“Christmas is a box of tree ornaments that have become part of the family.” ~ Charles Schulz
Ornaments, to me, are not just red, shiny balls. Every one of them means something; they all hold a memory for me on my tree. I can tell you where or from whom I got the ornament. My tree is not one of those perfectly-placed-ornaments-that-must-be-in-the-perfect-place trees. No. My tree is packed with recollections because every ornament has a memory.
When we trim the tree, we reminisce.
“When we recall Christmas past, we usually find that the simplest things – not the great occasions – give off the greatest glow of happiness.”~ Bob Hope
I have handmade ornaments from both of my grandmothers and from my husband’s granny. I even have the nametag, attached to an ornament, which was the last gift I received from my MeMe and Papa, before he died. I love that I kept this and that I can see her handwriting. Papa passed away while I was in college and MeMe passed away when Danni was almost two.
Some of my ornaments were made by my children, either at school or at home. I remember this Christmas well. Alex was almost one and Danni had just turned four; Christmas 1992. I was pregnant with Cameron; due in January. Alex had Scarlet Fever very near Christmas and we were stuck at home. We had to get inventive and crafty. Danni and Alex made these ornaments one night while we were watching Christmas movies. This is Danni’s; Alex’s looked very different from hers.
“The most exquisite Christmas ornaments are made with little hands, full hearts, glitter and glue.” ~ Deborah Whipp
I have ornaments that were given to me by sweet friends.
When we were first married in 1987, we did not have many ornaments to put on our Christmas tree. I bought a kit and hand-painted a bunch to fill our first tree. I was so proud of them. One still hangs on our tree today.
I have ornaments from many, many ornament parties. (The one where everyone brings an ornament then you play that mean game where people can steal the one you are holding!) Our family, on both sides, back in the late 80’s and into the 90’s, played this game for many years, so I am blessed with many memories from these. Many have a few laughs involved, as well.
I have ornaments from beloved dogs that have crossed the rainbow bridge. Bailey was a beagle that lived a very long time with our family.. Milli and Darby were very special to all of us. They were very much a part of our family. I still miss them today. They are the reason I love weenie dogs (a little obsessed actually!).
And because of that obsession, I of course have a collection of weenie dog ornaments.
But the majority of the ornaments that decorate my tree are the ones I have bought for my children throughout the years.
When my oldest daughter was born, in November of 1988, I started a tradition of buying her a picture ornament. She now has 27, my son has 23 and my youngest daughter has 22. That is 72 ornaments with my children’s pictures. That is my heart. My life. My tree.
It is wonderful to see how they have grown over the years. There are many of my son from football and my youngest wearing her cheer uniform. There are missing teeth. There are braces. But always smiles; on my face, at least, when I unpack them every December and place them on the tree.
When they each get married and have their own families (one day!), I will give them all of their own picture ornaments to hang on their own family tree.
My husband suggested that next year, I should get a separate tree for all the picture ornaments because there is no longer room for all of them on the tree we now have.
“It comes every year and will go on forever. And along with Christmas belong the keepsakes and the customs. Those humble, everyday things a mother clings to, and ponders, like Mary in the secret spaces of her heart.” ~ Marjorie Holmes, American writer.
love and blessings~dd