There are no rules when it comes to tree trimming in our house. We do not have the decorator-variety tree where all the ornaments are coordinated and the latest garland trend is draped perfectly over the evergreen branches.
Our tree is adorned with little feathered handprints, laminated snowflakes proudly framing a preschool picture, quilted treasures from my aunt, wooden creations from my grandfather, different Nativity scenes, the varied collection we have amassed from places we have been, the few glass balls we have left from our first tree (when we ran to CVS for decorations realizing we had none), JoePa figurines, and so much more.
The collection I am most proud of will not be hung on our tree forever. Every year we give each child an ornament that represents an activity, a favorite occasion, or something they love from that year. When we pull out all their ornaments, we see all the things they have done, learned about, and obsessed over.
These are not fancy ornaments. Some have been purchased at the mall kiosk, some have been ordered online, some have been locally purchased, and some have been handcrafted. Everything is represented, from karate to video games to movies as well as princesses, dance, and instruments. Seeing them together creates a little “this is your life” snapshot that will go with each of my kids when they have their own tree someday.
And then there is the collection that is not hung on the tree, but will go with them also. This group is displayed in our studio all year. These are the ornaments designed from clothes that they wore when they were little. For some of you, you may be experiencing this now and for some, you may remember, that there always seemed to be a favorite piece of clothing from each year. It may have been the camo pants with the big pockets for collecting rocks or the Spongebob pjs, or maybe the Cinderella dress or the comfy romper. Now that they are both teenagers, each ornament brings me back to when they were little, and how parenting then was easier and harder at the same time.
Decorating the Christmas tree has always been a big deal in my family. My grandmother hosted her annual tree trimming party to bring family and friends together to eat, drink, and adorn her enormous tree. She believed in the miracle of family and Christmas so this was her time to shine. After she passed away, we created angel ornaments for everyone in the family out of her red and white pjs. My hope is that when that ornament is hung on each tree we can all feel her smiling down on us.
To me, ornaments are not just decoration. They are a family history to be enjoyed, displayed, and shared every year in that magical Christmas time we all love.
Do you have an ornament or Christmas tree tradition? I would love to hear about it.
If you would like us to help you create ornaments from special clothing you have saved, please visit our website (https://www.onceuponatimecreation.com) or contact me (610-202-7850 or firstname.lastname@example.org).