Oh Christmas Tree

My husband has one rule in our house, and that is that we absolutely CANNOT start decorating for Christmas until after Thanksgiving. Fine. I can do that… but the day after Thanksgiving, you better believe we are going to get a Christmas tree!

The tree is by far my favorite part about Christmas. It’s a beautiful symbol of joy for me. And I think I have to thank my momma for that.

Growing up, the tradition in our house was to get a new ornament to put on the tree every year. It always stood for something we love or about us. So many of my ornaments consisted of soccer balls and princesses, because that’s who I was. A feisty little girl who loved to kick a ball but was also known as the “princess” around the house. It always looked liked mad chaos after my bothers and I were finished fighting about who’s gets to go near the top.They were always cluttered together, at least until mom fixed them.  But it was the most beautiful cluster of chaos, and to this day my favorite tradition.

I am completely embarrassed and saddened to tell you that I have since lost my whole box of ornaments that I grew up with. Somewhere in our move a year ago, I lost place of them- I refuse to say I left them at our old house or accidentally threw them away. I am still hopeful that I will find them tucked away in a corner somewhere…someday.

But since getting married and having Oliver, I have kept this one tradition alive. Let me tell you, it’s definitely not the prettiest tree on the block or on your news feed. For a split second, I had thought of going out and getting color coordinated balls and lights and making it look fancy like something from a magazine.

But then I remembered WHY this has always been my favorite part of Christmas.

Those ornaments represent way more than just what sport or interest we were in for that year. They represented who WE are, as a person. We’re not perfect whatsoever, and I don’t even want to come off as trying to be. We have flaws, like many of my old ornaments that were dropped a handful of times. We are quirky and not right sometimes, like Oliver’s banana with a smiley face on it that he picked out last year for the first time. I want Oliver to know that he can grow up to be whatever he wants to be. I want him to be able to express himself through his ornaments like we were able to. Even if that means having a cupcake in the middle of the tree. (That’s what he picked out this year- proud mom moment right there!)

I’m not saying you should toss out your beautiful colored ornaments and replace them hot dogs and light sabers. But think about what you want your traditions to be and what they stand for. Whether you have a full family or live alone in a college dorm, find something that brings you joy. Make your own tradition and let it light up this season.

-J

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