Do you put up a Christmas tree? I love how everyone goes about decorating a Christmas tree differently. First of all, there’s the tree itself. Real or permanent. I don’t like referring to my tree as artificial, sounds too, well, artificial, right? I’ve bounced back and forth over the years. These days I have one of each.
Next, there are the lights. Some of us prefer white lights. Some of us prefer the colored-lights look. Some people use LED lights, some hold out and keep using the old-fashioned ones. Some don their tree with gigantic glass balls. Others prefer a more petite, delicate look. Still others deck their trees out all in silver, blue, gold or whatever color strikes their fancy. Some actually have trees with themes. And some of us decorate in a hodge podge, more unorganized sort of fashion.
As you might have guessed, I do the latter. This fits with my rather unorganized personality I guess. Never really thought about that connection until this moment…
I still cling to the colored-lights look for no other reason than it reminds me of my childhood. When I was growing up, we always had a real tree decorated with the old-fashioned big colored bulbs that got very hot. Rather dangerous when you think about it. And then there was tinsel. And more tinsel. I think you have to be of a certain age to remember tinsel.
And then there are the ornaments.
I love how decorating my Christmas tree each year is more or less a trip down memory lane. Opening that box full of ornaments is like becoming reacquainted with myself. I find bits of pieces of my life I had forgotten about or tucked away.
I love how each ornament tells a story, don’t you?
I won’t bore you with too many ornaments and too many stories, but I thought it might be fun to share a few.
There’s my oldest ornament I made when I was eight or nine when my grandparents were visiting. I still remember sitting around the kitchen table working on our kits of ornaments. I sat there struggling to sew on those darn sequins. A sewer I was not. Ever. But I was determined. I still can be.
Still hanging together after all these years!
There’s the box of glass balls I picked out at Shopko that first Christmas after Dear Hubby and I were married. (Yeah, I know I skipped a lot of years, but remember, I don’t want to bore you to death). Only one of those magical little glass balls has been broken in all these years. And they are still the very first ornaments that go on the tree every single year.
From my Shopko, newlywed collection
Then, there are the various ornaments I received from my students through the years, like the one from that kid who caused me so much angst, but nonetheless – maybe even because he did, was just so darn lovable. And the hand-made ornament from the sweetest little girl who was that angelic student teachers mostly dream about having in their classrooms, but sometimes actually do.
From one of my sweetest students ever. Her name was Gail. Wonder what she’s up to these days…
And, of course, there are the ornaments representing the years when my kids were little, the hand-painted, glued together, special little trinkets and treasures that are still somehow managing to hold together.
Hand painted by dear daughter & not broken yet!
There are the one or two ornaments that came from my grandmother’s collection. I wonder what happened to all the others…
From my grandmother’s ornament collection
There are the ornaments my mother gave me. I got one every single year, in fact, some years I got more than one. So there’s a lot of those.
One of many I received from my mother
And there are the ones I bought as souvenirs on various family vacations we have taken over the years.
Guess you can tell where we went on two of those family vacations
And now, there are the ornaments I’ve started to retrieve from my mother’s collection. My sisters, brother and I have begun sorting through boxes and boxes of Christmas decor she had accumulated. Some of the ornaments were given to her by me. They were lovingly chosen, picked out just for her. And now they’re back in my hands again. Or rather, on my tree.
It’s like the decorating has come full circle or something.
It’s all about nostalgia.
It’s all about remembering.
It’s all about the story each ornament tells.
It’s all about family.
It’s all about love.
One I gave to my mother & now it’s on my tree.
Do you put up a tree?
Are you a white lights or colored lights sort of person?
Do you have a special ornament (or other holiday decoration) you feel nostalgic about?
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