The Transition From Fancy to Family Christmas Tree

I think back on the list of things I once said I “would never do” before I had kids and laugh at myself regularly. You know…the holiday inflatables in the front yard and light-up sneakers for the toddler. That kind of thing. Nowadays, if it brings entertainment, it’s not tacky. It’s necessary. 

After college, after my husband and I were first married and for our first couple Christmases as a family of 3, I was all about an elegant, trendy Christmas tree. Of course, when I say elegant, I mean coordinating ornaments from Michael’s. 

We had a fake (very) flocked pre-lit tree with white, pink, and gold ornaments. I just wanted to duplicate what all the bloggers were doing, but I wasn’t ever totally in love with the result. After all, we were pinching pennies. And…it was so…fake.

Still, I was obsessed with the “matchy-matchy” look and the white lights. It was hard for me to imagine how we would ever transition to a kid-friendly tree. We barely had any personal ornaments! 

Insert a second child, a pandemic, a messy political climate, and a generally awful year…and I needed big fat colored lights on a REAL tree!

It was time. We were going from fancy to family, and I wanted to have fun doing it.

To start, we got crafty. Because we didn’t have a big stock of family ornaments, I wanted to start making them. I found instructions for making fun cinnamon ornaments online. My house smelled heavenly. My 3-year-old and I had a genuinely fun time making the dough, cutting out shapes, and adding glitter (because life isn’t hard enough) and ribbon. They turned out cute! 

We painted puzzle pieces and arranged them to create a mini Christmas tree ornament. We put paint inside clear plastic ornaments, shook them like crazy, and ended up with low maintenance tie-dye creations.

Finally, we took a trip to Michael’s to pick out a couple of handfuls of ornaments that represented things we love, like pizza and Peppa Pig. We got big pom pom garland and wrapped it around our freshly cut 7-foot Fraser fir. 

When I look at our tree, I feel warm. It makes me happy. It represents the beginning of our little family, and I love thinking about all the ornaments we’ll add over the years. Transitioning from trendy was the best decision we’ve made so far this holiday season. I highly recommend it. 

Mary Grace Pinkard is a mom of two precious girls, Harvey (2.5) and Palmer (5 months) and wife to Chad, a physician currently in his pediatric residency at Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital. She’s originally from Laurel, Mississippi, and attended the University of Georgia. After college, Mary Grace worked in public relations and advertising. While she now stays at home with her girls, she’s a certified sleep consultant and the social media director for The Cradle Coach, a baby and toddler sleep consulting company serving families worldwide. She doesn’t know exactly what she enjoys doing in her spare time because "spare time currently doesn’t exist"…yet, she wouldn’t have it any other way. Mary Grace is all about sharing her motherhood moments with zero filter, embracing the messy and connecting with other moms through the raw and the real (sometimes hilarious) struggles motherhood brings. If you're looking for sleep tips, be sure to follow @thecradlecoach on Instagram!


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