Tagged Christmas manger scene in a walnut

My Favorite Things – Harnessing the Power of Do-It-Your-Self Energy

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