I come from a family of Do-It-Yourself women.  No project is too Herculean for us Mirandas to take on.  And even though a friend comically described New York City to me as a “big assisted living complex” (i.e. for a fee you can have just about anything delivered to your door), when it came to fetching our Christmas tree this year I decided that task fell into the do-it-yourself category.

Usually, my husband and I make the “arduous” trek 2 blocks to Whole Foods to pick out our tree. And then we each take an end and carry it back to our apartment.  The experience is always cheerful, loving and full of laughter…

Love and light card mockup

Ok, not exactly.  Since we like big trees, lugging it back is a chore and usually includes at least one cranky moment or two when one of us (me) has dropped their end and needs a rest.

But, with my husband still in Australia, the task to choose a tree fell to me this year.  I didn’t have a problem picking out the perfect one, but when I learned that delivery was going to be an extra $25, I went back to the apartment to borrow the building’s rolling cart.

I fit right in with the nannies and their strollers…

Tree in a rolling cart

And even took a moment to pose for a selfie.

Joana with the Christmas tree

And just like that, the tree was up.

Our 2015 Christmas tree

(Actually, I first had to laboriously shave down the sides of the bottom of the trunk to make it possible to fit the trunk into our tree stand’s collar.  Working with a dull saw blade isn’t much fun, but I persevered.  Then I had to clean off all of the sap that got onto the window from the tree leaning against it.  And of course, broom, dust pan and vacuum were next…)

But how worth it in the end!

magical tree at night

Although it didn’t feel right to be decorating the tree without my husband, I took my time and savored unwrapping each ornament and finding just the right spot for it.

And here are a few of my favorites:

One of the first ornaments my husband ever gave me.

Park Bench ornament

Looks like a guitar but I KNOW it’s really a viola!

blue guitar

A Nutcracker, for obvious reasons.

Little Nutcracker ornament

The red Volkswagen (no problem with the emissions on this one!)

Red Volkswagen Beetle Christmas ornament

And, last but not least, perhaps the world’s tiniest manger scene (yes, that’s one half of a walnut!)

Christmas ornament manger scene in a walnut





    • Joana says:

      And you get to see if FOR REAL this year!

      I can’t wait and I lurve you! J

      On Fri, Dec 11, 2015 at 3:12 PM, JOANA MIRANDA STUDIO wrote:


  1. Marta says:

    haha! I should have taken photos of my lye-burnt arm after cleaning the oven with toxic cleaner and no protective gloves. or maybe of the very clean oven…. 🙂 –another Miranda woman

    • Joana says:

      Hi Marta,

      Your do-it-yourself project sounded more dangerous. Lye burns…yikes!!! Do you have some aloe on hand? I also moonlight as an aloe farmer (actually gave away 6 aloe plants this year to neighbors in the building because my plants are prolific.) I’d send you one, but it wouldn’t fit in an envelope. 😁 Aloe is really good for you. Go get some (or at least a tube of the gel!)

      Love you! Your Sister

      On Fri, Dec 11, 2015 at 3:21 PM, JOANA MIRANDA STUDIO wrote:


    • Joana says:

      Thanks, Helen! And the plus of doing it myself this year is that my arms aren’t sore since I didn’t have to carry the tree. Gotta remember that cart for next year (although Andy probably won’t want to be seen with me if I push it around…hee, hee.)

      XOX – Joana

      On Fri, Dec 11, 2015 at 4:44 PM, JOANA MIRANDA STUDIO wrote:


Leave a Reply