I’ve known those who discard their Christmas tree ornaments every year and buy all new decorations each following year to make sure they have the most contemporary tree for the season. While I’m not discounting this practice, it does make me a little sad to think about. Our tree is at the heart of our décor for the holiday season, but it is much more than a Christmas tree. It’s a memory tree. I have collected ornaments over the years that I will never discard, and my hope is that they will be passed down through the family when the time comes.

We start with a real tree. Our pre-lit tree that has been in storage for several years. When our children were growing up, we would go to Huber’s Orchard & Winery in Starlight Indiana, ride a tractor pulled wagon out to the Christmas tree fields and cut a fresh tree. Once the children were grown and in college, we moved to the pre-lit tree. Now that we have grandchildren, we’re once again embracing this tradition and letting the grandchildren pick that perfect tree to grace our home during the holiday season.

As I sit writing this post, the scent of the long needle white pine fills my nostrils, and I can look over and see pieces of my life hanging from its branches. I see the numerous ceramic and cross stitch ornaments my sister made for me years ago. I see the ornaments given to me by one of the law firms I worked for early in my career. I see the crystal ornament with the image of my precious nephew who is no longer with us, but celebrating a better life with our heavenly father. I see the ornaments given to me by friends, and the ornaments I have picked up when traveling, or attending events, such as the ornaments I picked up in Montana last year when we visited our treasured friends, Natalie & Kevin. I see the ornaments from my friend, Jyll, and the ornaments my sister and I have picked up here and there at quilt shows and craft fairs we’ve attended together, reminding me of how blessed I am to have a sister I enjoy spending time with. I see the ornaments my grandchildren have made over the years. Every time I look at them, I can imagine their precious hands painting and gluing. My newest ornament is from my husband, who fully supports my affinity for snowmen. I’ve included a photo here.

However you are decorating for the holiday season, I hope that you are able to do so with things that warm your heart and make you smile.