We're going out of town this year for Christmas and I did all my shopping online and had all the gifts sent directly to my parents' house. So we didn't bother putting up the enormous tree that I have, since it would look kind of sad with no gifts under it. However, my daughter wanted to put up her pink Barbie tree, and I could hardly say no. The pink lights that came with it died last year so I gave her a string of the lights from the big tree. Clash city. But she loves it, as is evident from the picture. The tree was not yet fully decorated when I took this; those ornaments that she already has on it are from a Little Women ornament set from Hallmark. My mom gives her a new one every year.
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A Shimenawa or shimekazari is a sacred rope made of straw with Shinto (Japanese animist folkways/tradition/religion) zig-zag strips of paper. This is placed above the front entrance at New year's to prevent "evil spirits" from entering the house. ≡ Click to see image ≡
On New Year's Eve, a pine decoration known as Kadomatsu is set up on both sides of the front entrance. Some homes have elaborate Kadomatsu with bamboo added to the pine, as well as plum branches. The Kadomatsu is thought to welcome good luck into the house.
I'll have to get pics of my tree up here. It's been a bit hard for us since this is the kitten's first Christmas, and she's been climbing the tree, selecting ornaments, and knocking them off. So there's a bit of a gap around the bottom of my tree.
BP, mgl, and misteraitch, I'm melting into a gooey pool of ooze looking at the charming lights. That pink tinsel tree, and those fat colored lights, and the white lights strung from house to house....*melt*...
Thanks, bunnies! What you can't see is that the bottom foot or two is empty of ornaments thanks to a certain puppy. Oddly enough, the cats haven't been that interested except when it was first put up Oliver took a nap or two on the tree skirt.
It is a bunch of great photos. I vote for misteraitch's for best greeting card photo.
Not mine- a friend's. I helped decorate it. It's alarmingly tasteful due to the loss of most of our ornaments. It is full of small ruminants though- you just can't see them in this picture. Mostly sheep.