When our children were born, I began a collection of ornaments for each of them. We added one ornament per year for each of them, with the idea that when they had their own homes they would have a start on their own Christmas decorations. We tried to find an ornament that represented a part of their life that year. Now, after twenty Christmases, we have a tree filled with an eclectic assortment of keepsakes that would never make it onto the pages of Better Homes and Christmas Trees.
There is a brown bear from the year Mitch went to Yellowstone with the Boy Scouts, a ballerina from Amanda's dancing period, Scooby-Do playing baseball (little league), a mouse with a pen and bottle of ink (Amanda's first year of school), a violin (they both played), Santa on a motorcyle (Mitch's first motorcycle), a giant pink disco ball (no one knows why, Amanda just HAD to have it!), and a police car that represents Amanda's senior year (she had some speeding issues).
Mixed among the annual ornaments are:
- souveniers from vacations
- hand-crafted ornaments made by friends (knitted, crocheted, sewn, and cross-stitched)
- a beautiful gold ornament my grandparents received for their 50th anniversary
- four (left from a set of six) white ornaments with doves and "Peace" on them (purchased at Wal-Mart in 1982 to decorate our first tree)
- a Mark Martin (Nascar) ornament because he's Dave's favorite driver and he used to be sponsored by Viagra. (Purchased for him by children with a warped sense of humor.)
- paper candy-canes, handprints and ornaments decorated with school pictures - all created by our little artists.
I still haven't given up on the idea of a designer tree. But even after the kids have their own homes and their ornament collections have moved on, there will be a small tree somewhere in my house that holds the childhood memories they leave behind. And it will warm my heart to know that somewhere out there, there are two NEW homes with wacky Christmas trees.