Little dolls that were originally package decorations, a ceramic dog from a trip to Mexico, a spray of flowers from my wedding veil, a trolley car ornament from our honeymoon in San Francisco…every item on our tree has some special meaning.
When I was born, my mother started collecting an ornament a year for myself and my brothers. She did this with the idea that when we moved out on our own, we could take our ornaments with us. That way, our own Christmas trees would have familiar items and we wouldn’t have to start from scratch with all generic ornaments.
Once Dave and I got married, I continued the tradition. Each year, we’d find an ornament while on a trip, or while we were doing something with the kids. Sometimes, it would be something silly, like a key chain, or a seashell. There have been years when we’d find more than one ornament, or I’d make ornaments. When Isabel and Ben move out on their own, their first trees will have a very good start.
When my grandmother died, the family each got something from her tree. My mother also made ornaments from some costume jewelry that my grandmother used to wear.
Any more, we don’t have room for the generic stuff. Sure, there are some really beautiful decorations out there, but I love our mismatched, hodge-podge tree.
Everything on our tree has meaning. Sitting in the dark, with only the lights from the tree burning, I can reminisce about trips that we have taken, concerts that we’ve seen, friends and family, and all of the ways that I am lucky.
I wouldn’t trade our tree for all of the glitziest ornaments in the world.
This post is part of the #adventcalendar project. Just like the advent calendars of our youth, for each day until Christmas, I will post random images as a countdown of sorts. This was inspired by my friend D at www.emmatree.com. Won’t you join us?