December 22, 2010

~ A tree that tells a story ~


I remember my very first Christmas as a "real adult" - meaning out of my parents home, as a wife and newlywed. Christmas rolled around and I knew a house was not a home for the Holidays without a tree.

It was like a good luck fairy sprinkled dust on us when we found a beautiful artificial Christmas tree at a garage sale for $1.00, we went and picked out the most beautiful ornaments with intricate designs. They were maroon and gold. We spent a small fortune on them since we got such a deal on the tree. We picked out the most fancy matching gold garland and gorgeous ruffled tree skirt. I could see it all in my head just how spectacular it would be.

We got home, set it up, and it was perfect. Every fake branch was spread and fluffed. The ornaments were symmetrically hung on each side and the garland was strung in the most perfect zig zag fashion that I was about to pat myself of the back on a job well done when I stepped back to look at our perfect tree and realized...I hated it.

It didn't look like the trees I grew up with. It looked like something that Martha Stewart would do...and I am no Martha Stewart and my home is not a Macy's window. This tree didn't feel like home.

I remember at that moment longing for the years ahead of me when my tree would tell a story of the years gone by, with popsicle stick ornaments smashed together with Elmers glue, and now, this year, as I look at my tree only 10 feet away as I type, it is perfect.

First of all it's a real tree, and it has been since that first year, and will be from now on.

The bottom 1/3 of the tree is completely bare to keep toddler fingers from snatching and hoarding ornaments.

The garland is half shredded and barely hanging on by a thread and the dog has tore the hell out of the tree skirt. And best of all? We have ornaments that tell stories.

Like a pair of figure skates that hang for Mommy for a sport she loved and was devoted to for years.
A guitar for Daddy who has been strumming one since he was 9.A wedding cake inscribed with the year "2003" to mark our first anniversary as husband and wife.3 little Reindeer to remind us of a time when there were only 3 in this house.And a handmade Reindeer from the hands of that baby Reindeer above.A time we celebrated the arrival of our first pink one...and one this year to celebrate the blue eyed baby who surprised us all. Ornaments that pay tribute to people we miss very, very much. A handmade angel for the one who loved Christmas to her core. Who set the bar so high I will spend eternity trying to give my kids the reaction to their Christmas morning that she gave to us.
Tucked way in the back up high is the most precious to me of all. Look very closely, it says "Baby's First Christmas 1978" and it is my baby ornament. Passed down from my mom. I was a Christmas baby and my Mom and Dad brought me home in a stocking.

If you look closely at our tree you will still find some of those fancy Maroon and Gold ornaments from our first year. After all, they are now part of our story, where we were, where we are, and where we are going, we hang them proudly with our felt hand prints and clay Reindeer.

I hope all of my blog readers have a Merry and Blessed Christmas with their families.


3 comments :

Lynsey T said...

Kelly! This is such a well written and beautiful post...so sweet! I hope you and your family have a great Christmas :)

Jenna said...

Kelly- With this being my first Christmas as a wife, I totally understand what you're saying. We bought some ornaments the day after Christmas last year on sale for a tree we didn't even have. Then we went to a tree farm to get our tree. As we were putting ornaments on it, I had the same feeling of almost all of the darn things being pretty, but not having specific meanings. I can't wait for the day! Thanks for your post : )

Lisa Scherer said...

Love this post. I have two trees...one fancy schmacy Martha Stewart type and one filled with homemade treasures of my girls. And my favorite BY FAR is my homemade hoge poge tree.
Merry Christmas Manno Family.