Christmas trees to remember -2015

Our Christmas trees for the past two years have been so much fun for us and we were excited to come up with another great theme. When our daughter decided to serve a mission, we knew that would probably be a great resource for our brainstorming. We had no idea where she would be serving until she got her actual call in June. She was called to serve in the Iowa Des Moines mission and the boundaries for that mission also include parts of Illinois and Missouri. She told us the other day in a letter that there is even a little section of Wisconsin in her mission as well, although we don't know any more details than that.

Since we didn't know where she would end up in the mission until she arrived and was assigned to an area by her mission president, we didn't dare plan on the exact tree details before she got there. She arrived in Iowa around the first of November and has been living and serving in the state of Iowa since then. Iowa was definitely going to be the inspiration for our tree and I decided to put a farm theme with it since Iowa is known for farmland and Riley also spent the summer working at a local farm here before she left.

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This was an easy tree to decorate because I used many farm animals from Riley's stuffed animal collection. Alex also offered up a few from his own stash. We bought a dozen little Iowa state flags (which I know we will use again) and a few farm related toys. Those toys will be great for my own photography projects and hopefully they will be enjoyed by grandchildren someday. 

I added a few state fair ribbons and some dried corn cobs that I bought at the farm where Riley worked this summer. I wish I had thought to add a garland because as I look at the trees from our past few years, they each had garlands and those go a long way in filling up all that space on a great big 12 foot tree. Oh well, I'm too lazy to stress about it now. Note to self for future trees - plan on a garland!

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I love the details and I enjoyed putting everything together. I especially enjoy the tree at night when it's all lit up. When I wake up each morning, I turn on the lights and I leave them on all day. They are LED lights so they don't burn a lot of energy or get hot so I don't worry about that. For me, trees are meant to be lit!

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It will be interesting to see what the coming year brings. Right now I have absolutely no idea what our tree will look like next December and that's kind of awesome!