December 1, 2011

Deck the Halls

Every year when Thanksgiving is over and the pumpkins and bales of straw are put away I groan.  Not because I don't love Christmas and the things that surround the holiday but because I despise putting up the tree.  It is pre lit and only in four pieces but the scratchy on my arms when I am "fluffing" the tree is always aggravating......until it comes time to put on the ornaments and then my mood changes.  I love putting the ornaments on the tree.  We have an assortment of all different ornaments.  We have no theme & no color preference.  I have ornaments that invoke memories and smiles.  I can look at nearly every ornament on my tree and tell you where and who it came from. 

The first year that I lived on my own I had a slight pre Christmas breakdown.  I knew it was time to put up a tree and when I started to do so I realized that I had NO ornaments of my own.  I know that it shouldn't have seemed like such a shock to me but it was.  I called mom....tears in my eyes...."mom - I have no ornaments that are mine".  So being the WONDERFUL mom that my mother is, she came to get me and we went to Fred's.  We bought the round plastic ornaments in clear, red and green.  I was afraid it just looked cheesy but she told me that over the years I would build my "OWN" collection of special ornaments.  She was right - as always.  This is the 10th year of living in my house - as a grown up - with our own tree.  If you look closely at my tree there is not a single one of those Fred's ornaments left.  We have been building our own Christmas memories one year at a time and our tree is filling up nicely.          

For the first couple years after the initial discovery that I didn't have ornaments of my own mom did the best thing that she could for me.....she gave me ornaments for every gift holiday year round.  She picked up ornaments that would be special to me from here and there and every mothers day, birthday and Christmas I would get a special new ornament to add to my collection.

Here is one of the first ornaments mom and dad gave me.  I love to fish at the pond - even if I am not catching anything.  
Then Russel and I got married and we bought and received some couple ornaments.
 This one above from Annie and Lance Farrar as part of our wedding gift.
And this one that I had made with our last name and wedding year.

Then there are the ornaments that Russel and I get on every trip we take.  Oddly enough it is never hard any time of year to find a Christmas ornament.  From Jamaica to Hawaii to Gatlinburg and back we pick up an ornament everywhere that we travel. 
Our first trip to Gatlinburg - a Noah's ark ornament

Santa flying over NYC from our trip to Niagara and NYC. 

And last but definitely not least are ornaments that have been given to us by friends. 
A Santa Ball from the Lowe's

My only Christmas Pickle from Janet Duke.  

So I begrudgingly put up the tree so that I can laugh, smile and sometimes shed tears at all the memories that we are making through our lifetime together.  It's a wonderful reminder every year that God gives us a precious life to live and that we should enjoy every moment afforded to us.

Our nativity scene is out and the tree is up, but the rest of the house looks like the attic exploded Christmas and Thanksgiving decorations.  Stay tuned for pictures of the rest of the decorating.  I have to take pictures to show because otherwise only I get to enjoy it.....and I love to share. 

Happy Holidays.

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