Last night, after a week of staring at our sadly naked Christmas tree, Kirk and I finally dragged out the boxes of ornaments stashed in the attic and got to work. After a short scuffle over Christmas decorating music (Tran Siberian Orchestra, Kirk? Really?), we opened the boxes and got to work.
For me, decorating the tree has always been something of a walk down memory lane. As each ornament comes out, I’m reminded of Christmases past, like when fourth-grade me labored over the fabric patchwork ornament, or when we celebrated our first Christmas as a married couple with the adorable bride and groom ornament my mom gave us. I smile at the Snoopy bulb marked with the year of my birth, and the Precious Moments one from my middle school years.
I love the tiny little Snoopy vignettes that can fit in a tablespoon, and the classic car one my parents gave Kirk one year, and the little wood second-grade me stamped with glue and sprinkled with green glitter.
As always, we loaded up the tree with tiny multi-color lights as well as a strand of chunky bulbs—just like the trees of my childhood. I’ll never have one of those elegant, white-light strewn trees with matching bulbs and perfect symmetry. No, for me it’s all about evoking the fun and playfulness of the many Christmases of my past. I think I’ll always cherish those wonky handmade ornaments and dingy, aged plastic figurines that get tucked away oh-so carefully each year.
As we were finishing up last night, I looked to Kirk and said, “You know, I don’t even know why or when the tradition of dragging a tree in our homes at Christmas started. What does it have to do with anything?”
He merely shrugged. “Haven’t a clue”
I started to head to the trusty iPad and Google the answer, but for some reason, thought better of it. You know what? It doesn’t matter to me how the tradition came to be, or what their thinking behind it was. I only know that for me it is a perfect time capsule, a way to remember all the wonderful memories of the Christmases I have shared with my loved ones. It’s about making new memories, of sharing true quality time with my hubby, and having at least one tradition that will always be in my household.
Do you put a tree up each year? Do you have the handmade ones, the store bought kind, or a mixture? Wouldn't you agree that the classic White Christmas and Let It Snow are SO much better for decorating than Trans Siberian Orchestra?? ;)
I have the perfect recipe for you today - the same one I used decades ago to make ornaments for my Nana and Papa as Christmas gifts :) It's the perfect way to make something memorable for you to look back on for years to come. Enjoy!
Homemade Dough Ornaments:
- 2 cups flour
- 1/2 cup salt
- 3/4 cup water
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Combine ingredients and kneed for about 10 minutes. Roll out to desired thickness (about 1/4 inch) on floured surface. Using cookie cutters, cut out shapes, then punch a hole for hanging. Bake for 30 minutes, and cook completely on a rack.
Decorate using acrylic paint, glitter, etc. Allow to try completely. Spray with clear polyurethane on both sides to preserve. Hang from tree with string or ribbon.