Let me kick this one off by saying something totally generic. I love this time of year.
L. O. V. E.
I love the silent nights and the jingle bells. I love sitting in a dark room with the Christmas lights on, when everything feels still and magical all at once. I love that “family-ness” is in the air, and I love remembering the togetherness of Christmases past.
Oh yes, I love to remember.
There are tender memories of Christmas Eves, when we would sit and recount the story of the babe born in Bethlehem. On those nights, the room seemed to positively glow, from the inside-out.
And then you have the Christmas that we decided to be helpful children and give the newly Santa-delivered puppy a bath. With the hose. Outside. (That’s how they did it in Beethoven…) Almost killed Christmas that year. Literally.
Or the Christmas morning that Daniel nearly shot my eye out with his freshly unwrapped ping-pong ball gun. (True story. For the most part.)
With time, all of these memories become sweet. And the tradition I’m sharing with you today is about recording family memories in an untraditional way.
Let me talk to you for just a minute about the tree that’s in my mom’s family room. The best way to explain it, is that it tells the story of our lives.
Lots of families give an ornament to each child at Christmas.
But what if the ornaments you picked were actually a little symbol-or reminder-about the year they’ve had?
Our tree reminds us of family trips we’ve taken (or not taken, like when mom and dad went to London for the Olympics-still a little jealous about that one), dad’s business trips (he’s a travelin’ man), and places we’ve lived.
This is my baby’s first Christmas-and I can’t even tell you how excited I was to hunt for something that would remind us of just one little specific thing in this life-altering first year we’ve had with him. I settled on a Charlie Brown Halloween ornament that will always remind me of one of our first holiday memories with my sweet bald baby.
On the bottom of each ornament, with a fine-tip Sharpie, just write the year and child’s name-or the family vacation location. (It was seriously a significant part of EVERY family trip to find the perfect ornament to go on the tree. Really. You’ll love that part of it! It makes Christmas a little more year-round.)
So there you have it, our own little tree of life. Let the ornament shopping begin!