Saturday, December 13, 2008

We need a bigger tree

We just finished decorating the Christmas tree and I did some proactive organizing to ease the post-holiday clean-up.

We have WAY too many ornaments for a normal 7 1/2' tree (under $28 at Home Depot - a gorgeous Douglas fir!). And we love every one of them.


  • Two Chrismons a year, made by the women of St. Luke's Presbyterian Church. Nine years in the pew, 18 Chrismons so far, and each set unique.
  • A huge collection presented by T's mom through the years, first individual ones, then a family ornament. I just counted - we have more than two dozen. They're particularly precious because she has passed on and the collection will not grow.
  • A souvenir ornament from each place we visit. We have ornaments from Baltimore, New York City, Kiawah, Philadelphia, Boston, Salem NC, Disney World, Universal Studios . . . placing them on the tree brings back such happy memories.
  • An annual ornament for A and AG, commemorating something special about that year. A has 16 so far and AG has 11.
  • The most precious of all - ornaments made by the kids or featuring their baby, toddler, and preschool photos. The durability of fragile paper footprints and washable paint-thumbprints on baked cookie dough is amazing.
  • Ornament Exchange party treasures and white elephants - I remember each and every party. A favorite? A completely narcissistic "Garage Sale Santa" - the big guy has an armful of finds from garage sales. I bought it, placed it into the mix of the ornament exchange, and managed to win it back!
Since we simply don't have room for a kazillion treasured keepsakes, I suggested we place our favorites on the tree, then organized the others by giver and occasion. The Chrismons are going to be hung on ribbon draped between the family room and kitchen.

Excess often embarrasses me - I try very hard not to be an accumulator of things just for the sake of having them. This is an exception. Taking out the ornaments once a year is a nostalgic visit to happy times and an investment in future days when the kids are grown, we've passed on, but memories continue to connect us.

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