Dec 19, 2008

Trimming the Tree

For years, I've wanted a fancy Christmas tree, with matching ornaments, perfectly placed and not meant for touching. But recently, I look at my small tree, with its twisted branches and all of the homemade ornaments we've collected over the years, and I wouldn't trade it for anything.

Our tree ranges from the fancy ornaments Grandma purchases for each of the children every year, to the homemade bows and gingerbread men we made the first year we bought our tree, but didn't have money to buy ornaments. After all these years, most of the gingerbread men are missing an arm or leg, and the bows have long been smashed and misshapen, but the kids still insist on putting them on the tree.

Since I have a large family, every year I get new ornaments the kids make at school. My favorites are the ones that include their picture on them, that way I can remember which year they were made and which child gave them to me. In fact, the angel on the top of our tree, was made by one of the kids in school. It is made from a paper plate folded in the shape of an angel. Over the years, I've debated about buying a fancy angel for the top, but I can't stand the thought of replacing that paper plate angel.

We also have many ornaments we've made doing the Christmas activity that comes in the Friend magazine each year. There are cutouts of shepherds, sheep, Mary, Joseph, and the Baby Jesus. We have popsicle stick mangers covered with hay, and candy canes made from twisted pipe cleaners.

While trimming the tree, our time is spent listening to the kids saying, remember when . . . or I made this one in 3rd grade . . . and this one I got the year we went to grandmas. Each ornament has a special memory attached to it, and listening to the kids recount them each year is one of the best parts of Christmas.

Now, this blog is supposed to be about scrapbooking. So, here's my idea. This year, as your children recount the story of each ornament, write them down. Take pictures while you trim the tree. You can even take closeups of the ornaments, and then write the story of each one. It will give you something to look back on when your children are no longer around to tell you the stories. It would make a great Christmas gift to give your grown-up children, so they can share it with their own children and say, I remember when . . .

Return to the Neighborhood.


Nichole Giles said...

I love my homemade ornaments too! I've given lots of thought to a more elegant tree, but gave up the idea a few years ago. I wouldn't trade my cardstock ornaments with glued on puzzle pieces for the world!

This year, no one made ornaments at school, so I bought plain white ceramic ones so the kids could paint them and glue their pictures on--just to keep up the tradition.

That is what Christmas is all about, right?

Thanks for the great thoughts.

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