Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Christmas Tree Traditions

I love seeing people's Christmas trees and hearing their tree traditions. These days, I wish I had more time to talk to people about their Christmas tree! Instead, when I see a Christmas tree, I'm mostly directing Trixie away before she pulls off a valuable ornament, or worse.

Even at Christmastime, blue tape manages to be part of our household decoration.
Would somebody please stop buying my kids blue tape?

I find it fascinating the way some people have many Christmas trees, and some people just one. Some people decorate their trees with a theme, and some people have matching ornaments, and some people just a hodgepodge of ornaments. Some trees have no ornaments, some are sagging under the weight of ornaments. Some trees have colored lights, some have white lights. Some trees have big lights and some have small lights. Some people like as many lights as possible, some people like just a few or none. Some people mix up their strategies every year, some people have the same strategy every year. What does it all mean? Maybe nothing, but I like to think about it!

Furniture and toys in disarray. Just keeping it real, you know.

We don't change much in the Wyse home. Our tree is the same every year. We fall in the as-many-white-lights-as-possible and hodgepodge-of-ornaments categories. We put up the same hodgepodge of ornaments every year because each ornament has a meaning embedded in it. It wouldn't be quite be Christmas if we didn't put up the little jack in the box ornament and then tear it off the tree to wind it up 20 times a day. Or it wouldn't quite be Christmas if we didn't hang up the felt teddy bear my godmother made with my name on it which is throughly ungluing itself after 38 years.

One of my friends said she liked our Christmas tree the other day, and I rather shrugged her comment away, because there's nothing at all specially designed and planned about our tree. And yet everything about it is special. To us.

Growing up, one of my aunts gave me a Christmas ornament every year. Others gave ornaments occasionally. When I graduated from college, my mother separated "my" ornaments out, and sent them along with me for my own tree. Every year since my mother has given me (and then Fritz, and then our children) more ornaments for the tree. Some of the ornaments belonged to Fritz's grandmother. My aunt continues to give us ornaments. Sometimes, my grandmother gives ornaments, too. All three kids have their own growing, personal collection of ornaments. For now, all the ornaments hang on the Wyse Family Tree. But some day, those ornaments will be separated and sent off with each child, just like mine were.

(Removed photo.)

So I don't really know if our tree is particularly pretty or not, but it's okay either way, because for us, the meaning transcends the aesthetics and it just feels right.

Merry Christmas! May it feel right, however you spend it!

No comments: