I remember decorating the tree when I was little, with some of those old Avon and Hallmark ornaments that used to be collectibles, and some ornaments that we made at the church Christmas night, and one in particular that I remember my friend Bo giving me when we were probably about 7. It's a little elf man whose legs curl up under his arms and when you pull them out he looks like a jumping elf. Kinda strange, but the memory is still there.
We'd usually decorate the tree with an old Christmas record spinning under the needle, usually Kenny Rogers Christmas or Amy Grant or the Chipmunks. I miss that old record player. Boxes of decorations and ornaments would be strewn about the living room, pieces of silver tinsel mixing in with the carpet, and lights all tangled up. Maybe we'd have just baked some cutout cookies with the powdered sugar & milk icing (with red and green food coloring) and sprinkles, or some wreaths made out of marshmallow, Corn Flakes, and Red hots as the berries...
We used to buy real Christmas trees until one year when we awoke on Christmas morning to presents covered in sap and little spiders stuck in the sap all over the place. Needless to say, we took the tree down that day and my parents bought an artificial tree probably the next day for future years. (That happens to be the tree i now have in my living room, I believe...)
I have always been one for tradition, and this year I think a new one began. Kate started "The Great Ornament Exchange" on her blog and about 80 people around the country, mostly complete strangers, participated in this opportunity to exchange ornaments and little notes with one another. I just sent mine off yesterday to someone in Oregon, and I received mine today from someone in Massachusetts. How fun that complete strangers are brought together over Christmas ornaments?
And I must say a heartfelt THANK YOU to Jenn Z. for sending me not one, but TWO great ornaments that look beautiful on my tree, along with a great little book and a note! How thoughtful! Here are the ornaments she sent me:
Back to the Christmas trees...I hope yours offers you some peace and wonder. Take a few moments each night to just sit and stare at it. Maybe sleep in your living room with the lights on one night, just for the fun of it. And enjoy the treasures of each ornament, each tradition, each Christmas memory.