Our Christmas tree is decorated. Our main tree is a live tree bought in record time. My husband and I have devised a sort of game of picking out our tree each year. It is a decidedly unsentimental approach. We realized a number of years ago that we have an uncanny ability to choose just the right tree in virtually minutes. We don’t agonize; we don’t obsess. If it looks right, that’s it and we live with the results. This year I think it took a whole five minutes to declare the winner out of a field of hundreds and hundreds of trees. Some will find this process blasphemous but it never fails to make us giggle. Only once can I remember a tree bought using this methodology that did not live up to our exacting standards. Dear reader, if you have been following my blog for a few years you may recall the tree with a crooked trunk that fell over in our family room destroying some of my ornaments https://revelinginretirement.com/2017/12/17/christmas-tree-oh-christmas-tree/
Beyond the tree itself, which is a beauty, our ornaments are the stars of the show. Ornaments are still one of my favorite gifts to get or give. Look at this beauty from Poland gifted to me by a friend.
Our trees have gone from my quasi-country period about forty years ago when our tree was decorated by 100-plus red and white gingham bows. Sadly, any pictures I might have taken of the trees in that era are long since gone.
Throughout the years, my tree decorations have been either multicolored, or they’ve been one color. There was my Christopher Radko period using ornaments that I still love, still use and that never fail to make me smile.
About ten years ago, I decided that a more sophisticated look might be to use ample greenery throughout the house and use only white, gold and silver in my ornamentation scheme. Then more recently, I augmented that look with pearl and glass garland. Even more recently bouquets of chrystal branches have been poked within the real branches of the tree – sort of my version of hair extensions to fill in places where a hurriedly-selected tree was not as full as I may have liked it. But in the last five years, I realized that not all of my beloved ornaments fit that subdued color pallate and I’ve started to add a bit more color.
Christmas is a time when I get very reflective of the year gone by and the one to come. Over the years, we’ve collected ornaments from our various travels as well as those gifted to us by friends and relatives. The best ones for me represent the love of family and friends or a special place visited. Thus it is when I unbox and decorate the tree, I think about each of the ornaments and the people and places that capture a special place in our lives. Think of the loved ones now gone with whom I had a special, fun relationship – my father in law who teased me mercilessly about a real bird house brought into the house during my overly-rustic period. His response at Christmas that year was to buy me a porcelain bird house to hang on our tree.
Italian “confetti” distributed at a 50th anniversary party in Italy sent to us by my husband’s aunt and uncle, that became an ornament that year and has been hung ever since. This lovely anniversary “favor” below has a prominent place annually on our tree.
There are family pictures – of our son and daughter-in-law, of our grandkids – made into ornaments.
Ornaments that commemorate such destinations as Copenhagen, Slovenia, Bald Head Island, Santa Fe, London, Mount Vernon and the Edmund Pettis Bridge in Selma, Alabama (bought at the African American History Museum in Washington, D.C.).
My husband’s favorite ornament is one just bought in the regular scheme of things quite a number of years ago. He says it reminds him of a Faberge egg. No sentiment attached for him! He just likes it – and that’s OK.
A friend just posted on Facebook: The best things in life are the people you love, the places you’ve seen, and the memories you’ve made along the way. Revisiting memories through our ornaments on our tree really kick starts the meaning of Christmas for me! I hope your ornamentation, however you choose to do it, bring you much joy and happiness this season.