Dec 1, 2013

Our Little Tree

Traditionally, like many families, we put up our Christmas tree and other holiday decorations the weekend following Thanksgiving.  There is always tradition involved and memories are always created.  Something really just dawned on me this year as I was trying to hand ornaments out for the kids to place on the tree.  It occurred to me what an interesting story our tree tells.  Some people (and it is fine if you are one of these people) have this uniform theme to their tree.  Our theme is friends and family.

As I was handing out ornaments, for most of them I could pinpoint exactly who gave us the ornament or the story behind it.  Some of these people are old friends, some new, and some have passed on.  A little memory of them hangs on our tree and I find that so cool.

Here are some of the highlights...

I made this ornament in preschool in 1983.  Yes, it is missing an eye.  But a cyclops Rudolph adds that extra little bit of character, right?  Homemade ornaments are essential.  I hope to add many many of these to my tree in the coming years as Darcy and Aidan make their way through school.

Our giant M&M Ornament --  Tim and I bought this ornament during our honeymoon in Las Vegas.  We did not make a ton of souvenir purchases, but this ornament from the M&M store on the Vegas strip was one of them!  

Our second Christmas as a married couple, Tim and I decided that it was absolutely necessary that we go out and buy the DVD version of Christmas Vacation.  Best. Christmas. Movie. EVER.  But I digress... As part of the DVD package, we got this extra gift ornament.  It is tacky.  It is made of thick cardboard.  It is just plain silly, but it has become an absolute necessary part of our Christmas tree.  The tree is not finished, until the Griswold house graces the branches.

When our kitty cats were our only babies, we found it necessary for them to have their own little stockings. We had no fireplace to hang them on, so we decided to hang them on the Christmas tree instead.  I wrote their names playfully (with backwards letters and everything...) with a Sharpie.  We now have a mantle for stockings, but we have human children now.  Therefore, the stockings still have a place on the tree.  We have also purchased one for our dog, Josie.

My family never had the tradition of placing a robin in the branches of the tree, but Tim's family did.  This tree brings all our traditions together, so now this little robin gets a prime spot every year.

This ornament is one of my favorites.  It is one of the last ornaments that my late grandmother purchased for me.  This picture does not do it much justice, but it is a dainty set of sparkly, silver bells.  I always put this one at the top of the tree.  I think of her every time I look at it.

Every year, Tim and I purchase a special ornament for each of the kids.  It usually focuses on their interests during that time.  When the kids are grown and have trees of their own, I plan to give them their ornaments so that they never have an empty Christmas tree.  Last year, Darcy's obsession was Rapunzel.  

Here is one of Aidan's special ones.  It was a gift to him last year.  Very appropriate for my little karate master. 

Here is Tim and the kids decoration our little tree.  Some day we will hopefully have a living room big enough for a larger tree.  This one will do for now though.  The top side of the tree looks flattened, and I discovered that it was because there were too many ornaments there holding the branches down.  Fixed now!

I love the holidays and this type of thing is exactly the reason why.  I hope that you and yours had a blessed Thanksgiving and continue to have a beautiful holiday season -- filled with memories just like these.

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