I’m not quite sure when my fascination with Christmas ornaments actually began, all I do know is I have a love for them. I love the delicate intricacies of some, while I love the memories attached to others. Sometimes I just think they are cute and I need to find a spot on my tree.
When I was little, I used to help my grandmother decorate her tree each year. It was a tradition, and I honestly don’t ever remember a time not decorating her tree. What was even better was that I couldn’t do anything wrong on her tree. She didn’t care how it looked; it didn’t have to be perfect. If I had a cluster of ornaments in one place and none at all in another, that was just fine with her. At some point, she began allowing me to choose an ornament to take home for my own tree. Perhaps this was the beginning of my love? When she passed away I asked if I could have her ornaments. None of them were expensive heirlooms or anything; it simply was something that reminded me of her. To this day, there is a place on my tree for some of her ornaments.
As I got older and began to travel a little, I started collecting ornaments as my souvenirs. I found this to be a great way to represent my trip and recollect memories. This has become a tradition with my family and every time we are someplace new without fail, one of my kids will ask if this is a trip worthy of a new ornament. Most of the time I will respond with a hearty, “absolutely” and then set out to find the perfect one. When it comes time to decorate the tree we save the ones we collected from our journeys throughout the year until last and we each say something that we loved about that trip. It has become a great way to keep our vacation memories alive.
My favorites of course are the ones that my children have made me through the years. To me, these serve as a time capsule, marking the years of their childhood. My heart swells as I take these out of the box and put them on the tree. Nobody else is allowed to hang these; they are that precious to me. I hope that even when they are grown adults they will still make me an ornament to hang on my tree.
One of the sweetest gifts I have ever received was from my mother in law at my wedding shower. The box was a small one, probably the smallest in the pile. However the gift was big, at least to me. Inside the box were a few of the handmade ornaments my husband made when he was a child. My husband doesn’t see the big deal in this gift, but this was a gift from a mother to her future daughter and I took it as a sign of acceptance into her family. She was giving me a precious gift with those childhood crafts; she was entrusting me with her baby.
Of course this passion for ornaments has led to more ornaments than room on the tree. I could easily decorate several. Sadly, I just don’t have the space to put up several trees. Perhaps one day I will live in a mansion and can adorn each and every room with a beautiful tree.