Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Perfect Tree

My Christmas tree is a mess, a hodgepodge of items that neither match nor make good sense color-scheme wise. Wood, glass, plastic, paper … unknown substances hang from its branches with no apparent rhyme or reason. It's PERFECT!

I am not so sure that a Christmas tree should be a reflection of the latest and greatest decorating trend. I am of a mind that it should be a story of life, its branches heavy with thoughts and memories, scattered about like jewels. The hand-blown glass ornaments purchased in Colorado for the first Christmas. Four small hand-painted glass balls from the late 1930s, their colors dulled by time. My mother gave them to me a few years back -- they were hers as a child; they hung on our tree when I was a child. Cheap satin red balls purchased at Big Lots, reminders of lean financial times. Three tiny rocking horses which were originally flower arrangement decorations received when our son was born. I made them into ornaments complete with his birth stats handwritten on each one … in Sharpie, of course. I see a green and red construction paper wreath framing the face of my son when he was in kindergarten; he has a son of his own now. Ornaments from friends and family that have come from all over the world and now reside in my world. And it is all topped off with an angel from Sears, her mauve cardboard dress a bit tattered after 27 years. She was a gift from my great-grandmother who passed away in the ‘90s -- in her 90s.

To me, it's not about what my tree contains, but who. I sit looking at each eclectic treasure and see a loved one captured in a moment in time … that is the true gift. So my 2011 Christmas design advice is, if you want a decorator tree with matching black and silver ribbons and bows, go for it. But also take the time to decorate another tree -- fill it with memories. Look at each piece you hang and remember the moment and the person it represents … soak it in. I bet I can guess which of the two trees will bring you the most joy.

What is your favorite Christmas ornament or memory?


  1. My favorites are the honeymoon ornaments and the wooden ones we (you) made years and years ago to give away as gifts -- the Santa, the gift, bell, etc. We have nicer, newer ornaments but those mean the most.

  2. My favorite ornament is the one with the pictue of my son holding his new baby sister. My two most prized blessings

  3. Thanks Brenda, I look at the wooden ones and think..what the heck was I thinking ;-) Angie, I can understand why that is your favorite!