Ornaments are a unique bridge to our personal history, as are really any holiday decorations. I understand that not everyone celebrates Christmas but at this time of year, many are celebrating something.
When I was a child, my parents wouldn’t get a Christmas tree until just a week before Christmas. Then, on Christmas Eve, we decorated the tree. I think my father did it this way because the trees died and he ended up with pine needles all over the floor…better to have the tree for a shorter period of time. Decorating the tree was a big deal because of the weeks-long anticipation of it and the amount of time we got to have it. Comparing it to now, we put up the (fake) tree and decorate the weekend after Thanksgiving.
Every year I decorate the tree with my girls, I like looking at all the ornaments we have collected through the years. They represent our history as a family. My husband brought ornaments into our marriage, and I brought a few as well. So some of the ornaments are from when we were young. However, the majority of them represent times and places in our lives and map out the years.
There is one ornament with a Precious Moment photo pressed onto a sand dollar. “Abigail” is written on it in cutesy handwriting. The sand dollar is chipped. I know that I bought that for my oldest daughter when she was two years old. My father had just died, and my husband and I took my mother to Myrtle Beach. I bought that ornament for my daughter while in a little Christmas store. It was the summer of 1996. I was pregnant with my second child. My husband was playing in an amateur golf tournament.
That one single cheap ornament brings back several feelings and memories, some of my saddest days and some of my more exciting days.
Some of the ornaments are handmade from Girl Scouts. When my girls were little, they were both in the scouts and I was a leader. Whenever I see the yellow orbs covered in glue and buttons, it brings me back to that little church in Apex, North Carolina where we’d meet each week and work on our badges. My co leader was a nurse and she had two daughters, one of whom had Celiac disease. She was teeny tiny. I always wonder whatever became of that family whenever I look at those ugly-ass ornaments we made.
We have ornaments from special occasions, like Baby’s First Christmas or First Christmas in our New House…three new houses ago…
This year, when you are looking at your tree, see if any of your ornaments take you back to moments in time. This is a great way to help you with story ideas. Each ornament has a story, if you let it tell the story…