Thursday, December 03, 2015

Great Christmas Tree Tour 2015: Renee Ryan's Book Tree!

The Christmas Season is here! As I come up for air from my latest deadline I realize how much I haven’t done. I have my tree up, at least, but nothing else is done. That’s okay, I love my tree. Because it’s made from the one thing I love most. Books, books and more books. BOOKS! This is my first attempt at a book tree. For the record, it was much harder to build than you would think. Putting up a more traditional tree would have taken far less time. However, I’m officially hooked. Because, well…BOOKS! Next year, I plan to build my tree from the floor and go all the way to the ceiling. I’m not sure I have enough books. I’ll have to start collecting them in anticipation. What a wonderful problem to have. ;-)

When I think about my favorite Christmas traditions, I remember my very most favorite adult, Aunt Kay. Growing up, she was my idol. She was the quintessential mom, a leading volunteer at her church, a member of the junior league, president of the local garden club and the list goes on and on. Something was always cooking in her kitchen. She made everything from scratch. She carted us kids everywhere, knew all the neighbors by name. In short, Aunt Kay was a soccer mom before kids played soccer in this country.

Don’t get me wrong. She wasn’t perfect, which I liked most about her. She was perpetually late. Christmas was no exception. She never (and I mean NEVER) organized herself prior to a few days before the main event. Every year she was still decorating the tree until the very last minute. Most notably, no presents were purchased until Christmas Eve. I know because I remember getting banished from the room where she was still wrapping those last-minute purchases late into Christmas Eve night.

Despite the lack of planning and organization, Aunt Kay always pulled Christmas off. And she did it with elegance, style and southern panache. The decorations were beautiful, the presents made it under the tree, while breakfast (Eggs Benedict) and Christmas dinner were always served on time.

So, as I write this blog I remember Aunt Kay. I remember that in my family we may start late but we always get everything done. I will not to stress over the fact that I have yet to scale Mt. Laundry and clean my house. I will not beat myself up over the fact that I haven’t bought a single present. I will not worry that I haven’t grocery shopped or even made the Christmas menu yet. All I have to do is set my watch to Aunt-Kay-time and breathe.

What about you? Are you on Aunt-Kay-time like me? Any stories you want to share? I’ll check in periodically today, because well…I still have plenty of time before Christmas. Plenty of time. J  


  1. Replies
    1. Liz, it was such fun to make. Not easy, but fun! ;-)

  2. I've been enjoying all the book trees showing up this year. Someday I'd like to do one, but I'm afraid the cat would find it much too interesting. Although if I made it, maybe not. He barely tolerates me.:)

    So, I'm already looking forward to your next year's floor to ceiling!

    1. *lizzie, oddly enough my cats aren't interested in the tree at all, not even a little. And they usually attempt to climb the Christmas tree from the inside out. A win-win as far as I'm concerned. ;-)

  3. Hope your eye is all better, Renee! Prayers! Thanks for joining me with your darling tree. xoxo

  4. I've been given the green light to get back on the computer in intervals! YAY!!! Thanks for having me Cheryl! Such fun!!!!

  5. That is so cute! Perfect for a tabletop.