Why I Love to Decorate Our Christmas Tree!

 Welcome to Real Life. O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree. How lovely are thy branches.

He who has not Christmas in his heart
will never find it under a tree.
 
– Roy L. Smith

Our Christmas tree isn't elegant or themed to match our d├ęcor. Rather, it's a cozy mix of eclectic ornaments spanning a lifetime. Many tell a story. This is a sampling.


Our holiday season begins at Fred's Tree Farm.[1] Our first time there, we left our infant son Denny with my parents to meet Terry's family at Fred's. Denny is now thirty-three. We've cut our fresh tree at Fred's Tree Farm every year since. 


My brother Joe, a retired 82nd Airborne Army Sergeant, served in the first Gulf War—Operation Desert Storm. He bought me this Arabian Oil Lamp ornament as a souvenir. Each time I hang it, my heart swells with pride over my brother's military service. I thank God for protecting him in dangerous places!


As a young mom, I served as a Care Group Leader in our church's MOPs (Mothers of Preschoolers) Ministry. Carol Shenker, our Coordinator, handcrafted this angel for her leadership team. It evokes sweet memories of serving together while holding our babies!


Long ago, in a galaxy far away, I handcrafted and sold mop dolls, diaper bags, baby quilts, calligraphy, and ornaments like this one at craft shows. When I hang it, I remember late nights with my glue gun after my boys fell asleep.



The first Friday of December, my dear friend and mentor Pat Beach used to host an annual ornament party. She would give each attendee a gift via an exchange game. This early American storefront traded hands many times before I finally won it. I'd often find Calvin's Micromachine figures in it. Though Cal is now an adult, I still hang this ornament low on the tree like I did when he was small (so he could reach it). 



Through my sons' school-aged years, we made ornaments as gifts for family. This one is dated 2004. When I hang it, the three of us are sitting around our kitchen table with paint, glue, and glitter.



A couple years ago, my adult son Calvin relived the handcrafted ornament tradition. He painted these pretty mittens for us as a gift!



My Aunt Cathe brought me this lovely ornament as a souvenir from Slovakia. It reminds me of my rich heritage. Som Slovanka. (I am Slovak.)



My cousin Ivan sent me this paper quill ornament from Bratislava, Slovakia. Now every gift and card he ever sent me are especially cherished. Because, sadly, Ivan died in May of 2020.



Every December, my best friend Helen and I plan a Christmas outing. On one such outing, I purchased this heart at Donzell's Garden Center in Akron, Ohio. Before they closed in 2019, Donzell's transformed into a Christmas wonderland each December. This heart represents fond memories of annual outings with my best friend!


My husband grew up camping at Pymatuning State Park. We still camp there with family and our dear friends April and Sal Parrella (who are like family and) who gave us this ornament. When I hang it, I feel the warmth of the campfire and hear the laughter of friends.


I purchased this shell ornament (where else, but) in Florida. Every November, my in-laws spend two weeks at Ft. Meyers Beach. A couple years, we joined them. This ornament reminds me of fun in the sun and Sanibel Island shopping trips with late beloved mother-in-law Lillian!



I display different ornaments each year, but I always hang this one! Over thirty years ago, my brother Richard sent us this cross. Amidst twinkling lights and sweet memories, this ornament reminds me. Jesus Christ was born to save us. Christ is the reason we celebrate Christmas! 

It's not perfect or elegant. But every year when I decorate it, our Christmas tree tells me a story of love and grace, family and friendship. By the time I'm finished, I'm convinced it's the most beautiful tree in the world. And that's why I love to decorate it! Does your tree tell a story?

Dearest Lord Jesus,
May we never forgot.
Before the tinsel and lights,
You were born in a manger.
Thank you for leaving the glory of heaven,
to come and save us from our sins.
We open our hearts wide to you, Lord Jesus.
Amen.

Take it further... "O come to my heart, Lord Jesus. There is room in my heart for thee." This simple prayer from a Christmas carol can transform your life. Learn more at Need Him

[1] Fred's Tree Farm, 5631 Mack Dr Valley City, OH 44280  

Comments

  1. I love that you shared the memories each ornament evoked. This happens for us, too, and is why we don’t have a theme tree. Although in true American fashion, many families now have two trees. Haha, not this minimalist.

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    1. Thanks for sharing, Kelly. We only have one tree, also. I wouldn't want this one to be jealous. LOL!

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  2. Hi, Peggi! That was indeed beautiful, and reminded me of the many beautiful Christmas memories I've been blessed to share with my family. And i do mean, Blessed. I was divorced for 13 years before i managed to get my wife back, and with her, another nine years of sweet, divine Christ's Mass's with a still growing family i never thought i would be able to have this late in life. I smiled wide when i saw you reference Helen as your best friend, and i'm am glad that friendship has lasted the test of years...our relationships with each other on this planet are what is of real value. She and i are still in touch, and i remember you with fondness....much cheer, love, and Blessings during this time of remembrance of Christ, and his birth in our hearts.

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    1. Hi John,
      What a happy surprise to hear from you! I'm glad to hear you are with your wife and enjoying your family. That's wonderful! Yes, Helen and I are still best buddies. It's great that the two of you are still in touch. Merry and blessed Christmas to you and your family! Thanks so much for writing!

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