We took down our Christmas tree today. I didn’t realize until today that it lasted all 12 days of Christmas.
Our real Fraser Fir was nick named Mr. FFR (fluffy, Fraser) by my kids, and yes, we name our trees. It’s a thing…maybe just our thing? Anyway, Mr. FFR really lasted a long time. Sure the needles were falling, but he really looked full and beautiful adorned with lights and ornaments until the very end.
Every Christmas Tree Tells a Story
I couldn’t help but feel a little sentimental taking down the tree with so many stories behind the decorations on our tree year after year. Our grandparents and parents gave us so many beautiful ornaments from little on, and some of them have become our daughter’s favorites. My dad handmade wooden sled ornaments years ago. My mom made both the angel that tops our tree and the tree skirt at the bottom.
Ornaments remind me of places we’ve lived or traveled – two more recent ones from the Grand Canyon and South Dakota.
There’s ornaments from Germany and Austria to remember my high school foreign exchange program and my semester abroad in Vienna. There’s a hang gliding Santa that my best friend gave me because I went paragliding in Switzerland.
One plastic orb holds freeze dried flowers from my wedding bouquet.
Another high heel ornament reminds me of our favorite girls’ nights with my sister, cousin and aunt.
Each one of us have ornaments from the year we were born – mine and Daddy O’s looking a little more well-loved than our kids’ numerous baby ornaments.
This tree is our life as a family. It’s adorned with a whole lot of love through many years.
And then there’s the ornaments and gifts that our kids have made. Each year more ornament crafts make their way from backpacks and onto our tree. Today, I have to confess, that some of the ones in bad shape (sticker, foam type) went in the garbage! Many, however, are part of our annual holiday decor.
While most of these projects were made at school, I remember Big Sister making the reindeer flower pot craft in our basement inside of a patio furniture box that transformed into a “workshop / fort” for our her. She had glue, paint, pipe cleaners and the flower pots all assembled in her work station down there. In the end, she gave me, Daddy O. and her brother each a reindeer flower pot. They turned out adorable, and we were proud of her for putting so much effort into these gifts.
The hand prints are getting bigger through the years, and I can’t help but wonder when they’ll stop doing these hand print crafts. At seven and nine, my kiddos are growing up for sure, but still firmly believe in the magic of Christmas. Big Sister wrote a letter to Santa for our elf Fred to deliver to him. Elf on the Shelf proved to be an amazing way to motivate the kids to get out of bed in the month of December. It was really fun and very sweet.
Here was a new event that Big Sister created at grandma and grandpa’s house this year:
What will next year hold for our family? How much longer will these sweet traditions last? I can’t predict for sure.
And while some traditions fade away (and I
may will be a little sad), I hope we’ll find a way to make new family traditions. Until that day comes, I’m just going to soak up and savor all of the sweetness and joy that this parenting gig can hold.
This is what I found on the back of Little Brother’s hand print craft:
A beautiful tree decorated with cherished memories. I just love the note behind the craft, that’s what it’s all about.