Sunday, December 8, 2013

Oh, Christmas Tree!

I love the Christmas edition of Victoria magazine, Christmas displays on Pinterest and in fancy stores, Christmas episodes of decorating shows.  I love the color-coordinated and/or themed trees so many feature and wish I could have a tree in each room of my house, each decorated differently.

Due to time, money, and physical energy constraints, though, I have one smallish tree in the living room.  

I used to try to make this tree all color-coordinate and look like a magazine photographer was due any minute.  I don't think I ever truly succeeded in this goal, but that was what I longed for.

Over the years, though, I have come to embrace the hodge podge look of a family Christmas tree.  It's true that I like to keep a maroon and gold theme going, but when that doesn't happen, I figure a mass of white lights will cover a multitude of mismatching sins.  

The beauty of the hodge podge tree, of course, is that each ornament has a particular memory associated with it.

John and I bought this ornament at Old Economy Village at a craft fair when we were engaged: Christmas 1994.  John played the French horn through high school and some in college.

This ornament we received from my Uncle Steve and Aunt Ellen and contains a picture of our sweet little William.  He was just a month and a half old on his first Christmas and that was a precious time.  Columbus, Ohio. 1997

This bi-wing plane is a replica of the Wright brothers' first plane, built in their hometown, Dayton, Ohio.  We lived in Dayton for several years, and learned to be fiercely defensive when North Carolina claims "First in Flight."  They only provided the wind, we provided the plane.  

These little skates hung every year on my Grandma Edgar's Christmas tree.  I love them because they remind me of her, and of Christmas when I was a child.

This one was a gift from John's mom the first year we were married.  1995

This one was from my college roomate, Kim.  Geneva College, 1993.

These two are from our dear friend, Pat, and remind me of our church family in Minnesota.  

This is also a Minnesota reminder, a bird bundled up against the cold!  I bought this one myself at Target, a Minnesota-based company.  2012.

This is one of the prettiest ones we have.  It is from the Biltmore Estate which we visited on our first family vacation in December of 1998.

See that cute, adorable little boy in there?  That's Micah at about 6 months old.  This ornament has driven me crazy many years because it has a recording device, so the kids love to get ahold of it and record themselves being "funny" and then playing it back, ad nauseum.  Some years this one has "disappeared" until after the holidays!  This year I threatened to take it away immediately if it wasn't left in peace.  It has been unmolested on the tree so far.

And here it is in all its glory:  Shaw Family Christmas Tree, 2013 Edition.


  1. Hodgepodge Christmas trees are the best. I loved decorating the tree growing up because so many of the ornaments had meaning. And it was cool to read the stories behind some of yours - thanks for sharing this!

  2. Do you still have the Betsy-Tacy bench we each bought in Mankato? Ours is on our tree with a little teddy bear sitting on it.

    1. Yes! But it wasn't with the Christmas stuff so I'm not sure where it is at the moment! Hmmm...must be more boxes to unpack somewhere! :)