Thursday, December 26, 2013

My Memory Tree

Whenever I'm browsing Pinterest or looking through a home decor magazine before Christmas, I admire all of the pretty Christmas trees, perfectly decorated with just the right balance of colors and shapes.  As nice as those trees look in a magazine, though, it just wouldn't be Christmas to me if I decorated my tree that way.  My Christmas tree (and all the trees I had while growing up) is a memory tree.  I've been collecting Christmas ornaments since I was a child.  I've actually had to cut back on my collecting in recent years because I've run out of room on the tree.  I now limit myself to one Hallmark ornament per year (and an occasional other "special" souvenir type of ornament).  Continuing a tradition my parents have had since they were engaged in 1976, my husband and I choose one Hallmark ornament each year to represent something from that year.  So when I decorate my Christmas tree each November, I'm not just thrilled by the way it makes our family room look pretty and festive.  It's also a heart-warming experience as almost every ornament brings back some special memory.  Here are just a handful of examples of the memories on my tree.

A pair of mittens that I got from AWANA (a kids' church program) in 5th or 6th grade.  I cashed in the reward bucks I had earned and picked out this pair of mittens that still hangs on my tree.

A bell from the tables at our wedding reception:

Every year, my mom gives me the Mother-Daughter and the Daughter Hallmark ornaments.  Here is one of them.

In 2010, I went ice skating for the first (and only) time in my life.  I was TERRIBLE!!  I held onto my friend Emily the whole time and couldn't move at all if I let go.  Emily later gave me this ice skate ornament.  It always makes me chuckle (and appreciate my sweet friend who kept me from falling.)

This "Joy" mug is such a tiny, little, nothin'-fancy ornament, but my grandparents gave it to me the last Christmas before my grandpa passed away.  So even though it's a tiny, generic type of ornament, it means something to me.

The year we got married:

The year we found a toad in the crock of the sump pump:

An ornament that my grandma (who passed away in 1994) gave me as a child.  I had a matching painting on my bedroom wall.

An ornament I got the last time I went to a Christmas tree farm with my parents:

The ornament that probably gives me the biggest chuckle every year is my black Christmas tree.  A little girl that I babysat (she's now in high school) colored this ornament for me when she was just a little squirt.

Even though I don't follow the Pinterest or HGTV instructions for how to decorate a Christmas tree, I, for one, think that our memory tree is beautiful!  Merry Christmas, Everyone!

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