Thursday, December 3, 2015

O Christmas Tree

I love putting up the Christmas tree every year. This year was definitely a challenge, as our pre-lit lights literally went out on the tree. Do you know how hard it is to take off those strands of lights??? I love our tree so much and I didn't want to toss the tree, just because most of the lights stopped working - which is exactly what my husband wanted to do. He warned me that it was a tedious job, but of course I didn't listen. Our tree has 2 parts - the large base, and the small top. Just to get the light strands taken off the teeny tiny top piece took me an hour and 20 minutes! I'll tackle the bottom half next year, but the bottom line is - we kept the tree!

This year's tree - still looking for a good topper.

My ex-mother-in-law always put up a gorgeous tree. Every year had a different color scheme and she would spend lots of time and money buying new ornaments, bows, and ribbons. Was her tree beautiful? Absolutely. It looked like something out of a magazine. But there was one thing that her tree definitely wasn't, and that is: personal. My family's tree probably won't ever be listed in any magazine, but my tree is full of memories, not just ornaments.

I took some photos of my favorite ornaments and thought I'd share them with you. I'm trying to get used to my digital camera again, so please excuse the super unprofessional look. My husband is always on me about having such an expensive camera that I never want to touch, so I'm planning on re-familiarizing myself with this bad boy in 2016.

The Book Tree

I got this ornament at an ornament exchange party that I attend every year. At this particular party, I had the good fortune of having the very last number for our elephant exchange. That meant that I had to open the last box and I had the unique opportunity of being the last person that could trade in my box for another one that was already opened. I had my pick of them all! And you should know that all guests at this party take their ornament purchasing skills very seriously. The minimum value is $10.00, so you can imagine there are some really nice ornaments to pick from. I opted to stick with my box and ended getting the one I would have wanted most anyway. I'm an avid reader (I surpassed my Goodreads goal for the year back in September) and received an Christmas tree made out of the pages of a book. LOVE this ornament!

The Glass Tree

I love to travel. I would go just about anywhere - especially if I've never been there before. My "thing" is to purchase an ornament from each city I visit so that I have a memento of my travels that I get to revisit every year on my tree. This particular tree came from my trip over Labor Day weekend to Pigeon Forge, TN. There's a hotel there, The Inn at Christmas Place, with a GIANT Christmas shop associated with it. I purchased a lot of ornaments there (including my pick for this year's ornament exchange), but this one is by far my favorite. It's a gorgeous blown glass ornament that my sister also wanted to buy. But, of course, this just so happened to be the last one they had. Luckily she conceded and let me have it. Small victories.

The Glass Heart

I have had this ornament since 1998. Originally, it came in a set of 12 from LTD Commodities, but this is the only one I have left. It means so much to me because it's one I purchased the very first time I was pregnant, a time before I was a mom. In fact, I purchased this ornament the first year after I moved out of my parent's home. My first foray into adulthood. Not many ornaments last for so many years - we all know that the other 11 in this set didn't - but I would be absolutely crushed if something happened to this one.

Baby's First Ornaments

What tree would be complete without baby's first Christmas ornaments? These ornaments are from 1999 and 2010. I'm just realizing that they are both bear ornaments. That was totally unintentional. Funny though. Next year I'll be adding TWO more baby's firsts to the tree. Maybe I'll look for two more bear ornaments. Ha!

My First Ornament

This ornament is, by far, the oldest ornament on my tree. This golden beauty has been around since 1977! I am the only one of my four siblings that has their own personalized ornament, and I can't believe my mom still had it! I reclaimed it a few years ago and it's new home has been on my tree. I just hope my daughter carries the tradition on and hosts it on her own tree one day!

Do you have a favorite ornament story? Is your tree filled with personal mementos too? I'm sure I'm not alone in this eclectic decor.


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