Some people's Christmas trees look like they could be in an issue of Martha Stewart Living magazine. They are beautifully coordinated, with bows and bells and globes that all go with a certain color scheme. The ornaments are placed just so, with the perfect amount of greenery peeking out between each one.
Not my tree! I have to say, even though others' trees are absolutely gorgeous, I like mine and my mom's the best. Why? Because they are full of memories. Each ornament has a story to tell, and it adds to the experience of the tree-decking to be able to recall all the details behind each decoration. My husband likes to give me a hard time because of a few "infamous" ornaments made by yours truly. Two of them are miscellaneous scraps of wood slapped together with glue and doused in glitter. These I made in preschool. The one that tends to bring the biggest amount of laughs, though, is my Virgin Mary ornament. I made that beauty in Sunday school when I was very young. It's a simple paper cutout of Mary with a hole punched at the top, strung with some old yarn. The image of Mary was one that we colored with our crayons. For some odd reason, I chose to color her eyes red. Hmm.. Either Mary had a serious case of pink eye or she was possessed. At least that's what my hubby says. I just laugh with all of the rest of them, because I am thankful. To some, these little scraps may not be worth saving, but to my mom they were bits of undeniable treasure. I am so glad that she had the love and warmth to savor them, and the foresight to hold onto them so that I could fully appreciate them once I had my own tree.
Our Christmas tree is chock full of ornaments. But still, we continue to get them. They commemorate so many things.. there are the two clay pregnant ladies for the two Christmases that I spent with babies in my belly. The one that is in honor of our very first home. One from the first year Noel & I were together, and one for the year that we got married. Our cat, Sheena, has several ornaments on the tree-many featuring her picture-and Noel's dog Harley, who is gone now, has a special star of his own. Each year we get Madi & Sydney each a new ornament to add to their collection. Madi & Sydney help us to decorate the tree, of course, which often results in clusters of ornaments in weird places-piled on top of branches, flung into the center of the tree, laying underneath it, or sometimes they turn up in a toybox a few days later. My "Baby's First Christmas" ornament, shaped like a little pillow, takes its place of pride near the top of the tree every year, so that the cat doesn't mistake it for a toy.
Then we sit back and enjoy it. No popcorn or cranberry garlands drape my tree. I don't have matching sets of colored balls, nor do I have a plethora of beautiful sparkling bows. But my tree? Every year it has many a story to tell. It's one of the best parts of the holiday season, and one that I cherish every year.