by Michelle Major
To me, the Christmas season can’t officially begin until the tree is up and decorated so it’s one of the first things I do as I’m getting ready for the holidays. We always drag ours out the weekend after Thanksgiving. And although I love the smell of a real tree, mine is artificial. As much as I like putting up ornaments, I do not enjoy stringing lights or cleaning up shedding pine needles (I have too many pets to deal with any more seasonal shedding!)
Of course, the reason I’m sentimental about the tree is because of the memories wrapped up in so many of our ornaments. My favorites (I’m guessing most moms can relate) remain the ones the kids made over the years—dozens of school ornaments and those craft-store stained glass ones, too. One year when he was very young, my son drew toddler Christmas trees and attached bits of string to hang them on the tree. Now at fifteen, he’s mortified that I give them a front and center spot. But they remind me of my big boy as a tiny kid and I love it.
We also have a tradition of buying an ornament on every vacation we take that started with our honeymoon. Again, unwrapping ornaments from each trip takes us down memory lane to fun times we spent together. I also have ornaments that my grandmother made years ago and a couple that were my dad’s when he was a boy. I love the tradition of using ornaments I remember as a kid and sharing how we did things back in the old days—we have plenty of stories of the live trees knocked over by pets and the very hip ‘70s’ tree my grandma had that was covered in fake white snow with only bright blue lights.
Another of our family favorites is the ornament of Mr. Hanky, the Christmas Poo from the show South Park. It tells you a lot about my family’s sense of humor that we all enjoy watching a guest admire the tree and then seeing their reaction when they spot the Santa hat covered plastic poo with a big smile on his face. Priceless every time!
We have a new kitten this year, so every breakable ornament has been wired to the tree within an inch of its life. What is it about cats and climbing the Christmas tree?!
What’s your favorite family holiday tradition? However you celebrate, I hope your holiday season is filled with love and laughter!