christmas · family · life · special days

o tannenbaum

It’s been three years since we’ve had our own tree.

(You can read some of our story here, here, here, here and here)

Because we have not been in our own home, most of our belongings were in storage and we did not have our Christmas decorations with us.  That’s a long time when you’re a kid.  My df girl and my cl boy were so happy to be getting an actual full-sized, real, fragrant tree this year.  (Last year we got a couple of mini ones for their rooms and the dining room table.)

We had fun pulling each ornament from the storage tote and reminiscing. (Unfortunately some are still awol–like the flamingo from Florida.) There were ornaments my littles made.  Ones we gave them so they would have ornaments that were their very own.  Ornaments that were special gifts.

A few years ago we began collecting ornaments as souvenirs from our travels; we also filled clear balls with sand and shells we’d scavenge.  At least when we remembered…

We bought this starfish in Nova Scotia when we toured around the east coast in 2013.

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A man was selling handmade buoys from his garage in North Rustico, Prince Edward Island.  We bought this mini one for our tree.

In 2013, we had an opportunity to help some missionary friends in Ireland.  We found this lovely Balleek snowflake there.

We took a couple of days to visit London, England, while on our trip to Ireland.  This beefeater looked rather festive in his red coat.

One year we made these sheet music stars with my daughter-in-love.  They were decorating their first tree together.  Instructions are here.

I tend to be a bit of a fuss-budget about things, but I am pretty relaxed about the tree.  I want it to be a fun thing for the kids.  A treasured memory.  After all, some day they will be all grown up, with homes, and families and trees of their own. (I speak from experience…four of our children are already in this stage of life.)

I try not to interfere too much as they hang the ornaments–other than some occasional refereeing.  My df girl is more of a minimalist.  She like cohesion and simplicity.  On the other hand, my cl boy wants to use every.single.ornament.in.the.box.  We managed to complete the task without coming to fisticuffs.

The tree is not perfectly balanced. It is not impeccably co-ordinated. The ornaments are neither exquisite nor expensive. I prefer white lights, but my Love likes the coloured bulbs (although the orange ones bother him a bit.) It is a little haphazard, a mishmash of colours and themes, but it  tells the story of our family, reflects who we are.

And that is the way we like it…

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