I am all for convenience, but isn’t buying a tree that’s already decorated for Christmas taking things just a little too far? Yes, the trees with all the matched ornaments and coordinated colors are beautiful, but personally I prefer a tree with mismatched handmade ornaments. I like paper angels with gold glitter glued to their wings and hand-colored crosses made of Popsicle sticks. Designer trees might look classy, but home-grown trees decorated by children who insist on hanging the majority of the ornaments on the same three branches have something the store-bought trees don’t: character.
Decorating a tree together is one of those special family moments that children always remember. When I was a little girl, our tree always stood in front of our picture window so everyone could see it from the road. Mom insisted on a real tree, and the smell of pine always takes me back to those Christmases of long ago. Daddy would fall asleep on the couch while Mom strung the lights. My younger brother and I hung all the ornaments. We were probably not much help, but it was fun. And it was family time spent together, even if Dad was only partially aware of what was going on around him.
My mother was a teacher so our tree didn’t go up until she was out of school for Christmas break. My children would never be able to wait that long to decorate. They are ready to begin the day after Thanksgiving and I understand why. Many stores start displaying Christmas items in September. It may just be me, but I find it a little disconcerting to walk past an aisle filled with stuffed Santas and plastic reindeer on your way to buy a Halloween costume.
One lady I know has a special closet in her home for her tree. Each year they take it out, dust off the cobwebs, and plug it in. Instant Christmas! Not a bad idea, especially since undecorating is not nearly as much fun as decorating. But if you do it that way then you miss all the “remember whens.”
“Remember this ornament?” one of my twins says as he holds up a paper angel.
“Yeah, and remember this one? We made it in Sunday school class,” the other says as he shows off a Popsicle cross.
I think we’ll keep decorating our tree one ornament at a time. The best moments in life don’t always happen when it’s convenient.
Happy holidays from the Kindreds and your friends at Kentucky Living!