This is a story about Christmas and the changes in life that can lead to changes in your Christmas celebration and hence your décor. I feel that outward things can signal changes that are already bubbling up inside you (or even raging!). What we perceive is inside of us, and then projected outside into the lives we live – or so some say. I tend to agree. It’s my experience that when I see something upsetting, blissful, or even funny, that I have been preparing for that experience already via my thoughts and choices. Especially, the thoughts and choices I’m not paying much attention to!

Over the last 10 years or so I’ve changed residences 3 times (that’s actually kind of slow for me) and Christmas trees at least that many times. There was a time before this when no matter how often I moved I re-created, as much as I could, the holiday before – a fresh tree we cut ourselves, decorations in the same color scheme (many handmade), and similar traditions – after all it was a traditional time of year and that thread of sameness was delicious and special to me. Then a few things happened…

The first was that my mom died. Who knew that she was (at least a large part of) the Spirit of Christmas to me? I can’t even recall that Christmas. Then several years later my husband of many years asked me for a divorce at Thanksgiving. At that point I had been with him more of my life than I had been with my mother, or family, or by myself. And the final change was that my son grew up. A wonderful event that I had been expecting but, oh, how that alters the holidays for you. And, you know, I’ve also recently remarried! Big changes are bound to have an impact on how you do things in your life – even how you decorate for Christmas!

Gradually, since these life transformations, I’ve been changing it up in the holiday decoration and celebration department. I’ve been finding a new me inside who wants what she wants, and that can change from year to year – even using the same cherished decorations! Below you’ll find 3 trees, 2 houses and the Christmas décor that went with them. My point here is that things change, you change, the world changes, and Christmas can stay the same – but it probably won’t, and that can be perfect! Below you’ll find my decorating story. I hope you’ll enjoy seeing my holiday decorating. I’d really love to see yours too – post it on Instagram and tag me @the_intrepid_goddess so I can take a look!! Or send me an email at Wishing you the most wonderful holiday season ever and sending lots of love your way! Many thanks, as always, for reading my posts!!

Love, Cheryl

The White Tree

The White Tree:

This tree was the choice of my son years ago. We had always gone to a tree farm and chosen a gorgeous tree and cut it down, dragged it home, let it sit outside on the porch for a week to get the bugs off, and then began the placing of the tree, lights, and ornaments inside our home. A fresh tree is so lovely! But one year we went to fabulous Frankenmuth, MI and visited the amazing Bronner’s CHRISTmas Wonderland store there. This is truly a place you need to go if you love Christmas, and it’s open almost ALL of the time. This is where Jon discovered white Christmas trees and the holiday was never the same! Mostly, I won’t lie, in a good way! The bliss of a pre-lit, bug-free tree can’t be exaggerated. You can also see here I switched over the years to mostly vintage ornaments. I still kept the ones Jon made and that we had made together, but many ornaments stayed in boxes and that was OK. Below are some more decorations from the White Tree years.

Moo Moo likes the White Tree


My Vintage Ornaments


The Green Tree: (Last Year ’17)

This was the first tree of my new marriage and a new house, and I really wanted a fresh tree. But I also wanted a new kitten. The two together didn’t seem like a good idea until I knew more about this new family member (and those of you who have had kittens will know what I mean!). The White Tree had been given away by now, so we got a nice, smaller fake tree to use – and I really liked it. I also didn’t want to take the chance of losing my vintage ornaments in a tree fall (due to aforementioned kitten…) as I’m still collecting to make up for a previous tree fall and massive breakage. So, I dug out the old ornaments I had saved from before the White Tree. What a beautiful trip down memory lane that was, really special, and both sad and delightful. I loved how the tree and décor turned out – much more in my old gold and burgundy theme, and I thought it was pretty and traditional. We loved it and it felt very much like old times! Photos of the tree and some of it’s accompanying decorations are below, and our new home – Maple Tree Cottage.

The Green Tree

Handmade Ornament (by Jon and me years ago)

In the Kitchen



The Silver Tree (This Year ‘18):

This tree actually debuted a couple of years before at our old house when the White Tree was gone. That year I got a real tree, but we left it on the screened-in porch where we could see it and enjoy it. Still I wanted something to put my lovely old glass ornaments on so I got this little Silver Tree for inside. This year the Green Tree from last year was gone, sold in the frenzy of my summer Yard Sale, so I got out the Silver Tree and the vintage ornaments came out again too! As much as I loved the look last year, and enjoyed the memories, this is more “me” now. I think the traditional décor was better with the house and fireplace but – I don’t really care – I love the brighter, whimsical, and even silly vintage items I have! This year is all about lots of little trees all over the place. I miss having a bigger tree – it feels like Christmas-lite without one – but I’m enjoying the colors and sparkle! Who knows what the tree next year will be? I certainly don’t! And that is fine with me.

The Silver Tree

Mom’s China

A Christmas Vignette