A Tree Full of Memories

by Ginger on December 20, 2011

in Celebrations

I’ve always had Christmas trees that are filled with a mishmash of ornaments, full of sentiment, memory, and family heart. I grew up hanging clothespin reindeer, canning lid portraits, and other kindergarten Christmas crafts all over the tree. To me, Christmas trees aren’t for designing on a color palette or theme (though I think those trees are pretty–they just aren’t for me). For me, the Christmas spirit comes through on a tree filled with mismatched, but meaningful/fun/thoughtful ornaments. Like these, a handful of my very favorites.


There are ornaments like these, little glimpses into an important part of our personalities and lives. Books were one of my first loves, and remain important in my life, and I always smile unwrapping this ornament thinking about the joy that books have given me.

My great-grandmother made ornaments for the family almost every year until she passed away. She made bells, chile peppers, and these angels. My tree is never complete until my angels and peppers from her are on up.

This little ornament came from Dafuski, SC and commemorates N.C. proposing to me at a beautiful beach there. I can’t unwrap this ornament without thinking of that day, and how important my marriage is to me–how important N.C. is to me.

Another gift, this ornament celebrates our first Christmas as married folk. I love being able to see the progression of our relationship every Christmas.

Of course, what parent’s tree is complete without a Baby’s First Christmas ornament (or 3)? As Jackson seems to be speeding up time, his baby days blur a bit. I see this ornament and take a moment to remember the first Christmas, with a smiling, happy, oblivious to the season infant and marvel that he’s old enough to ask for the “kismas lighs!”

And this ornament? With the creepy photo and the even creepier eyes-scratched-out coloring? This ornament is the first of what I am sure will be many ornaments that I’ll put up on the tree until they fall apart, to remind us of the little hands that made them.

What about you? Are you a mishmash tree decorator or a tree designer (or neither?). Do you have favorite ornaments?

Lisa December 20, 2011 at 8:48 am

We’re a mish-mash family. I still have clothespin reindeer and thumbprint owl ornaments that I made when I was 5. They symbolize Christmas to me.

emily @ the happy home December 20, 2011 at 4:45 pm

always the sentimental ornaments. my mom still has the ones i made as a kid, but david’s mom gave us a bunch of his. i was so happy to put up his kid-crafted ornaments, and a few that say “1st grade!” or something like that on them.

clara December 20, 2011 at 7:26 pm

Mishmash all the way! It was particularly gratifying this year to have my 5 year old recognize the ornament he made last year in preschool..and for the 3.5 to proudly hang the one he made.
We visited someone with a minimally decorated tree and 3.5 said, “Is that ALL THE ORNAMENTS? Your tree is so empty!” ours is sagging.
That said, I do love the look of one unified theme. I don’t think it’s in my future, though.

Justine December 20, 2011 at 8:24 pm

I love ornaments like these! We don’t have a single “ball” up on our tree, and we actually still have some of the ones my husband made when HE was little, too. Feels … cozy. 🙂

Michelle December 21, 2011 at 1:13 pm

We have a little of both going on – we have a set of ornaments from target that I put inside the tree (in regular years, this year it wasn’t happening) to reflect the light, and on the outside, we have a mishmash of sentimental ornaments. Jonas’s handprint from last year, an ornament from every vacation we go on, fun things like zombies and Mario. I definitely love our mishmash.

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