Decorating the Christmas Tree

Every year we go pick out a Christmas tree, let it thaw out so its branches hang down, and then wrap it in lovely colorful lights and adorn it with ornaments. Sometimes we can see the tree before it is wrapped and know if it’s a “good” tree, and some years, like this year, it’s wrapped in plastic netting so we can only judge the tree from how it looks in netting.

We get in our most Christmasy-ish Pjams and head downstairs to gather round the Christmas tree. The refreshing pine scent fills the room, the Christmas music is gaily “sweetly singing o’er the plains…” the Christmas cookies are warm from the oven, and we are all laughing and shrieking over our “most special ornament ever”–I think that I have like 18 of those. :)

You see, in my family, my parents give each one of us children a special ornament every year. Over the past few years, my parents have picked ornaments that represent some place that we’ve visited or lived in from the past year. Putting up ornaments is more than just decorating a beautiful evergreen tree, it’s remembering the past and seeing how much God has blessed us throughout the years!


The year I was born, my parents gave me a Lenox ornament with three angels and the word “Rejoice.” I think that this is probably my most favorite ornament of all times. After all, it was my first. :)

For my second Christmas, I got an ornament that was my great-grandmother’s. It is a Christmas pickle. To you, that probably sounds silly and honestly I’m not sure who came up with the idea of having a Christmas Pickle, but here it is, in our tree. Family traditions holds that whoever owns a Christmas Pickle gets to hid it in the tree and then everyone else looks for the pickle. They’re supposed to get a prize, but I think we gave up on that part of the tradition a few Christmases ago. :)
Then, for my third Christmas, I got a Piglet. And I just think that he’s pretty much one of the cutest ornaments that I own. I mean seriously, who doesn’t LOVE Winnie the Pooh? I still find myself singing the Winne the Pooh song…to myself in my bedroom, of course. :)
I’m not sure what the significance of the fishing cat that I got for my fourth Christmas is exactly, but i do know that I absolutely love the cat. He’s the fisherman that I’ll never be. I look up to him so much. Maybe one day he’ll show me the trick of catching fish, for I am still fishing for that secret…ha.ha.
And then, when I was five, I suppose that my passion must have been ballet. But then again, what little girl doesn’t love dressing up in a pink, frilly tutu. Actually, my ballerina’s color is blue, but you get the point. :)
For the next Christmas, which was when I was six, my parents gave us a painted bell. I believe that my aunt told my mother about these cute hand painted bells, and then wha-la, I got one for Christmas. :) I think that they’re so little and sweet, and a treat to look at.  There really is something special about hand made things. They’re charming…well, most of them are. ;)
And then, on the seventh year of Christmas (or rather, my seventh Christmas) I got a pewter loon. This was the beginning of the “buy a Christmas ornament from a place that we visited.” My mom and dad bought the loon in a little town in Vermont, after we had gone on a winter vacation to upper New York and Lake George.
The next year, my family and I vacationed in Martha’s Vineyard, a little island south of Cape Cod in Massachusetts. We took a ferry to the island, stayed in a little rental house, and biked all over the island. We had a wonderful time…of course. :)
My ninth Christmas, I got a little Dutch girl. And no, we did NOT go to Holland that year. She’s just a cute girl. And, my dad was born in Holland, and my grandmother absolutely loves it there. Combine those factors, and you get a Dutch girl ornament at Christmas. :)
Here’s another ornament that doesn’t really have much to do with where we went. It’s a star baby…for lack of a better name. I think that’s adorable. It broke a few years ago, but thanks to me dad and super glue, it’s all better now. :)
I’m not remember what I got my eleventh year from my parents…maybe I was really bad or something. ;) But, I did get a beautiful Japanese ornament from a family that I babysat.

The twelfth year of Christmas, I got a glass angel. She’s yellow, and she’s clashing cymbals in praise of God. Or at least, that’s what I have her doing. Another family tradition: angels all go on the top of the tree. :)
My yellow angel playing her cymbals

Angels at the top of the tree

This year, we lived in Japan and my parents got all of us children a Hachinohe Horse. These remind me a bit of the Swedish Horses…only these are Japanese. :) And, the apple that the horse is in reminds us of the time we got an apple from a farmer’s market that was practically as big as our heads. :) Oh, and last, but not least, the little jingle bells remind us of the festival that we went to where there were floats that the Japanese believe to collect the sins of the people. There’s a huge parade with creepy floats, dancers, bands, and people who throw jingle bells to the crowd. Because we were blonde Americans, we got lots of bells.
In 2007, (my fourteenth Christmas), we lived in Cheyenne and my parents gave me a golden cottonwood leaf. If you’ve never lived in a place that has cottonwood trees, you’re not missing much in the spring for it looks like it’s snowing cotton..only it’s not as fun to play in as snow is. :)
This year, I got a metal horse…which is a very westerny thing and since we lived in Wyoming, it fit. We went to the Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo every year we lived in Cheyenne, and we went this past summer, even though we don’t live there anymore. :)
This is probably one of my most favorite ornaments. The Frontier Chapel. This was right next to our house in Cheyenne. I think that I probably like it so much because I love living in Cheyenne. Anyways, this ornament reminds me of my wonderful house and all the fun parties we had in the creepy old attic.
This is the last Wyoming ornament. I got this one for Christmas from Glacier National Park, in Montana. The moose’s name is Kenai P. Mooskin. He’s also a fisher…moose. hmm, maybe one day I’ll be able to fish.
This is the most recent addition to my collection. The Mexican pottery cross. Honestly, I had a really hard time with the move from Cheyenne to Clovis, but it has taught me to look to Christ more and more. I can’t even begin to say how thankful I am for that reminder. And now, I’ve got a cross to remember that by, and that’s amazing.
Well, now I’m done with the ornament story. Hope you all enjoyed it! I hope you have a merry and blessed Christmas as you remember the reason why Jesus Christ came to this earth.

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