My favorite holiday is Christmas.
And my favorite thing about Christmas is my tree.
Why you may ask?
The reason is simple- because like me, my Christmas tree is a storyteller.
And as you know, I’m a sucker for a great story 😉
My tree tells a story that is unique to me.
Sitting among those branches are decades of family history. And the older I get, the more I realize how important that family history is.
Side note: I first developed an appreciation for family history when I worked at the Piatt Castles near my home. They are two large limestone homes built in the late 1860’s by two brothers. Giving tours and talking about the reasons the homes were built, the people that lived in them and how the home was used really intrigued me. And of course, we reviewed the entire family history, even up to modern ancestors. That experience forever changed me and showed how important it is to keep the family stories alive and how those stories have helped shape you into the person you are today.
My favorite thing to do in the evening after the kids go to bed is to sit with a cup of hot chocolate, quietly sipping and admiring the tree.
Here’s my Christmas tree story- maybe it will stir up your own stories and family memories………………..
The ornament you see here was hand painted by my Grandma. She was an accomplished china painter. She died three days before Christmas several years ago. I was very grateful to stumble upon 2 dozen of her handpainted Christmas ornaments after she died and they decorate my tree every year. Not only are they beautiful, but it makes me smile and remember her.The fun we had when I was growing up- working in her flower beds, having picnics outside and playing dress up from a big leather bag full of scarves, old clothes and costume jewelry. So, although there are plenty of tears at this time of year, a few smiles manage to work their way in.
This fun ornament was made by my daughter when she was 3. She’s now 8. They did it at the daycare she attended. So, thismakes me think of her as a sweet toddler. I get a little misty-eyed, but I smile too. Man, kids grow up way too fast.
This is another ornament my daughter made. The date says 2011. So this would have been made in kindergarten. If I’m not mistaken, the snowmen were made by dipping her fingers in paint, then smudging the bodies on the ornament. And as a parent, there is NOTHING better than crafts made using the hands & feet of your children.
My son attends the same daycare my daughter did. I love this ornament- it was done by the nursery staff when he was a baby. He’s almost 4 and certainly not a baby. But looking at that sweet face melts me every time. Yes- what they say about moms & sons is 100% true. He is mama’s boy through and through. He’s still as sweet as this picture implies- lots of smooches & hugs to go around. Hopefully, he maintains some of that sweetness as he grows up. However, I will keep an eye on him concerning the smooches part when he’s a teenager….
Although these ornaments don’t look special, they really are. These are some of the first ornaments my husband and I bought as newlyweds. In fact, the majority of the ornaments on our tree are “original” to us. They’ve been through a whole house renovation project (and still have plaster dust on them to prove it), marriage adjustments and all the learning that goes with being married, 2 babies and too many memories for me to remember. Lots of history here. And for that, I smile.
And here’s a picture of the finished product. We bought this tree for the first Christmas in our first home (to go along with the ornaments just mentioned). Even the Santa tree topper is the original. Lots of firsts here, and many special memories. We just celebrated 13 years, and I’d like to attribute at least some of our longevity to our tree 😉
My wish for you this holiday season: keep your family stories close, remember them and make new ones. Because indeed, as we get older, our family is all that really matters.
Merry Christmas and Best Wishes for a Happy and Healthy 2015.