Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Our Christmas Tree

It isn't easy to blog with the kids home. In fact, I am simultaneously writing this post and spinning the wheel in a very exciting game of Twister. It's hard to (Right Foot Green) put a sentence together (Left Hand Yellow) while calling out instructions (Right Hand Blue), so please bear with me.

We have been busy little bees around here. We had 4 holiday performances, 2 which involved my two-year-old sucking his thumb, yawning and staring into space. That would be perfectly fine, except that he was in the show. I'm not sure he realized that. I don't think he's destined for Broadway, but he sure gave us a lot to laugh about.

We went to see Santa at the mall today. I believe this is the first picture that we have with him where there isn't one child screaming in terror. Although I'm relieved that no one was terrorized and everyone was smiling, there's a part of me that's a little sad. They're growing up.

Last year...

This year...

I shared my Colonial-style Christmas tree with you a few weeks ago, but the tree that I really consider our Christmas tree is this one.

Yes, the star is crooked and most of the ornaments are dangling precariously on the bottom branches. It's not a tree that will be featured on other blogs or saved in anyone's design inspiration files. But, to me it is more beautiful than any tree I've seen in the glossy pages of a magazine.

Every year we strap a Frazier fir to the roof of the minivan to bring home and create our family Christmas tree. Nothing beats the smell of a live tree. Although we barely have enough ornaments to fill half the tree, we always choose a large one. I could run to the store and buy ornaments to fill the empty spots, but that will never happen. This is a tree that will grow over time. It is filled with our family memories. It cannot be rushed or styled.

Each ornament means something to us. It started with a marriage

and a Hawaiian honeymoon

It grew with the birth of 4 children.

Those children blessed us with the greatest gifts in life.

Their precious hands made ornaments more special than anything sold in a store.

The tree serves as a place to store memories. We always bring home an ornament from our travels. They remind us of summer vacations to Hilton Head.

Traveling around Europe before kids. (This is a lace ornament from Bruges, Belgium.)

Having fun with Mickey and friends in Orlando.

The few months we spent on Bainbridge Island, WA, taking the ferry back and forth to Seattle.

A Canadian adventure.

A trip to beautiful Santa Fe, right before my husband and I became outnumbered with the birth of child #3.

It's fun to unwrap the ornaments every year and reminisce about places we've visited and things we experienced. Even the not-so-memorable trips provide a source of laughter. We bought an ornament several years ago on a vacation to San Diego. Luckily, we got it on the very first day we were there. By the second day, smoke and ash from wildfires covered the entire city when the Santa Ana winds shifted direction. We escaped on the first flight we could get. Ahhhh... memories!

I hope this Christmas is filled with wonderful memories for all of you :) Thanks for stopping by!

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  1. I think the tree is very pretty! One of these days, I am going to have a real tree just like so many of you in blogland :)

  2. Your tree is what Christmas is all about; precious memories made and moments shared with those you love. It's beautiful, and so are your children.
    Merry Christmas to you and yours, Carolyn!
    ~ Wendi ~ xo

  3. I think your tree is beautiful, crooked star and all! You are right - it's the precious ornaments that make it all so beautiful anyway. When your children are older, those handmade ornaments and the ones with their photos, etc. will become even more precious. Enjoy every moment. :-)

  4. I love your stories behind the ornaments. I'm sure this is the tree that the presents go under and is surrounded by everyone Christmas morning. My kids are home from school for the rest of the year now too. That means, we all have to take turns using the computers. We need another one. Maybe after Christmas when they go on sale. Thanks for sharing your personal keepsake ornaments with us.

  5. Your tree is so pretty, and I love the ornaments of the boys. Great Christmas pic too. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  6. Precious! Your little guys are so darling. I know you will enjoy every moment of the holiday. Amy and Adam arrive on Thursday and are expecting to see Keg and her guys while they are here. Wish you could make it a threesome. Wait, no, that would make it a ten-some! Yikes that's a heck of a lot of BOYS!!! What was in that water at Marietta???????????
    Linda @ A Toile Tale

  7. I love how you are creating your personal family history and collecting ornaments that have meaning.

    It is infinitely more interesting than an all matching tree in the latest bauble

    Happy Christmas

  8. Love the tree! And I'm happy to say that we have the exact Mickey ornament from 2000 on our tree as well!


  9. ...sorry...2008, not 2000.

  10. I don't think your Christmas card could be any cuter.
    Merry Christmas.

  11. So pretty and I love the picture with the little one crying on santa's lap ;)
    Wishing you a wonderful Christmas!
    I haven't posted yet (it will go up tomorrow) but you were the winner of the annie sloan pillow and apron. I will send all your info over to Robyn! XOXO

  12. Those pictures are precious...what adorable sons you have!!
    And your tree looks beautiful...those darling handmade ornaments get me every time, just knowing the amount of hard work made by cute chubby little hands and loads of love went into making them makes them priceless!