November 30, 2012

Fun Friday Christmas Tradition Style: Trees

Our Christmas tree this year.
From now until Christmas, I'm going to be talking about Christmas traditions. I think it's awesome how different families do things...well, differently. I'll share my traditions with you, and you share yours with the rest of us! Deal? Sweet.

When I was growing up, my mom gave my brother and I an ornament every year so that when we moved out, we wouldn't have to start from scratch. So we had to have somewhere to put all of these kids ornaments in the meantime. Thus, a kids tree.

Because something about my mom...well, she liked things to be pretty. And if our Christmas tree was going to be in the front window for all to see (much better than a leg lamp, dontcha think?), then it needed to be flat-out gorgeous.

And kids ornaments? Yeah, they didn't really fit the bill.

So, a separate kids tree was born. Mom had her pretty tree in the front room, and we had the kids tree in the family room. It worked really well.

When Mike and I got married, we had this dinky little tree in our apartment that we decorated with those kids ornaments--some from me, some from him (his parents gave him ornaments also!). When we moved into our house a few years ago, we bought a nine-foot tree. And suddenly, I wanted to do something different.

I wanted the pretty tree, like my mom used to have. So I asked my dad for all of my mom's decorations and he gave them to me. Now, for the past three years, I've decorated our tree with her decorations and something about it makes me feel close to her.

In a way, it's the little thing I do to remember her at Christmas time.

Your Turn: What traditions do you have regarding a Christmas tree? How do you decorate it? Did your parents give you ornaments every year when you were growing up?


  1. Oh, I love that you resurrected your mom's tree, Lindsay!
    We have one tree--an all-kids' tree.
    And we have a very special, handmade star that tops our tree. And a tradition that goes with it too. Once our tree is up -- a bit behind this year -- I hope to send a photo to you. And share the story. I blogged about it earlier this week.


  2. Husband did fake. We did real. Both families junked up the trees with kid created goofy ornaments.

    Today we load ours up with paste and sparkle ornaments too. Ah...traditions! :D
    ~ Wendy

  3. My parents bought us our own ornaments each year growing up too! But we kept them all on one increasingly overloaded tree. Had quite the collections the first year I had my own tree :) I plan to carry on the tradition with my kids.

  4. We always had two trees, too. The super pretty one and the...less pretty one :) which was actually pretty pretty. Now that I'm grown up we decorate the tree together with pretty ornaments that all match, but we only have one tree. Once we move and get a bigger place, I hope to have two :)

  5. I wanna cry!! You have your Mom's decorations? Awww. Still tearing up...

    Okay, snap it together, Jennifer.

    Oddly enough, people STILL ask us if we have a real tree.
    Here is part of the the blurb on hub's work email.
    Yes, I am totally bragging him up.

    John E. Major...(nerd stuff...blah blah blah)...
    Canadian Forest Service - Atlantic

    See that word?
    You have no idea what we go through if we get a tree name wrong!!
    Just to bug him, I'll say "Is that a Norweginian Palm tree?"
    That vein on his forehead? BOOM!

    I've been slowly building up a collection of non-kid ornamants. The fragile kind that are made in places like Schlossenossenbugendorf, Austria. And the theme is gold and burgundy. I also have 40 feet of elegant ribbon and even, wait for it...wooden cranberries.

    I know!

    Also, I just varnished some furniture and may read this comment tomorrow and move outta the country.

  6. What a neat tradition, Linds. We usually did the pretty ornaments and the not-so-pretty handmade ornaments on the same tree...that is, until we got quite a bit older and my parents moved to do a mostly-pretty tree. :) I wrote this on someone's blog earlier this week that one of my very favorite ornaments is the one from my parents' first Christmas together. Just makes me happy to see it year after year, even if it does look a little old these days! :)

  7. So sweet. I was just putting up lights on the bushes outside w/my mom and thinking that someday I would miss those days. AGH! Sad stuff.

    But we do real trees. Tradition stemming from the epiphany I had at a Christmas tree farm once...the epiphany that my hubby-to-be would fit in perfectly with my family.

    And ornaments and decorating? Let's just say I don't have an interior-decorator bone in my body. It's a hodgepodge every year. But I do like putting ornaments on the tree that were hand-me-downs from grandparents.

    Lovely tree!

  8. Good morning, Lindsay,

    The first weekend in December, we've always gone hunting for the PERFECT Charlie Brown tree. (Crazy - now at Home Depot and I'm sure other places, they sell CB replicas for way too much money - ugh) We find one that has POTENTIAL to be beautiful with a little love. It's a tradition we started when our grown kids were little because we had very little money. That was a way to make buying a cheap tree extra special - I even made a blue blanket for a tree skirt. And now, even with our daughter grown and married (and the owner of an allergy-free vintage white tree - totally their style), since they live only a few miles away, they still join us and we spend the day at a local Christmas Tree farm, playing hide-and-seek in the trees, drinking the first eggnog of the season (we all doggedly hold out til Christmas tree day) and get it home and at least get the lights on it. Then we watch Charlie Brown Christmas, talking through the whole thing, doing the CB dance, singing the songs, and quoting Luke with Linus. Like your folks, we've given our kids ornaments every year - Erin took hers last year but we're refilling those spots with ones for our youngest.

    Good stuff.


  9. I have all of the ornaments from my childhood. We have this angel that is way older than me...When I was a small child, I remember her always having a special place at the top of the tree. She's got a beautiful porcelain face, and a dress of white feathers. Over the years she's yellowed a bit and lost some feathers, but we always put her in her place at the top of the tree.

  10. Looks beautiful, Lindsay! I give my kids a new ornament each year as well. I don't do a separate kids' tree, but I blend their ornaments with my fancy stuff. Of course, I make sure to pick out ornaments that fit in with the color scheme. :)

  11. I just did a post today on my Christmas decorating and my tree is included. It's an odd duck but we love it. :O)

  12. We did real trees for the first few years but then switched to fake trees. My family was not about traditions when I was growing up, so I don't have any collections. I do, however, love those little ornate picture frame ornaments. So I will give those to Nathan when he starts a family. I'm sure his kids will love seeing their dad as a kid.

    Love your traditions!!

  13. My parents also gave us an ornament every year (still do), but they've stayed at my parents's house and still go on their tree, along with all the grandchildren's ornaments. We just went over there tonight and hung our ornaments - that's the other part, my parents don't hang our ornaments, we hang our own, so my sister's ornaments don't go up until she and her family come to Minnesota a few days before Christmas. I love that my parents have kept all of our ornaments together. It's so much fun pulling them out and seeing them hang together year after year. There are well over 250 ornaments on their tree - it's pretty amazing. Not only do we each get an ornament, all of our spouses have been getting them since we all started dating in highschool and now the 11 grandkids. Each year my parents add 19 new ornaments to the tree.