Christmas Tree

Me: “Babe, you wanna help me decorate the tree?”
The Hubbs: “No, you always do a good job of it.”  
(aka – not while the Redskins football game is on.)
30 mins later…
Me: “Babe, you wanna help me hang the ornaments?”
The Hubbs: “No, I don’t know where to place them like you do.”  (aka my Redskins game is still on.)


The Hubbs: “Why did you hang that there?”  “That one looks funny there.”  “Is that how you want that to look?” “Where is the star?”
Me: “When does the game come back on?”


Several years ago – we always had two large trees.  There was the “fancy” tree in the Living or Dining Room – and the “handmade” tree in the Family Room.  The handmade tree featured my son’s 1st Grade juice top ornament covered with dried macaroni noodles.  And the Big Ben clock ornament we bought on her first trip to London.
There was also the Baby’s 1st Christmas ornament my Mama gave me when my son was born in 1982.

My husband doesn’t like this tree. He calls it our “soltace” tree because it doesn’t have an Angel or even a star on top.  LOL

My son said “does everything you decorate have to have twigs on it?”  So, I guess the consensus this year is – this is an awful tree.  😀

In some ways, I have to agree with them.  

It’s not an ugly tree, and in fact I think it has some beautiful elements.

It’s my cardinal tree.  The cardinal is the State Bird of North Carolina.  Along with cardinals, there are birdhouses, and a grapevine garland and red berries galore.

Nests with little eggs, and pinecones.

Glass ornaments filled with snow…

… and lots of red, green and pearly white glass balls, too.

– and lots and lots of sparkly red and gold snowflakes.

So, where are the macaroni ornaments?  Where are the popsicle stick stars and cottonball snowmen?

I wish I knew.  I had a huge box of them packed away delicately in tissue paper.  A box full of handmade and special ornaments – a box full of irreplaceable memories.

Years ago – several months after we moved back to the States from Europe, something in my mind tripped and I realized that I did not remember seeing that box of ornaments when we were unpacking.  

I spent two days in the attic and the basement, literally tearing through everything – looking for that box.  It finally occurred to me that several things were missing.  Some photo albums, some travel memorabilia.  Who knew exactly what was gone. 

With a heavy heart, I soon realized that they were gone.  As in forever gone.  Somehow during the move,  they disappeared along the way. 

I cried for days.  

This year, it has saddened me more than usual.  The “pretty” tree isn’t enough anymore.  I need those memories that make a Christmas tree a Christmas tree.  

So, I will start over and create more macaroni ornaments and Baby’s 1st Christmas ornaments – because it is in fact Miss C’s first Christmas.

Every Wednesday and Sunday nights is dinner night at Grammy and Grandpa’s house.  This past Wednesday we crafted handmade snow globes.

And that is when it really manifested in me…

I can help my son and daughter-in-law make their own memory tree.  They have a good start, like the cute little Harrod’s Bear ornaments we brought back from our Christmas in England trip last year.
And the small toy soldier ornaments my Mama gave them, many of which are over 25 years old.

So before dinner, we will craft.  And we will make more memories.  New memories to replace the ones which were lost in the move.

And they may not remember the nights at Grammy’s house, when we made handmade snow globes with Mickey Mouse ornaments and glitter.

But, hopefully it will instill in them something very important.  That family is what Christmas is really all about.  It isn’t about the tree, or even what is on the tree – it is the time spent around the tree.  Like dinner at Grammy’s and decorating gingerbread men cookies and making Mickey Mouse snow globes.

Because once all the ornaments are packed away, and the tree is stored away until the next year – what you have left is love for each other.  Family.
Memories. And Love.

Cause as Charlotte Carpenter says…“If Christmas isn’t found in your heart, you won’t find it under the tree.”

Oh yea…how did I answer my son when he asked if I put twigs on everything?

“Yes.  Everything.”  😀


Sharing with:
Heather/Vanessa @ at the picket fence for Inspiration Friday
Cindy @ My Romantic Home 
Courtney @ French Country Cottage for Feathered Nest Friday
Shannon @ Pinning Party

(As always, you are welcome to pin any of these pictures, 
withmy permission.  Simply click on the “Pin It With Barb” 
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  1. says

    Precious, Precious story. I love seeing your beautiful Grandchildren making memories at Grammy’s. Now that is what Christmas is all about Family LOVE!! Merry Christmas and keep making those special memories,
    xo Kathysue

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  2. says

    Barbara-I started sorting down Christmas ornaments that we had hand made and those that we had struggled to buy for our kids when the were little and a couple of years ago I gave them each a box full of “memories”. I am so sad that you don’t have those OLD memories to give them…but making new memories is fun, too. We lost our video tapes of the kids when they were little-that broke my heart…and made me almost sick- you just can’t replace memories- xo Diana

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  3. says

    Lovely post. I so enjoyed learning more about you and seeing your family. Several years ago we had a Christmas tree accident. We got the tree up and decorated…and then it fell over. Some of my ornaments were broken into a million pieces. I cried and was a wreck over it. There were so many memories connected with the broken ornaments. It took a few days but I finally realized that I didn’t lose the memories with the ornaments. Life went on. We still though, every year, talk about the time the tree fell over. :o) Happy Weekend dear!

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  4. says

    I think it’s lovely. Sorry about the lost boxes and all the memories they contained. That’s so sad! but you’ll make new memories and they’ll be just as special. I promise!

    Have a happy weekend xox

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  5. says

    I remember my mom telling me how many wonderful things from her country that were lost in the moves from base to base….sorry you had to experience that too..the tree is beautiful…I just finished my media room tree a few days ago…used burlap ribbon too…the grands sure looked like they had so much fun….that is what Christmas is all about….!!!!

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  6. says

    Well I for one love the twigs and natural elements. If there wasn’t snow everywhere outside I’d put some shoes on and march right out to collect twigs and vines for our tree. It needs something and that would fit in.


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  7. says

    I can so appreciate this post! The tree is beautiful with twigs and no star! Also, since we live in St. Louis, the cardinals are awesome since this is Cardinal Nation!! Love it!

    I have those homemade ornaments and over time they are starting to “unravel” and lose their macaroni. You are right that you can make more and still have the memories inside. But oh I feel for your loss of them.

    On a funny note, I can sympathize with the men thing. I am the only female in this house and I get the same responses!

    Have a wonderful weekend!

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