Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Christmas Tree Memories

My family Christmas tree has always been a source of true pleasure in my life. The colored lights and the ornaments -- mismatched and lovingly gifted -- make our tree a representation of everything I love about our family and all of the holidays we've shared. It's dripping in Americana, and always beautiful to behold.

In the past few years we've been downsizing quite a bit, and that includes the size of our Christmas tree. The poor little thing is almost listing under the weight of all our memories, enough to make my mother suggest that we should pack up some of our ornaments next year.

That seems like a tragedy to me.

Now, the adult part of me knows that you can;t hold on to everything, and that it would probably be okay to leave some ornaments in the box (or even get rid of a few) just to clear up the clutter. The sentimental baby in me, however, looks at that tree and can't imagine it being without all the beautiful things I've known since my childhood. I can look at that tree and tell you why each thing on it is special and loved. Some favorites are...

Baby Mouse was made by my mother and has been my favorite ornament for my entire life.

We have two cherubs like this, and I think they are just gorgeous. This is my favorite of the two - I love how he's painted. I think they were gifts from my grandmother to my mother.

This is made of paper, and very delicate.

One of the many little bears my mother loves.

Bert, my Brother's heirloom ornament.

Chimney-sweep from Germany

One of the four angel bears that we hang near the top.

Emily's little goose girl.

A nod to our roots, made my one of my aunts. I'm not sure what makes the beaver particularly German, but that's part of the charm.

And there's eight thousand more dear little things on our tree. I'd post pictures of them all, including the butt-ugly tree-topper that my parents have had since they were married (that none of us can imagine being without, at this point), but I think that would get a little too sappy. Even for me.

Christmas trees that are perfectly coordinated are beautiful, and the huge ones in the mall could almost bring you to tears, but I don't think I could love any of them as much as I love this dorky little hodgepodge of my past. It's been a constant in my life, and as reliable as the fact that the Christmas box in our house is always going to smell beautiful when you open it for the first time (like cranberries, candles, and spicy dust. If I could bottle it, I would).

What makes your Christmas tree special to you? Let me know!

-- Kari


  1. Our tree is much the same, but with different ornaments and memories, of course.

  2. Haha! I almost cried reading this post about our Christmas tree! You have captured its essence beautifully! Including the horrid tree-topper, which we must never discard. I was just telling my roommate about it the other day when we went to get a star for our little tree, actually. :) I agree with you 100%!

  3. I need to do this for my tree. I have a little baby on a cotton puff inside a walnut shell that is my favorite.