a peek inside the fishbowl

11 Dec, 2013

The little tree

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Easy ways to make kids happy|Oh! Things!

My mother used to decorate the entire house for Christmas. THE ENTIRE HOUSE. This typhoon of decor wasn’t just limited to a tree in the living room, it washed over our entire house. There were holiday tea towels in the kitchen, Christmas bells in the bathroom (and more towels of course), and a multitude of other geegaws and knick knacks scattered everywhere… many of which rested on starched white doilies.

Just thinking about all that decorating makes me tired. Here at Casa Fishbowl, the decor is limited to the living room. And I’m ok with that. We don’t even have a wreath hanging on the front door this year (and I’m ok with that too).

A few years ago we bought the girls a small live Christmas tree and put it outside their bedrooms. I suspect it was either the top of a very large tree that we bought at the Christmas tree lot, or someone’s idea of a Charlie Brown tree. Regardless, it was bought, and a small stand was found. The girls, of course, were thrilled to have their own little tree. It was their job to decorate it, and since we didn’t have a ton of extra ornaments (and I was afraid they’d break our good ones) they filled it top to bottom with the Christmas ornaments they’ve made over the years: macaroni trees, pipe cleaner candy canes, Santa faces with cotton-ball beards, handprint reindeer cut out of construction paper, etc. etc.

After that year I was never able to find a live tree that was small enough. And then, a couple years ago, I spotted a compact little fake tree at Ikea. I was surprised a fake tree could be as nice as this one. The price was right and it folded up in a tidy little bag. Sold.

And now, tradition has it that the girls decorate it with their old ornaments, and it serves as a night-light outside all of our bedrooms. It casts a pretty light over our family, in more ways than one.

Best nightlight ever! The girls have their own small tree upstairs, and it's decorated with many ornaments they made over the years. I just love it.

1 Response to "The little tree"

1 | Lisa from Iroquois

December 12th, 2013 at 11:22 am


For many years I’ve used a small, about 3 feet tall, artificial tree. First because in a bachelor apt it was the right size and then because in a much bigger house it saved rearranging furniture in a 2-3 person adult only household. One year my sister was taking her family to Florida for the holidays. The kids swore they’d be OK without a tree but at the last minute changed their minds. They swung by and borrowed my little tree, decorations and all on their way to the airport. Just shoved it into an empty suitcase and away it went. That’s one of my favorite Christmas stories.

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The Obligatory Blurb

My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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