Here we are, December 9th & until tonight, my family didn’t have our Christmas tree up. Growing up, the tree went up the day after Thanksgiving, and not a minute sooner. No Christmas shirts were to be worn before then…no Christmas jewelry, no Christmas music listened to. Now, stores start carrying Christmas decorations in July and start putting it on sale way before Christmas is even over…they have to make room for Valentine’s Day stuff you know!
Anyway, we finally got our tree up today. My 7 year old is very excited. My 3 year old is very confused. She doesn’t understand why we can’t open presents right now. Combine that with the fact we had “Thanksmas” with my family in Oklahoma last month, and it makes it even harder to understand!
While putting the tree up, it made me nostalgic. I started thinking back to my family’s tradition growing up. We would turn the TV off (yes families…it does have an off button!) and play Christmas RECORDS! My favorites were The Chipmunks & Snoopy. My parents liked Kenny Rogers and The Statler Brothers.
Every year, we got a new ornament. It usually reflected our interest at the time. Every year, it was the same thing…”Remember getting this one?” “Oh, do you remember who gave you that one??” It was fun…almost as fun as opening gifts. No matter how many years we did that, it was like looking at them for the first time again.
Dad always got the fun job of untangling and checking the lights. Without fail, there would be one light bulb out & that would prevent the entire strand from lighting up (I’m really starting to show my age now). To this day, I think the lights must be the worst part of the whole tree process.
We never had a real tree…always artificial. I’m not sure I would do very well with a real Christmas tree. When it comes to gardening, I have a black thumb. The tree probably wouldn’t make it to the big day.
My family is following similar traditions. Instead of listening to records, last year, we listened to Christmas music on Pandora. For our first Christmas together, we lived in an apartment (we were still in school then) and had the tiny Christmas tree. We also had very little ornaments and money. Our solution? We went to Hobby Lobby and bought the porcelain ornaments that you had to paint and got after it. We still hang those ornaments on our tree to this day. We tell our kids the story of what we did. It’s a wonderful memory.
Our tree also holds special meaning to us. Like I said, when we were in the apartment, we had a tiny tree. After we graduated, we moved to a house and had space for a larger tree. However, like ornaments, trees cost a lot!! My grandmother was a sweetie & passed down a tree she had used. She was downsizing and didn’t need such a large tree.
I have to say, I love this tree. It’s vey full and looks great when you properly fluff the branches…and yes, you MUST fluff each branch!! The lights on the tree are from our wedding. We used them to decorate at the reception. Afterwards, my mom gave them to me & they’ve survived 12 Christmases, 3 moves and 2 kids!!
It’s amazing the memories that are tied to a simple Christmas tree. Each ornament has a story behind it. I’m not one to have the ornaments color coordinate with my house or anything. I love the homemade ornaments that are mixed in with the store bought ones. I love the special ornaments I got when my kids were born, when we were on our honeymoon, special ones from our home state, etc.
This tree will only be up for 2 weeks or so, but look at the memories we will get in such a short time!
Remember this holiday season to cherish the memories you will make with loved ones!!