Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The "Family" Christmas Tree

As I hung the last bow on the tree, I stepped back to take a look and realized something was missing.  But what?  It has lights, ornaments, bows and a star - what is it?  Then it hit me...the tree has no personality, no family memories displayed amongst the branches.  It is lifeless.

When my husband and I celebrated our first Christmas as a married couple 25 years ago, my Mom started a tradition by buying us a tree ornament.  Every year since then, a new ornament has arrived in the mail just in time to be proudly displayed on our tree.  And, as I decorate every year, each ornament holds a memory, a reminder of our past and the importance of family.

When my children began elementary school, newly crafted ornaments made with their little hands would make their way home to adorn our tree.  One, in particular, still haunts me to this day.  It is a clown-like ornament my son made in his grade 1 class  (he is now 19 yrs old). For the record, I hate clowns!  In fact, I hate anything clown-like, circus-like, mime-like or joker-like.  Anyway, he was very proud of this ornament so it was hung on the tree, of course, at the bottom because he was little and could only reach so high. Over the years, I have continued to hang that ornament, but at the back of the tree...hidden amongst the branches.  Somehow, the clown is found by his "Maker" and displayed front and center on the tree.   (My son is now 6 feet tall so he can reach the top of the tree.)

My point of all this rambling is that my tree is not going to be featured in any upcoming issue of "House Beautiful" so why am I trying to create a designer tree that looks like it came straight from a showroom?  I think every tree is beautiful no matter how simply or elaborately its decorated.  My family certainly doesn't care if the tree's ornaments match the rest of the house decor.  So...why should I keep all the memories packed away so I can display ornaments that have no meaning?!

Therefore, I am digging out the boxes (again) and putting the meaning and memories back into our "family" Christmas tree.


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