The other day I was standing in the living room looking at our family Christmas tree. I've had this particular tree for several years. I think I bought it after Christmas in 2002. Pretty good deal for a nice 7 ft. tree. More than the tree, are all the ornaments on it. I have a lot of ornaments. I mean a lot. Each one means something to me. Now, I know there are people who buy a tree and decorate it with color coordinated lights and trim. The tree is an awesome sight to behold. That is NOT how I do our family tree. I have my dog ornament that my mom got for me when my pet, Buster, died in 2004. I have all the handmade ornaments that my son made for me while growing up. To me, nothing is better then all the pictures of him when he was 3, 4, 5 years old, held together with string and hot glue. What about the moose one from our vacation to Wyoming? I love the decorations my young nieces made for me out of dough. Or the one's I got at Cracker Barrel at the after Christmas sale? My Aunt D. bought me a ceramic Christmas tree and gave it to me the first Christmas I was out on my own, after graduating from college. I've had it on display during the holidays for 19 years! Each ornament has a memory associated with it. That is a big reason why I enjoy putting up the Christmas tree each year. It gives me the opportunity to "relive" the memories behind each decoration.
When I remarried I bought even more ornaments for my "new" son and daughter. A hockey ornament (because he played hockey), a soccer ornament for her because she started playing soccer ,along with my son, who played soccer since he was 6. After getting remarried I got a his and her bear ornament for the tree. A couple of years ago I had all three kids help me string cranberries and popcorn to make garland for our tree. We had fun doing that (and also cheated and ate as we went). Our tree is not worthy of Better Homes and Gardens....but that is fine by me, because our tree is mixed with memories, old and new, and strung together with love.