Sunday, December 13, 2009

Oh, Christmas Tree


I grew up in a house that revered Christmas decorations. At one point, my mother had four different kinds of Christmas trees going. There was the "Angel Tree" which housed all the glass and angel ornaments and had twinkling white lights. The "Little Tree," a miniature tree complete with tiny ornaments. The "Cowboy Tree," a wrought-iron tree that held all the Southwest themed ornaments. And of course, the big tree. The big tree had all of our collected ornaments, and last time I was home a tiny statue of Mohammed Ali had replaced the star at the top. We're a little non-traditional (I think this year she's added a palm tree). In addition to the trees, there were electric poinsettas (which I still covet and hope to be gifted, hint hint), wall hangings, special dishes. The works. When I moved out, I tried to recreate the same feeling by cramming the biggest tree I've ever purchased into the smallest house I've ever lived in. C reminded me that we couldn't walk past it without snagging our clothes for most of December. Later, time and money fell short and I started making do. We had a trash bag full of generic ornaments (blue balls, which never struck me as funny until right this second) and more strings of lights than I care to admit to. But slowly we've started a respectable collection of our own. This year is the first that E has really gotten into the spirit of the holiday, and without the stress of school, I found myself getting excited about breaking open our small box. I'm always a little surprised that the box isn't bigger, I think because I remember my mom's collection and the hours it would take to decorate the tree(s). I'm working on it though, slowly but surely. It was so fun this year to show him each ornament and explain when we got it and why. He enjoyed finding the perfect place for them on the tree. And this year, this is the first year our tree is without blue balls.

I searched for this star for.ever. the first year C and I had a tree. It was the best one that 1) we could afford and 2) wasn't horrible. It's clear plastic with silver glitter. I promise it's not as tacky as it sounds. I love it, and even though there are much nicer stars out there I think we'll keep this one.


This is one of my favorites. It was a gift from my aunt the year C and I got married. The front says "Our Love Story" and then it opens to a picture from our wedding.

This is E's first ornament. That year, the week before Christmas, I freaked because I realized that we hadn't gotten him his obligatory "My First Christmas" ornament and now all the stores were sold out. Then on Christmas day we opened a gift from his uncle and alas, a Christmas miracle! The back says "2006" which was important to me because I knew eventually I wouldn't remember who's was who's. My mom's got 5 kids. I know how these things work.

I love photo ornaments. This one is of E's first visit to Santa, and the last time he looked anything less than terrified in the picture.

This one is easily one of my favorites. E was about a year and a half and his daycare put these together. Look at that face!


This yarn angel is one of the only ones I have from my mom's collection. I'm not sure how she ended up in my box, but I love her. There's also a Mrs. Claus that's made the same way.



It turns out we've got a pretty respectable collection of 49ers ornaments. At least we're finally in a place where we can display them proudly. And we've followed my mom's lead and hung a 9'ers ornament from the star.






Last year I got a little obsessed with bird ornaments. I'm not sure why. I like this one though, because last year there was a cardinal that lived in our backyard all through the winter. I also just learned that birds on a Christmas tree are supposed to be good luck.

And the newest addition, in honor of E's fascination with all things superhero. It took me two days to get this picture because E insisted on carrying it around everywhere, including sleeping with it. I see this becoming one of his own favorites, and hanging in a place of honor on his own tree someday.

It's so much fun to unearth these treasures and to slowly add to the collection. I bought a few more this year, including a Montessori-style Santa and Mrs. Claus. I'm still looking for the one that will define this year for us. I'm thinking maybe a car to symbolize the big move, or a palm tree for California. We'll see. There are other decorations that I want to share, so I'll be posting pictures every so often until Christmas. It's like virtual decorating.

1 comment:

Remenak Family said...

Those are great ornaments! I especially like E's first and your wedding one. E's face in the penguin ornament is priceless-he has such a great smile. You have inspired me to get photos in our Ornament Frames that we own but have yet graced the tree. ( I am terrible at framing any pictures).