I clearly remember one of the first Christmas celebrations I spent with my husband's family when we all gathered at my sister-in-law's house. I'd already been to her house for summer picnics but her interior decor looked like it came straight out of a holiday magazine: It was picture-perfect.
I was particularly smitten with the tiny trees she had in every room; all of them decorated in different themes that reflected her interests and those of her husband. I loved the idea but it was just too-labor intensive a concept for me: decorating all those little trees each year.
But this is a woman who has a white couch so I figured she was up to the task. We, on the other hand, walk directly from working in our garden into the living room where you will often find work boots and tools under the furniture.
So I gave up on my fantasy of tiny trees at my house — until I discovered she stored them completely decorated and just pulled them out of the basement and popped them into place in December. And thus were born my own little trees, including the one below. This is my paean to the garden: it's covered with tiny garden tools, baskets, traditional clay pots, garden hats, and miniature watering cans. It's finished off with straw ornaments — the requisite Scandinavian touch for anyone living in Wisconsin.