Thursday, December 2, 2010

I Just Couldn’t Do It!

Finally, it was time to decorate the house for Christmas. Each of the past three years, I had told Jason how badly I wanted a “coordinating” Christmas tree, Something like this
decorated-tree-gold-and-silver-smallPicture courtesy of 
instead of the typical hodge-podge of ornaments and lights we have been using since we were married.
This was the year. This year, Jason had said I could decorate the tree however I wanted. I had already envisioned what I would do. I would use the silver and white snowflake ribbon I had kept hidden away for just such an occasion. I would use only white lights. I would use snowflakes, icicles, and silver ornaments. The frosty silver and white covered tree would look beautiful in our newly-painted living room.
But then, I began to go through the boxes of Christmas decorations to find the snowflakes, icicles, and ornaments. As I did I came across them. They were the ornaments I was choosing to hide away in their boxes for another year. They would be the forgotten ones.
There were the name ornaments. Jason’s parents started this tradition before his Dad died. Bronner’s, a huge Christmas store near Jason’s home personalizes these ornaments. Every family member had one, and so when we went on our honeymoon, we stopped to buy one for each of us. Jason’s is blue,
DSC_2264 and mine is purple.
DSC_2267 I guess a little bit of non-coordination wouldn’t hurt. . .
There were others. The Coca-cola ornament was the one I bought for Jason the 1st Christmas we spent together.DSC_2276 I’m sure that it could go on the tree somewhere. There was an ornament for our first year in our own home.
DSC_2263 That one was too important to leave out. There was the #1 teacher ornament Jason bought for me.
 DSC_2275It was so adorable, it just had to go on the tree. There were Jason’s Michigan ornaments.
DSC_2270 DSC_2274
I couldn’t leave his heritage off the tree. There were my Ukrainian ornaments.
They had to be hung up as well. There were the ornaments we bought for our cat. DSC_2262There was the ornament Jason’s cousin got us when we became engaged,DSC_2278 the one Mom brought us from Alaska,DSC_2273 and the ones that Charity brought back from Ireland.DSC_2272 I just couldn’t do it. I couldn’t leave them in their ornament boxes. I couldn’t ignore them this Christmas season. So, one by one, they were hung on the Christmas tree.
No longer do I desire a perfect color-coordinated tree. I won’t trade my memories for matching bulbs. I won’t trade my souvenirs for ribbons. I choose to keep my beautifully colorful tree. And I choose to share it with you.
So, how is your tree decorated this year? Is your tree a cacophony of beautiful memories, or is it neatly trimmed with coordinated ribbons and bulbs?


  1. Your tree is perfect with the most special of ornaments!

    For many years my tree cheerfully displayed the same kinds of ornaments with the addition of those lovingly made by the small hands of my children. The collection became immense! Every branch weighed down.

    I set up a small table-top tree with a few ornaments I began collecting but kept the large tree. As my children grew and left home, I sent the ornaments they made to be part of their Christmas trees. And my tree has grown. I had initially purchased 6 of the sweetest porcelain ornaments of little angels holding baby Jesus each, with a different name for Him. Through e-bay I was able to increase my collection with enough to fill the tree.

    I posted about it here:

    I still love to see the older ornaments that nestled in the branches of our trees for 25+ years, now adorning my children's trees. And I love my tree and closely examining each sweet baby Jesus with my grandchildren and telling them all about His wonderful Names and what that means to us.

    Happy Christmas Season, dear Bethany!

  2. You're post made me smile. That is why some folks have 2 (or more) trees.
    Before I was married my tree was VERY "themed" and I loved it, I was super particular about what went on it. I always knew that one day with a family of my own that would change.
    Still the first year we were married I really struggled with all the extra, non-themed ornaments I "married" ;).
    Now decorating the tree has become a walk down memory lane...ornaments from our honeymoon, vacations, special times together...and a few of "my" premarriage ornaments as a fond reminder of those days. :)

  3. Great! I love a tree full of memories and meaning. The perfect trees are beautiful and have their places in public places, but home is a place for family, memories, and warmth. Written just right! Darlene Young

  4. Very timely. This will be the third annual Hanes Home Decorating Sleepover with our younger grandchildren. They come on a Friday after school, enjoy dinner and later hot chocolate, popcorn and a movie before a sleepover with their cousins. They rise early Saturday morning and with Papa's help they head for the attic to bring down all the Christmas decorations. The girls start decorating in the sunroom and the boys begin sorting branches and assembling the tree. Once they have the electric lights on, I thought about a prelit tree but the boys really enjoy this part, everyone heads for the living room to finish decorating the tree. I purposely bought brightly colored plastic ornaments so that no one would have to worry about accidents. I'm sure the grandchildren have no clue how precious this tradition has become to us.


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