I haven’t always celebrated Christmas, but I’ve always loved it! The twinkling lights, those annoyingly hard to unwrap, but oh so worth the trouble, miniature candy canes, hot cocoa with marshmallows, Christmas Carols, those stop motion holiday tv specials and the list goes on… But the thing I loved the most was, and still is, the Christmas Tree. We didn’t have a tree in my childhood home, but a highlight every season was visiting my neighbor’s homes and helping to hang their ornaments. I recall there being many homemade items and loved watching them unwrap and remember each one.
Now years later I’ve built quite an ornament collection of my own, each with their own memory attached. Every year I look forward to opening up the boxes and taking out what I’ve come to think of as little treasures. Each one a precious reminder of some beloved character, far away place or special moment in our lives. Not only that, but many happy things have taken place around our Christmas tree, not the least of which was Tim’s proposal of marriage, but wait, before we get to that, there was another tree…
That First Christmas Tree
The first ornaments I purchased were for Tim, who I was dating at the time, he was having a party and mentioned that everyone should bring an ornament. I wasn’t exactly sure what to purchase, so decided on some silver snowflakes and a silver bell. The silver bell representing my favorite Christmas movie, It’s A Wonderful Life! A premonition maybe?
What I didn’t know was that the whole party was planned to impress me! I guess he’d been listening when I mentioned my love of Christmas Trees? When I arrived at the party I saw that he’d decorated the most amazing tree I’d ever seen. It was the perfect shape and covered with lights, bows and sparkling ornaments. In my eyes It couldn’t have been more perfect!
I found out later that he’d gone out and purchased everything on the tree just for the party, and I only found out this year that he’d spent an entire paycheck on that first tree! Of course there was also mistletoe at that party and somehow we managed to find ourselves under it at the very same time… imagine that!
Now 18 or so trees later, we’ve still got those original silver snowflakes and the bell along with many of those first ornaments.
Over the years I’ve continued to collect memories and ornaments in almost every major city we’ve visited: Raggedy Anne and Andy in Portland, Oregon were some of the first along with a Yellow Cab in New York City. I picked up Fleur-de-lis ornaments in Paris, Versailles and New Orleans. In Ireland I found a harp and in Scotland a Scottie, Nessie and a set of pipes! Of course London has its place on the tree along with Victoria, Lisbon, Toledo, Rome, Glasgow, Kyoto, and Hawaii. Also just a few of our favorite characters making appearances are Hello Kitty, Spiderman, Captain America, and Spongebob.
Each year I go to the tree lot in the hopes of finding a replica of that first perfect tree. While I don’t always come home with my ideal tree I know that once I cover it with all of our treasures, old and new and surround it with the people I love, “this year’s” tree will be the most beautiful tree yet.
Here’s to finding your “perfect tree!”
Happy Holidays! xo