Monday, December 9, 2013

Memory Tree

Memory Tree

One of my favorite things to do each holiday season is put up the Christmas tree (or Hanukkah Bush, Solstice Plant or Saturnalia Evergreen -- your choice). But since becoming an adult, I've always felt the tree should be more than a representation of the commercial buying season, which it seems to have become.  A Christmas Tree is a wonderful way to honor the life you've lived, and the blessings you've been given.  So, beginning at about 21 years of age, I started collecting ornaments which represented my life, as it happened.

At age 52, I now have a tree full of memories, so much so that there is little room for regular glass-ball ornaments, although I do make sure there are a few of those up.

I have ornaments from my salad days in my 20's when I was so broke I used molds and modeling clay to make my own ornaments.  Some are mementoes from trips we've taken.  Others are symbolic, representing life occasions I've honored through a purchased ornament, their true meaning known only to me.  And as the years have gone by and my family has grown, now Big Ag and the kids have their own memory ornaments they add, too.

I probably spent just a few dollars a year on Christmas ornaments, usually bought on the fly whenever I saw something that had meaning to me, but the investment has paid off in a memory tree.  It's a tree that honors my journey through life both with and without Big Ag and the kids, and every time I hang up a keepsake I remember something or someone that was once part of my life.  

In that way, I feel I really do keep the spirit of Christmas, by remembering how blessed I have been throughout this life of mine, even when I didn't necessarily recognize it.

Handmade ones from the lean times...

Ones that are symbolic of events in my life...

And some commemorating shared family times.
A treeful of memories.


  1. Looks great! And what a wonderful tapestry your tree is. I'm a terrible person when it comes to Christmas trees. I probably have literally (not figuratively literally) 2500 Christmas ornaments in all colors. Haha I had sort of gone through a rough time in 2007 and so Christmas 2008 I was really starting my career and feeling good. I think ALL my income that year went toward Christmas decorations. I'm a collector and I like to have options so I figured while I was in the groove of buying ornaments I'd buy them in all colors so as my tastes change, I'd be ready. It's funny because now those relatively worthless ornaments do mean something to me. They remind me of just how excited I was to celebrate that year. And it's nice that as they break, I have 99 more of the same color! I do also have a set of spectacular mercury glass ornaments that are my moms. Those were amassed much in the same way. One year we went around to every store we could think of to find them. It's odd how Christmas turns the mundane into a memory.

    1. That is fantastic. Yes, you will always be able to remember your Favorite Year with all those ornaments. Plus you have enough that you can try different color schemes and still be putting up memorable ornaments. If I wanted to do a different color scheme, I'd be hard pressed, because we have such a hodge podge of ornaments. You're lucky to have amassed a great collection!