Downsized to 7 Feet, 121 Branches, 150+ Ornaments

There was a time when my Christmas tree was a small, plastic model I purchased at Woolworth's in the 1970s. Money was tight so it was the best I could do. I adorned it with red Satin balls and listened to Christmas music on my clock radio. It's what's behind my passion for collecting and maybe a little over the top decorating.

Over the past fifteen years of picking I've devoted a lot of time to scavenging for Christmas decorations. Sometimes I was lucky and scored a bunch of packed boxes from an attic; other times it was a lone ornament, but bought it anyway and kept adding to my collection (I have a basement for storage, thankfully). That all led to putting up two vintage aluminum trees, filling my home with vintage holiday decor on every shelf, making my sunroom a Christmas winter wonderland and hosting holiday parties. 

It was all too much! The season was a whir of activity but I never got to really appreciate it or the decorations I prized. Then it was time to pack them up and put them all away in the lonely cold month of January.

Forget decking the halls. The only thing I wanted to deck was myself.

I ironically longed for the simplicity of and spirit behind my faux Charlie Brown-esque tree from my childhood. 

I've since resolved to scale things back. This year I've assembled and decorated one tree, which is a seven foot Evergleam Pom Pom that comes in a box with 121 sleeved branches that I bought at an estate sale for $3 some years ago. (That was a really cool sale. The basement, trashed but the cowboy and girl silhouettes on the walls and window treatments still intact, had been transformed to a square dance hall in the 1950s and 60s. I thought that must have been a great way to exercise indoors during the long Maine winters.)

I placed a handful of decorations on my mantle. And that's it. I didn't knock myself out to get it all done immediately, relaxed while I assembled it, and felt very grateful for all that I have. I enjoyed a sparkling water in my favorite etched glass.

Ta da! 

My guinea pig, Tiny Tim aka Timmy, who I fostered and adopted two years ago, knows what Christmas is really all about!

I've been going to Church and plan to continue through the holidays. I'll be focusing on the friends and family who matter to me. Something I won't be cutting back on? 

Cooking and BAKING.

Holiday recipes are coming!


  1. Love the vintage ornaments, Averyl! I've never been one for the silver trees although why I don't know because they're supposed to represent snow. But it's all very retro and cute! That's a unique glass, too, I've never seen one like it.

    Timmy is sitting on Santa's lap!! ;)

    1. Yes he is! I feel a little bad because it's a scary plush Santa from the 50s, but Timmy is tough. ; )

  2. Beautiful tree and oranments! Everything looks lovely.

  3. So beautiful Averyl. To live in the moment and enjoy what will someday be a memory too. Timmy is a cutie, and I am so glad you gave him a good home. I believe God honors people who take good care of his beloved creatures. You should teach classes on how to stop and smell the roses. Drugs and alcohol have made many lose the thrill of life and love. My husband made dinner, my son is excited about "getting the job" he interviewed for, and my other view is 2 cats enjoying the glow and warmth of the fire I started in my fireplace. Enjoying some "roses" this evening, after a sort of thorny day at work. Whoops, our evening just got overtaken by a ballgame on tv - oh well, was nice while it lasted :-)

    1. Thank you, Donna! That's a lovely scene and life you describe, even the ballgame on TV ruining the peace and quiet. : ) Thank you for sharing that.

      I love your idea for a class. I try to teach by example. Because I'm a person in long-term recovery from alcohol I stay connected to the recovery community and help in ways that I am able. God/ "Higher Power" has and will always be a part of that. : )

  4. Very proud of you Averyl! You have accomplished so much. My older son is in recovery from substance abuse. Don't know how it happened but somehow the world got it's crummy hands on him. Like you he has a good heart, and maybe like you somehow something hurt him more than you had realized. God is in our hearts and on our side. The bad stuff can only knock on your door. You don't have to let them in. Let all of the goodness in. I'll get off my soapbox, :-) but just saying Thank God for all of the joy we can appreciate!


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