O’ Tannenbaum

Eleven months of the year I’m embarrassed by our family room’s vaulted ceiling. It’s tall, really tall. The kind of room where people gasp upon entering and ask, “How do you change your lightbulbs?” The room is so pretentious and I am anything but.

But in December, I embrace my cathedral-like ceiling because it can house the most glorious Christmas tree. Any normal tree would be dwarfed by the cavern so we get a tree permit and head up to the great Wasatch range to cut our own.

Tree cutting this year also coincided with snow suit upgrade. This is one of the great benefits of five boys. I buy really nice ski suits and they are always thrilled when they move up to the next one. Gabe just outgrew Ben’s first little Obermeyer after 13 years of constant use.

I could pass it down to Mary, you say?

C’mon , I’m not that practical. 😉 Besdies my nephew has dibs on it now.

The boots haven’t fared so well and are now dependent on duct tape for survival.

The saw represents power. Everyone wants to carry it.

It’s a long tromp through the woods.

Unless your name is Mary.

Look! I was there too. I made the hat for Erik back when I was that sort of wife. “Oh, you need a hat? Let me whip that up for you and line it with fleece.” Who was that girl? I miss her.

Getting tired.

And cold.

Is there anything better than a stick?

Finally, after 90 minutes of tromping through the woods we became discouraged. Choosing a tree isn’t as easy as you’d think. So many of them have double trunks or are missing a back side. It’s the woods, not a tree farm.

I was so tired of the cold that when Mary pointed to one on the side of the road and cried, “That one!” I readily agreed.

“Are you sure?” Erik asked. “It’s kind of small and uneven.”

But they only look small and uneven in the woods. I know from experience that they transform themselves in our house.

Xander made the final cut.

And it really didn’t look that big on top of the car
(I’m including this photo because EVERYONE asks how we got the tree home).

The star goes on before we even out it upright, then the lights and the old glass ornaments. My tree is just like my mother’s and my sisters– mismatched, glassy, sparkly, a new ornament every year for each child…

Do I really want to show you the next photo? It’s so ostentatious, Really.

And I love it.
December 21, 2009
December 24, 2009



  1. Kim

    December 22, 2009

    Oh how gorgeous! I LOVE it!

  2. Coach A.

    December 22, 2009

    Now, it’s officially Christmas Time 🙂 We love seeing your Christmas tree adventures!! Love ya.

  3. Annie

    December 22, 2009

    Breathtaking! Have a wonderful Christmas, friend.

  4. emilee

    December 22, 2009

    Wow! Amazing!

  5. La Yen

    December 22, 2009

    How do you stop yourself from camping underneath it every night? I want to live at your Christmas Tree.

  6. Azúcar

    December 22, 2009

    I LOOOVE it!!

  7. Jeanelle

    December 22, 2009

    It’s official – I want to move in.

  8. J.J.

    December 22, 2009

    Absolutely incredible. Merry Christmas!

  9. Tracy

    December 22, 2009

    ACK!!!!!!!!! I love it! Look at the twinkle. My word.

  10. seven smiles

    December 22, 2009

    Holy cow!
    It’s gorgeous!

  11. Selwyn

    December 22, 2009

    Now I’m thinking of snow when I’m sweating in the tropics!

    Stunning, as always (and I was thrilled to see a shot of you – and E!)

  12. martha corinna

    December 22, 2009

    Fantastic! I’m going to send my husband that last photo. We have a “tall” room that I hate most of the year-so not cozy and people think it’s “grand”. But that tree could make it all worth while. Oh yes.

  13. ashli

    December 22, 2009

    i love bin able to see the beauty out the back window!

    what a grand adventure!

  14. ashli

    December 22, 2009


  15. Alisa

    December 22, 2009

    OH MY! so so so CHRISTMAS! The light is SHINING!

  16. Sue

    December 23, 2009



  17. duchess

    December 23, 2009


  18. The Planet Pink

    December 23, 2009

    Oh my Michelle. Simply breathtaking.

  19. Kerri

    December 23, 2009

    Holy Hannah, that is one GORGEOUS TREE (and the room’s not so shabby, either!!!)


    And the pictures are wonderful, too.

  20. Blue

    December 23, 2009

    your tree is awesome, no doubt. but what i wanted to say is that every time i see pix of your sons hauling Mary around, i am reminded of Joseph and how tender he was with his young siblings and other children. they are great boys indeed, to remind me of that man among men! <3

  21. Kristi Pohl

    December 23, 2009

    Your tree is incredible, but I love the feelings you captured in the photos best of all.

  22. Linn

    December 23, 2009

    Oh my word, how incredible is that last picture? INCREDIBLE!

  23. Bonnie

    December 23, 2009

    Awesome lighting! I love the golden glow of the lights. Great choice, Mary!

  24. Jess

    December 23, 2009

    amazing! I remember your Christmas tree picture from last year. It’s always so beautiful and makes me gasp. Love it!

  25. Adri

    December 23, 2009

    Love, love, love it, Michelle! That last photo is a Christmas card!

  26. Melissa

    December 24, 2009

    Michelle, did you KNIT that hat for Eric?! Holy toledo!

    So fun to see the pictures of your adventure.

  27. Travelin'Oma

    December 24, 2009

    I love your scenes from the wild woods. The last picture is awesome. Merry Christmas.

  28. Mathmom and family

    December 25, 2009

    I had to look at that tree several times just to make sure I was seeing it correctly. A masterpiece.

  29. House of Estrogen

    December 26, 2009

    Beautiful family and beautiful photographs! Do you mind if I ask how you did the twinkles on the lights? I’m a still-learning photographer-wannabe and would love to know how to do that!

  30. Jennk

    December 26, 2009

    The tree is just beautiful. Can’t get over the window as well!

  31. Melissa

    December 27, 2009


    Wow. That’s a thing of beauty.

  32. jendoop

    December 29, 2009

    Gorgeous tree, gorgeous family. I’m glad you have so much to comfort you. This time of year can be hard when you’re missing someone special.

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