This tree is deliciously symbolic. It represents an analogy for life, for how to seize it with both hands and manifest your biggest dreams. It twinkles with all that is possible when we plug into our authentic selves, instinctively follow our hearts and tap into a universal flow that feels higher purpose aligned and, well, flowy…
Here are my Six Steps to Creating the Tree (& Life) of Your Dreams:-
1. Follow your joy
2. Think big
4. Create. Do. Produce.
5. Enjoy the process
1. Follow your joy and do what you love
This was total frippery. Non-essential indulgence just for me. 2020 has been a whopper year not just with the pandemic and it’s abrupt losses – closeness to family and friends, work devoid of the joyful aspects which energise me so – people, events, travel, variety, etc, but also the divorce and the end of 26 years of partnership – singledom, single parenting, single-handedly running a home, who am I without him, etc? I decided to do something utterly frivolous and whole heartedly just to make me tingle with bliss and excitement (don’t judge me, things like this actually do make me glisten with joy!!). My thinking was a total sense of if not now when? When in life am I going to have a roof high enough to have a 9ft tree again? When in life am I going to have the time and space to create like this? When in life am I going to be alone in ability to choose what goes where and how in my home? When else can I totally indulge feminine, pink flamboyance? If not now, then when god damn? And so I decided the time was NOW!
2. Think big and be epically visionary
In the year of no hosting, thus no keeping up with The Jones’, splurging on interior pizzazz is somewhat ironic but evidence this sincerely was a private indulgence. I oscillated between the safe option of sticking with the usual tree, usual place, usual gold and red scheme, same, same, no new expense, familiarity, all perfectly adequate, and the bolder, fresher, braver option of foraying into something totally different and unknown. I wanted something in stark contrast to yesteryear. Something to push me out of my comfort zone. Something to remind me that a new chapter is afoot and it is mine to own and direct as I choose. That now marks a moment not for other’s entertainment, judgement, nor necessarily pleasure, but for me and me alone. So I stepped into a new realm of visioning. I browsed Pinterest for glossy inspiration, interior blogs, magazines and so on. Mostly though I reconnected with little girl me with big dreams, hopes and wishes and decided now would be a good moment to fulfil a perhaps silly Christmas tree fantasy.
3. Strategise how to realise the dream
I originally ordered a smaller, more sensible tree which was ludicrously expensive and I did lose sleep over my initial extravagance I must admit. The universe played a kind hand however and the tree was lost in shipping so I had a full refund. Despondent yet grateful, just before I resigned myself to the old red and gold madame, I found my tree on sale at half the price of the original one I’d ordered but 2 feet taller, snow tipped, pre-lit and with next day delivery (as opposed to 3 week lead time then non-delivery). Too tempting to resist I invested again, now twitchy with glee and anticipation at the majesty of this new order and then spent the saving I’d made on ridiculously opulent decorations. My vision necessitated an abundance of pinks and whites, feathers and pearls, birds and butterflies, femininity and fantasy, glitter and glam, ostentation all the way. I shopped for 6 of everything that tickled my fancy from baubles to flowers to fairies and cherubs galore. Boxes and boxes and boxes arrived and within days my kitchen was awash with tissue wrapped goodies and a giant tree box. My emotional state was giddy excitement and nervous trepidation daunted at the magnitude of the task ahead.
4. Create. Do. Produce.
I had 200 rose gold baubles to thread. A tree so tall my 5ft 2 self needed a step ladder to reach the entire top section. Meanwhile I had work work to fulfil, children to feed, a home to run and a mountain of boxes, no guidebook to follow, simply a hodge podge of pretty things and a fierce ambition. What to do when you’re overwhelmed but committed to manifesting a vision you believe deep in your heart will be worth it? Start at the very beginning with the smallest task and inch forwards gently, tentatively, bit by bit, trusting in the flow and see where it takes you… Commit to the graft, put the work in, and start creating. As Lao Tzu famously taught “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.”
5. Enjoy the process
And so I began. Before work I erected and bouffed the artificial frosted tree fronds, children stabilising me atop my ladder. On work video calls I threaded whilst speaking. Once the working day was done, the children fed, domestic chores completed and the weekend initiated with the clink of an iced Baileys, I surrendered to the task at hand in earnest. With Bing Crosby soothing me onwards, fairy lights a’ twinkling and lots of excited participatory children (the joy of 5 small people in our locked-down home), the magic started to unfurl. We unwrapped delicate parcels of glass butterflies, crystal emblazoned candy pink feathers, pearl encrusted ivory baubles, glittery icicle cascades, exquisite pink metallic dangly pinecone pairs, colossal rose gold baubles and a flock of dainty doves. And oh the flowers. The flowers! Dazzling giant iridescent dahlias, rusty-pink envelopping amaryllis, plush purple petals with sparkling silver stamen, white glitter embellished hydrangea blooms, an abundance of roses in pink, white and lilac rich with obligatory sprinkles of fairy-dust, oh this was botanical heaven! Amidst the floral flamboyance there was so much joy in our home that evening as we co-created together, united towards a shared purpose, excited and anticipatory, present and truly enjoying the journey en route to Destination Christmas Tree 2020.
6. Receive – The yield
9 hours later with squeals of delight and evident joy from all, our tree was finished, finessed and flourished to perfection. None of us could (nor still can) supress our smiles. This was and is a most magnificent manifestation of a dream realised and the power of positive intention. This tree evokes everything life can deliver when we embrace it the right way. With Michael Bubble crooning away and recognition that it was indeed beginning to look like Christmas, the teens got busy Snapping their tribes with selfies afront the tree. The twins clambered all over the adjacent furniture making Tik Toks from different angles. Rex, the dalmatian, sniffed disappointingly uninteresting boughs wagging his tail enthusiastically regardless. I popped champagne and glowed with a glimmer of glee, pride and awe. This tree symbolised something momentous for me. That with focus, attention, big dreams, effort and devotion, the rewards do indeed come, and that those rewards need only be emotional for true fulfilment. This tree represented yes a new pink and twinkly corner in the orangery, but more meaningfully a new way of doing things, a new breath, a new dawn, not just Christmas anew in The Best Household, but life anew. Life yielding a bounty of emotional connection, collective accomplishment, shared happiness with love and fun found in a simple, homely kitchen in a covid-19 locked-down winter. This tree shimmered with the big magic life holds.
PS 30th December 2020 – I won a Christmas Tree competition! So big thanks to the Universe for expanding those rewards beyond the emotional to the material :-). Thank you for the unintended bounty! This is what flow is all about…!