We just put up our Christmas tree, and wow did it bring back some memories.
Our tree looks pretty, and I like pretty things to a degree. But what makes the tree beautiful are the things that really aren’t very pretty on their own.
But the memories they represent ensures that I proudly display them every year, and what sends love and gratitude bursting out of my chest.
My favorite part
I love spending time with my family putting up the tree and laying out our favorite items. But my favorite part of Christmas decorating is opening my box of keepsakes and gently unwrapping my homely little treasures from the tissue paper that cradles them in the box.
I always let out a quiet “awww” as I reveal each one.
My very favorite decorations aren’t very pretty, but they are priceless. They each represent the passage of time and different little memories.
These are a few of my favorite things
Like these salt dough hand print ornaments that I made with the kids when they were 6 and 1. I was so tired then, but I wanted to do something special with the kids.
The little wooden toy soldier my oldest made in first grade.
The Baby’s First Christmas rattle ornament that my sister-in-law bought the year my oldest was born. Amen for the wooden keepsake box that keeps it safe every year.
A clear glass ornament with sand and pretty shells that I bought on a weekend girls trip to California with my best friend a few years ago.
The big breakable Merry Christmas ornament my husband ran in and bought for me after I admired it in my little hometown flower shop before we were married. The lid broke one year and has been glued back together.
The “Jesus” wood slice ornament given to the members of my sweet mom’s group at church, so we would remember the reason for the season. And keep our eyes on the prize, if you will.
The sweet little angel ornament given to me by a sweet friend.
My little one’s hand print ornament from preschool.
The popsicle stick picture frame that I made in school.
The little nativity set my little one made at the preschool church nursery, flanked by two clay angels that I made when I was little.
My mom kept the angels and this (I’ll go ahead and use the word) ugly Santa on a String that I made in kindergarten. Hey, I could write my name at least.
It’s been through a lot.
My mom kept and proudly displayed our homely school projects every year at Christmas. We used to groan when we would see them, but she has since passed them on to us as adults and they hold a lot of meaning to me now.
The keepsakes generate that warm special feeling of Christmas. They sit in the storage box next to multiple strings of lights that may or may not work from year to year, and other glittery, shiny standby bulb ornaments.
Every time I open the box, I take a deep breath and choose to celebrate the growth, relationships and people the keepsakes represent. The ones who are still here, those that sadly aren’t, and the ships that have sailed. The decorations remind me of the important little things mixed into the big picture, and how life is so full of them. And how much they matter.
They aren’t perfect. But to me, that makes them the greatest Christmas decorations of all.
Enjoy this post? See also:
- The Magic of Pajamas and Christmas Lights
- You Can Learn a Lot from an Ugly Pie Crust
- The Hardest Part of Going Home
- The Biggest Crybaby of All
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