Alan and I have been married for nearly 17 years and during that time we have always lived quite a distance from our families. Not to mention that our families are spread out all over the USA, so we have spent many holidays on our own, on the road, or with family coming to us. Every Christmas for us has been unique and so cherished no matter where we were located. To us, Christmas Tradition is about good quality family time, whether it is just the 4 of us or with a group of 20. Part of that tradition is having a Christmas Tree!
When we stayed home in North Carolina, we put up our tree and had a blast decorating it. We would typically each put on our Santa hats and decorate the tree with the sounds of Christmas Music playing in the background and the smell of cookies baking in the oven. It was good fun and something we would do a few weeks before Christmas. Often we would grab a photo of the 4 of us and that would become our Christmas card for the year.
Other times we would be on the road for the holiday and wouldn’t put the tree up at the house. If we had a driving road trip planned to Myrtle Beach or Florida, we had a “portable” Christmas at the ready. A little 2 1/2 foot tree, in a box with all the trimmings. A few strands of lights and our apartment or hotel room was Christmas ready shortly after arrival.
We would also have some holidays where we were on an “air trip”. This involved visiting family for the holidays and flying. For these special occasions, we would pack the minimum and just enjoy the decorations and tree of our destination. When this was the plan, we would decorate the tree at home and hang the stockings too. Last year, we enjoyed a destination Christmas in Paris with Grandma Linda and our “portable” Christmas in a box is back in NC in storage. Grandma Linda saved the day and brought a little Christmas with her. We hopped out to the store and found an adorable mini tree and decorated.
This year the plan was to just hang out at home in Almuñécar and have a mellow Christmas with just the 4 of us. With that as the plan, I asked the family if they wanted to get a tree and decorate or just create our own. We don’t own any decorations here in Spain, so no matter what we decided, we would need to purchase something. The kids decided that they wanted to be creative and make their own Christmas Trees. You see during our time here in Spain, the kids seem to be bursting with creativity. It is amazing to see how kind of “unplugging” from American culture has helped them discover themselves and they just keep amazing us.
Anya Christmas Tree/Wreath 2013
Anya has become very creative with art, drawing painting and making something out of nothing. She wanted to use a real pine tree to make her tree, so we hopped outside to see if we could reach any of the nearby pine branches. No luck for us as the trees were all so tall and trimmed way beyond our reach. As we were on our way home we noticed a big skip, located just beside our pool. We could see loads of palm leaves hanging out and she thought that might be fun to use. Yes, let’s make a palm Christmas Tree!
We were off to the skip to pull out some of the branches and see what we could do. As Anya climbed up the side to peek in, there on the top of a skip full of palm tree cuttings were 2 good-sized pine branches. Score! Anya was thrilled and quickly grabbed them and tossed them out to me. We were set, she now had the makings for her tree. We took them home and tore off some smaller branches, wrapped them together and adorned with a broken flamenco hair bow and some 65 cent ornaments. Not too shabby and she was so proud. It is hanging on the one wall which had a hook already installed and is accented with a strand of lights glowing below.
Lars Christmas Tree & Video 2013
Lars has branched to levels of creativity far beyond the an ordinary 11-year-old boy. When he thought of a Christmas Tree, he went abstract and modern. He gathered some bits and bobs (I love that term, I learned when living in the UK 16 years ago) we had lying around the house. We had some cut up construction paper and foam circles left over from a school project, as well as a good length of red wrapping paper. His tree made its debut just above the fireplace and we get to see the “Picaso esqe” tree each and every day.
Lars didn’t stop there, no his real creativity is coming through via video. He has really become an amazing self-taught videographer and editor. He is having a blast with his camera and editing software. Here is just a sample of what he has created for you for Christmas. I can’t believe our 11-year-old is working and thinking in layers and building videos “from scratch”. This video is 3 layers with one of the layers composed of 4 separate videos!
Enjoy this 10 second video that probably took about 5 hours to make and be amazed with me. Who said travel doesn’t help stimulate the brain?
We wanted to share some Christmas Tree Love from our Readers, Family, and Friends. If you have a photo of your tree that you would like here, just let us know.