“So, how many is it this year, Jules?” I get that question a lot in December. Anyone who has ever visited my home this time of year knows that the number of Christmas trees spread throughout fluctuates—in 2017, it’s nine. I developed this passion for ornamented evergreens about 10 years ago. Growing up in Buffalo, I lived on a block where my family’s home (we were the lone Jews) was the only one without a tree, without sparkling lights and decorations brightening our house front. But Christmas songs—those we indulged in. My mother played tunes like “Silver Bells” and “Silent Night” while we made latkes for Hanukkah. I’m listening to the soundtrack from “A Charlie Brown Christmas” right now—“Sleigh bells in the air, beauty everywhere…” I can’t get enough, and my brother loves them, too. Sometimes my husband catches me listening in July. Greg grew up in a Protestant family, and he wanted a Christmas tree, but I resisted. As time went on, and our daughters, Olivia and Vanessa, entered their teen years, I realized I wanted my own Jewish daughters to have the full Christmas-tree-and-lights experience.
After that first gorgeous tree graced our living room, there was no going back. Over time, I decided that flocked pink trees were the best, and more is better, so we have Christmas trees in every room in our house, ranging in size from tabletop size to seven feet tall. This year, the star-topped tree in our living room is a very modern cone-shaped metal structure covered in large, multi-colored lights. Like every year, Greg and I spent a whole weekend putting up trees and decorations. I love this tradition we have created, and I love how happy and safe this season makes me feel. As a designer and painter, I embrace the vivid beauty and the sensory overload of the Christmas season: the decorations, lights, smells, songs, and even the eggnog, get me every year.
As you celebrate this time of year, happy holidays and a safe New Year from CMg Design, my sweet husband, my two beautiful daughters, my old poodle, and me.
Julie Markfield, CEO & Creative Director