As we got older, Mom began to take the reigns and decorate the way only Mom could decorate with beautiful color schemes and with decorations she made herself. She loved decorating her Christmas tree, too. I think that was probably the only thing that brought her real joy during the holiday season. The rest of the "stuff" was stressful for her.
Our Christmas tree has become very meaningful to me during the past 4-5 years. Before that, I just gratefully used whatever we could find, whatever anyone gave to us or whatever we could scrounge up. It had no meaning except for the few ornaments each child made at school which was added to the tree. As I tried to switch my head and heart over to the real meaning of Christmas (honoring Christ) and rid myself of guilt and feelings of inadequacies regarding the kinds of gifts I could (or could not) give, the tree became my focus.
I love my tree. It is not large or opulent. I think everybody should love their trees. We bought a medium sized fake tree that was not pre-lit. I had to have a tree that I could lift by myself. Jim and Christmas trees don't get along well. (Ask a neighbor that saw our tree catapult into her yard one year. But that's another story for another time.) So I put up the tree. I take it down. It has to be smallish. While I'd love to have a beautiful, full, pine smelling tree, they are too expensive now. I have to be content with what I have. And I am.
Every year I had added one or two new decorations and the colors morph a bit. There's more red on the tree this year. I thought I'd tell what each major ornament means to me and why it's on the tree.
Joseph, Mary and Baby Jesus. The small key next to them says "Let Him in." This is pretty self-explanatory. This is a small one. I have a larger one that is front and center on the tree.
Another nativity scene to remind me of the true meaning of a special day.
I put all the Santa Class figurines that I have on top of the bookshelf this year with garland and lights. The tree has no Santa Class mention. But these Santa Clauses are special to me because they were all given to our family. Most came the year we got the quilt with all the money tied to it. I want to always have them present to remind me to always be grateful and to express my gratitude to people who care about me and share with me some part of their goodness. That's why the Santa Clauses are on display.
So here's my simple little tree that is packed full of memories and meaning to me.
I hope you find the same kind of joy and meaning in your own trees this year.