I seriously thought she was crazy.
* This post was possible because of the generous sponsorship by Tree Classics and Christmas Tree Shops. We are very grateful they were willing and wanting to participate in this venture with us. As always, all opinions, horrible jokes, and 80’s music references are mine, all mine. This post may contain affiliate links. Please read (if you can stay awake) our full disclosure policy HERE.*
I vividly recall as a child, laying under our Christmas tree, POURING through the Sears Christmas catalog, and writing CHAPTERS-long Christmas letters to Santa. Toys were on my brain 24-7 from about the day after Halloween on. Sometimes, I’d ask my mom what she wanted for Christmas.
“our family to all be together for Christmas”
“a happy, healthy year for all those we know and love”
“She’s crazy,” is what I told myself, and probably her too. I mean, how on Earth could “everyone being together” top an easy-bake oven (eye roll, sarcastic lip curl, minor huffing/puffing for dramatic emphasis)?! Besides, where exactly am I going to be able to buy some “world peace” to put in your stocking, woman? “Parents”.
(let’s make it 20 years, just to keep me sounding young).
I got the best gift ever, this year. It’s not an easybake oven. And it’s not even Christmas day yet. Here’s what happened:
Tree Classics: “Hey Heather, we’d love you guys to take part in our Holiday Housewalk this year.”
Me: “Does that mean I have to clean my house?”
Tree Classics: “Um”.
Me: “You realize the closest I’ve ever come to a gorgeously decorated holiday home was when I fell asleep with my head in the Martha Stewart Living holiday issue and drooled on a flocked tree with vintage mercury ornaments, don’t you?”
Tree Classics: “Uh”.
Me: “Did you guys call the wrong number?”
I asked them if I could donate the tree to a local shelter (so I could avoid cleaning the house). They said, “GREAT IDEA.” And here we are.
I called Christmas Tree Shops and told them about our local women’s and children’s shelter here in Maryland. I asked them if they would like to help us make Christmas special for some deserving folks, and they jumped RIGHT IN with both feet!!
I called in reinforcements. Because I had nothing to go on after I destroyed my inspiration tree in Martha Stewart with the drooling incident.
These talented ladies come to my rescue. Luckily, they knew how to decorate a tree.
Together, we got out the gorgeous (and pre-lit) Tree Classics 7.5′ Classic Fraser Fir and started fluffing. The tree topper is called the Bethlehem star, and it’s made of gold metal and capiz shells. It’s also pre-lit, and completely stunning. I thought about keeping that for myself, but I was worried our Elf on the Shelf would tell on me to the Big Man. So I left the star at the shelter.
Just like magic, this tree started coming together. The ornaments from Christmas Tree Shops were perfect. We went with a pink, aqua and red tree. This is a women’s shelter, so we wanted to give it a bit of a feminine touch.
Cassie brought some vintage ornaments to donate from her own stash at home.
Even in these closeup shots, doesn’t that tree look super realistic?
This shelter is brand new. In fact, the opening ceremony for it was the day after we decorated. The governor of Maryland was to attend, so the shelter director was thrilled that we were decking the halls in preparation for their big day.
Not only were we able to give the shelter this lovely tree which they will now be able to take out year after year, because of the generosity of Christmas Tree Shops, we were able to donate all the ornaments, garlands, ribbons and trimmings, the faux fur tree skirt, cookies, hot chocolate and fancy teas, snacks, gloves, hats, and a SANTA SACK FULL OF TOYS…
I may not have eyes that twinkle, or merry dimples (NO comments about stomachs shaking like jelly), but boy oh boy, I sure felt like Santa that day.
Being able to give is truly the best Christmas present we can receive…
It’s true, isn’t it? Santa has the right idea. What a gig that guy’s got.
It’s taken decades to get here, but I now realize that my mother is DEFINITELY crazy. Crazy smart. These days “world peace”, and a “happy, healthy year to come” top my Christmas list, too. Just to be clear, an easybake oven is still a pretty AWESOME gift. But experiences like this are even sweeter than those brownies you can make in your easybake.
Sincere thanks to Kathy Schey, who let us invade the shelter like a bunch of elves on December 23rd. She has put her heart and soul into making this shelter a reality.
If you’re looking for a great cause to donate to this season, consider Faith House.
And another HUGE “thank you” to Tree Classics and Christmas Tree Shops
Because of your generosity, not only did I avoid cleaning and decorating my own house, but some very deserving women and children were given a tree this holiday season. A tree in what will not only be their home away from home, but their home in lieu of a home on Christmas. There are children who will now wake up to presents they didn’t think would be under the tree.
And that’s the magic of Christmas.
Please stop by some of the talented blogs of the other Tree Classics holiday housewalk tours, guys. There are some GORGEOUS homes to ogle! And, of course, have the HAPPIEST of holidays, surrounded by those you love, and a very healthy new year!
Jennifer Lutz of Tree Classics
Susan Duane of Love of Home
Ann Drake of On Sutton Place
Katie Bower of Bower Power
Janet Coon of Shabyfufu
Erin Rollins of The Sunny Side Up
Shauna Beltramo of The House of Silver Lining
And us 🙂
Emily Dinwiddie of Eleven Gables
Rhoda Vickers of Southern Hospitality