Traditions are one of the things that make Christmas my favorite holiday.
The weekend after Thanksgiving, we make a family trip to Lowes and buy a Frasier fir. Once it’s been put in the tree stand and correctly positioned in front of the living room window, I wrap the strands of clear lights around it.
While I’m taking a very long time to arrange the lights just so (yes, I have perfectionistic tendencies), I give our daughters the boxes of Christmas ornaments, which they carefully unwrap and spread around the room. It’s almost like they’re seeing old friends again, recalling when the handmade ornaments were crafted, asking where some of my old ornaments came from – and, to keep it realistic, spending a few minutes arguing about who will hang which ornaments on the tree!
Nearly all of our ornaments have a particular memory of an event or a person attached to them. There are some from students I taught when I was an elementary school teacher; some that were gifts from coworkers in my days as an administrative assistant; baby-themed ornaments, since all of our daughters were born in December; and the ever-increasing number of ornaments that our girls have made in art class or at Sunday School in years past.
So far this year we’ve added two new ornaments; I had each of the girls choose an ornament to purchase during our Thanksgiving trip to Walt Disney World. For a number of years, these will hang on our tree, but I assured our children that these will be given to them to be placed on their own Christmas tree in their own home some day.
I don’t know if it’s because I’m getting older or that I’m giving in more to my sentimental side, but the grand Christmas trees I’m looking at in my home decor magazines, with their color-coordinated, perfectly-spaced ornaments and matching ribbon, aren’t nearly as beautiful to me as our family tree with its ever growing assortment of memory-making ornaments.
What ornaments make your Christmas tree special?
I would say 95% of the ornaments on our tree are handmade, colored, painted or sewn by my children. To me, that is what our tree is all about. My children. That is why we go and choose a tree from a tree farm. It is because of my children. God has truly blessed me with awesome children. 🙂
There are so many memories attached to ornaments that we have made and those that have been given to us or those that we bought during a certain year, like the kiddos first Christmas, etc. We even have a 1997 ornament that says "Our First Christmas" when my husband and I just began dating! We, of course, were not married yet and we were maintaining a long distance relationship, but it still was our first Christmas! 🙂
YES! We have the exact same "tree philosophy" 🙂 All of our ornaments have meaning; our tree is like a scrapbook of our family! My BFF does a "designer tree" every year…and it's stunning…but it doesn't have the same symbolism.
Sherry @ Lamp Unto My Feet says
We have homemade ornaments and ones specially picked out. This year I ordered some ornaments that were centered around our interests – photography for my daughter, legos for my son, fishing for dh, and I Love Lucy for me. My mom gave me a lot of ornaments when I got married that were handmade by her as well as ones that I treasured. 🙂
I used to have the "perfectly decorated" tree, but now I love our family tree so much more! Sophie had a blast helping to decorate it, and since we used ornaments that can fairly unbreakable she has been "re-decorating" the tree each day since. It's adorable to watch 🙂
We also collect an ornament when we travel, this year we added the Hoover Dam, Williamsburg, and Fenwick Island, DE. We also plan to start an ornament collection for the girls 🙂