While I was on the kick of documenting some very
ordinary extraordinary moments in my personal life, I decided to capture the annual trimming of our Christmas tree.
As my trusty Nikon clicked away I couldn’t help but think of the history of our tree ceremony.
A Little Backstory
Our Family room is two stories. For as long as I can remember the family housed a spectacular, pre lit, 12 foot tree with two feet of space at the base.
That bad boy reached a whopping 14 feet into the air. It took two afternoons to assemble and another full afternoon to decorate. Last year the top third of the trees lights had blown out.
So for sanity reasons I opted to erect our older, less used, 8 foot tree.
Not using the giant tree makes me a little sad.
There was something about it’s grandeur, reaching so high and lighting up the family room with it’s thousands of twinkling white lights.
Best of all, it held SO many of our carefully collected ornaments.
You see, our Christmas Tree is more than just a pyramid of fake, plastic greenery & lights.
It is a scrapbook of our family to this point.
What Is on Our Christmas Tree?
Being that Christmas is my favorite holiday, it is only natural that we add special decor to our tree each year that reflects what is going on in our lives.
There are some very special moments reflected on our tree.
As you already know, traditions are extremely important to my family.
Each year when we gather the kids and reminisce as we open the lovingly packaged decorations and add them to the tree.
Everyone has their favorite ornaments and we take turns talking about the moments in our family history that relates to each piece.
Of course glass balls go on first. We use both frosted & mirrored.
This process annoys the kids but having them nestled in the branches of the tree first makes a huge difference!
The next ornaments to adorn the tree are our special gold ornaments.
These belonged to my husband Mike’s parents. They were were loaned to us for our first Christmas.
The story goes that they were won in a raffle and they were always my husband favorite thing on his tree growing up. Once we got them on our tree, they were never going back!
In the 18 years that Mike and I have been married, we have added more “golden” ornaments to our collection.
His favorite is a trio of patriotic ornaments from Baldwin, also gifted to him by his parents.
The flag is always placed near the top of the tree.
MY favorite ornament to place on the tree is made for Disney by Baldwin.
It is the most delicate and intricate three dimensional coach from cinderella.
While I was busy capturing the event, our youngest did the honors in place of Mamma!
She was so excited & proud to be allowed to put this one on our Christmas tree this year.
Once the ceremony of the golden ornaments is finished, it is time to adorn our Christmas tree with each of the kids first Christmas ornaments!
We talk about why we chose their ornament.
Each child loves to hear the story of their special tree decoration!
This one LOVED her silver rattle as an infant.
It was only natural to purchase Hallmark’s yearly Christmas keepsake that was a silver baby rattle for the year she was born
Our next daughter could have spent all day in a johnny-jumper (you know… the type that clamped to a doorway!?)
It just so happened that Hallmark won again!
We found our oldest son’s special ornament on his first trip to Disney World which was the week of Christmas.
It’s a classic Pooh Bear on a rocking horse, made by Lenox.
His little brother has yet another baby rattle from Hallmark. It is white porcelain.
Baby girl has always been drawn to bunnies. Her nursery decor was a neutral bunny theme & her loveys are all bunnies.
So when Hallmark had a sweet little stuffed bunny as the first Christmas ornament
for the year she was born,we felt like it was meant to be hers!
After we had these very sentimental items added to the tree, we move onto other personal pieces.
First there are the collection of Starbucks Cups.
If you have read any of my Facebook or Instagram posts, you know that I love love love Starbucks!
Then there are the adornments that mark other events such as
our first Christmas as a married couple and the year we bought our home!
Decorations from our vacations have a special place on our tree too.
We especially love Disney World and always talk about those trips
when the corresponding ornaments go up on the tree.
Some of our favorites are ornaments that have been gifted to us by family members.
Each time we place these on the tree we fondly think about our family that is far away.
Somehow having their gift on our tree makes it feel like there are with us in this season of celebration.
We have a special Ornament to commemorate the year
we rescued our pair of mini schnauzers, Max and Ruby.
And Last, but not least, are all of the ornaments that our children have made through the years.
I always think back to when each child would beam with pride as we open the gift they made!
They didn’t seem like much at the time but turned into something we treasure now.
At first this tree is a bare and simple evergreen with no story to tell.
After we finish putting all of our memories on it’s branches, this plain old tree is transformed into the storybook of our life.
It is no longer a basic symbol of the holiday… it is Our Christmas Tree.
Leave me a comment below & tell me about YOUR tree!