Our tree won't win any design awards this year, it's true, but it is a reflection of our little family, and I love it. Growing up, I thought the tree in my family's house was the most beautiful tree in the world. It was full of little red bows and gorgeous ornaments my mom had made by hand. Looking back at pictures of our tree now, it's nowhere near as showy or "designed" as the ones you see in magazines. That sort of surprises me, because I told everyone that my mom was a decorating genius and that our tree was so beautiful. And it was. But as I've grown older and wiser, I've realized that a large part of what made it beautiful was that it was full of us. There were special ornaments given to or made by my brother and me. And there were scores of gingerbread houses and handmade ornaments. My mom was a Christmas-crafting genius. I guess that's where I get the crafting bug, now that I think of it.
Without realizing it, I'm creating just that type of tree for my own little family. Our tree has ornaments given to Patrick and I (and now Claire) throughout the years. There are important "memory" ornaments, like the one we got on our Alaskan honeymoon, and now there is a growing collection of handmade ornaments that I've made during my 25 Days of Christmas crafting. I think our tree is beautiful, in large part because it is absolutely us: a little fun, a little kooky, and full of happy memories.
So what is on our tree? Let's take a closer look.
Each night, after we read our Jesse tree scripture passage, Claire hangs an ornament that she colored on the tree. She's very proud that she can hang them all by herself. (Note to self: Leave the bottom branches empty next year, because we're getting a mighty big cluster of Jesse tree ornaments down there...):
And here's our whole tree, in all it's glory:
Day 4 of Christmas Crafting, and the ornaments I made on Days 2, 3, 11, 13, and 14. Then, to top it all off, I changed out our bow topper. Before it was gold, which fit our old color scheme perfectly, but it didn't pop enough for the bright and cheery look I'm going for this year. So instead, I tied a bow with 3-inch red wired ribbon. It has white snowflakes embossed on it, and I think it ties in nicely with the cranberry beads on the popcorn garland.