Our Christmas tree is always the first bit of Christmas decor to go up.
My husband drags down bins from the attic, more and more each year, and I begin carefully unwrapping our treasured family memories.
That’s definitely how I think of the ornaments on our tree.
Each represents a memory. Trips we’ve taken. Family heirlooms passed down through the generations. Fun family crafts. Gifts from friends. Childhood milestones. A beautiful bauble I couldn’t resist. Handmade gifts. . Inside joke that sometimes even we don’t understand.
Decorating the tree is a family affair in our house, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
My six-year-old takes as much pride and care in the ornaments as we adults do. He handles them so gently and hangs them with such care. I’ll even trust him with the more fragile ornaments. It wasn’t always that way, of course. Those ornaments used to be hands-off, and we’d hang them at the top of the tree. But now, he is ever so careful with them and oh-so-excited to hang his favorites on the tree.
We have had some mishaps over the years. Can you see the hole in the pink glass ornament, a souvenir of our 2005 trip to Hawaii? Someone dinged it a couple years ago, and it wasn’t the little guy.. But we hang the imperfect ornament on the tree anyway because it represents two memories — that wonderful trip to Maui and Christmases past.
I can’t say I was pleased when the ornament was damaged, but I didn’t think it was fair to be upset for long. I am, after all, the girl who broke baby Jesus’s hand off in my parent’s handpainted ceramic nativity.
Sorry, Jesus. You forgive me, right?
On our tree, store-bought ornaments hang alongside handmade ones, like this felt Westie ornament my mother made.
This cross-stitched 12 days of Christmas ornament is a new addition this year, also a handmade gift from my mom.
My grandmother is represented on the Christmas tree. This vintage choir boy ornament was hers. We have many, many ornaments on our tree that were either passed down or given to us by family members. Each is special.
When I’m hanging ornaments on the tree, I tend to put pretty, sparkly ornaments like this glittery silver bird’s nest front and center.
My husband and son like things like our salt dough Spider-Man ornament or Santa in his Atlanta Braves uniform.
But I think this might be their collective favorite. You and I know it is supposed to be a piece of ribbon candy. But they call it the Christmas bacon. I don’t know why.
But now, whenever we are decorating the tree, they like to annoy me by talking about the Christmas bacon incessantly. And I do mean incessantly.
I think they need to create a legend around this thing, market it like “Elf on the Shelf” and capitalize on their silliness and my annoyance. (I can’t help thinking of the Christmas Poo from South Park whenever they start riffing on the Christmas bacon!)
Please save me from the Christmas bacon. I’m OK with bacon on Christmas morning. But not the Christmas bacon.
While our Christmas tree is decorated in ornaments we’ve collected over the years, instead of in a certain theme, I can’t resist a few designer-, blog- and magazine-inspired touches.
Rather than an angel, star or even a bow, I used glittered floral picks as a tree topper. I directed the placement of the flowers and leaves and glitter tape, but my husband actually constructed the tree topper. I’m not sure I could have reached, even on a ladder, because our tree is 9 feet.
I think he did a nice job. But I’m sure his coworkers are still wondering why he has glitter on his eyelids.
I also positioned my antique child’s rocking horse at the base of the Christmas tree to help set the scene, as if Santa had left it for some lucky child.
Of course, I still have much to do before Christmas day. Shopping. Wrapping, A little more cooking.
But at least the decorating is done so we can enjoy it and dream of what’s to come.
I took this photo of Jackson in front of our glowing Christmas tree after learning how to do it from my friend, Beth, of the blog Unskinny Boppy. I think this may become my the photograph I have to replicate every year to chronicle our family’s Christmases.
Partying at the following places: