimize stuff we’ll have to move and in doing so have staved off a lot of deco all-around over the years. While that might seem kind of gloomy, we’ve managed to find little ways to decorate and celebrate the season that don’t take up a lot of room.

Neil puts the lights on

Neil carefully wraps our oversized lights on the tree. It makes it so adorable!

Last year we picked up a tiny table-top tree (or shrub, as it’s identical to a real ornamental shrub we have in front of the house) and put a few of our favorite ornaments on it, mostly photo ornaments of us and the pets. We also rotate out a few of the yearly ornaments I have received from my aunt since I was a little girl. I have collected over 100 ornaments, ready for whenever we finally get a forever-tree.

Our Snowmen

The newest additions to our collection from my aunt, twin snowmen. She buys ornaments in pairs since I got married, so every year we’re excited to see what our matching ornaments will be. I have the best aunts!

Clive's Ornament

Our newest family member gets his first ornament on the tree.

Felix's Ornament

Felix’s close-up Suess-ish ornament.

Libby's Ornament

Even in Christmas ornament form, Libby gives us the stink eye.

Donna's Ornament

Another first-time ornament, a beautiful Scandanavian bell from Anja’s mother Donna, who is by far and away one of the best Christmas decorators in existence. She also gave me a miniature nativity ornament, but it’s too heavy to hang so it sits on my baker’s shelf during the holidays.

Evergreen Incense

And finally, since I’m allergic to sap and can’t have a cut evergreen within a mere 50 feet of me (believe me, I felt like I had killed Christmas for my whole family for several years), I found amazing evergreen incense cones to burn that make my whole house smell of forest. And when I say whole house, I mean my underwear smells like trees.

Our tree

What are your decorating traditions during the holidays?


  • I love your animal ornaments – especially Clive’s! I need to start doing that. We’ve never had a tree in the six years Nathan and I have lived together, but this year we got a tabletop rosemary bush – it looks a lot like yours. Is that what you have? Our apartment is small and I’m afraid Calvin would destroy anything he could reach.

  • Jessica says:

    Ours is just a synthetic table top tree, but a shaped rosemary would work perfectly. They used to carry those at the hardware store I worked at and the smell was like WOH phenomenal!