Ornament Memory Lane

After hunting for the tree, which I shared about here, I had to decorate the tree.  The husband cuts down the tree, drags it to the truck, ties it in, drives it home, trims it up, gets it inside and in the stand (which always takes both of us…and then his work is done.

Yes, I decorate the entire tree.

Is that weird?

Ornament Memory Lane, cookdrinkhike.wordpress.com
We lost Slater last December, but her ornament is prominently displayed on the tree.

I know many treat tree decorating as a family event.  Why don’t we decorate the tree together?  I don’t know.  I’m picky?  Perhaps.  I’m fine doing the lights (9 strands this year).  And when it comes to the ornaments…well, the ornaments are like a walk down memory lane for me.  I think that’s why I like to decorate it myself.  There’s a lot of sentiment in some of those ornaments.  Actually, in the entire tree.

Ornament Memory Lane, cookdrinkhike.wordpress.com
I tend to buy ornaments when we travel. This came from Taos Pueblo.

A great many people have fake trees.  They brag about the lack of fuss, the lack of muss.  I get it.  A real tree, particularly the size that we get, takes hours to “do” from beginning to end.  And yes, it’s messy.  But, I come from a family of “real tree” people.  It’s who we are.  So, to me, a real tree is tradition.  It’s connecting with those that I love.

Ornament Memory Lane, cookdrinkhike.wordpress.com
My Grandma made this for me too many years ago to count.

Choosing a big tree…well, that comes from Dad.  The bigger the better. One year he actually had to tie the tree to the wall.  Couldn’t get that sucker to stand.  I thought we might have been there this year as we struggled with our tree.

Ornament Memory Lane, cookdrinkhike.wordpress.com
An ornament I made a couple of years ago.

Decorating the tree…well, that comes from Mom.  First, the lights. Colored, but not twinkling.  No twinkling allowed. Second, there is a method to the application of the ornaments.  I begin by putting all homemade or “special” store-bought ornaments on the tree.  Then I fill in with colored balls. Not plastic.  The breakable ones.

Ornament Memory Lane, cookdrinkhike.wordpress.com
Another one I made.

I have been making homemade ornaments for years, so I have a hefty collection of ornaments that I have made (this year I made wine cork angels and jewelry wire stars).  I also have ornaments that my Grandma and other assorted family and friends have made or bought for me.

Ornament Memory Lane, cookdrinkhike.wordpress.com
I’ve had this ornament as long as I can remember.

When my brother and I moved away from home for real, Mom packaged up all of our personal ornaments in a shoe box and gave it to us as our Christmas tree “starter” kit.  So, I have ornaments that date back to my childhood.  A metal “Lucy” ornament (from Charlie Brown fame) with my name engraved on it.  Assorted plush Disney ornaments from McDonalds.

Ornament Memory Lane, cookdrinkhike.wordpress.com
My supervisor.

Memory lane.

Pulling those ornaments out gives me warm fuzzies.

Ornament Memory Lane, cookdrinkhike.wordpress.com
One of the McDonald’s ornaments. I still have the original box.

There is also a specific placement of ornaments on the tree. The husband is going to read this and probably be like, “Really?  There’s an order?”  Of course there is.  It’s based largely on sentiment.  Those ornaments with special sentiment, or ones that I just really like, go in the front of the tree, mostly at eye level.  Want to know which ornaments are my favorites?Look on the front of my tree.

Ornament Memory Lane, cookdrinkhike.wordpress.com
How could I not love a mouse sitting on a wine rack?

Those that may be a bit homely or are not favorites, but still have a place, go in the back.  Now that I’ve revealed my secret you can’t get all insulted insulted if you come over and find an ornament you’ve given me on the back of my tree.

Ornament Memory Lane, cookdrinkhike.wordpress.com
These both came from my Grandpa & Grandma. Again, I’ve had them for years and years. The Lucy ornament has my name engraved on it.

Thus, I decorate the tree alone.  But far from lonely.

14 thoughts on “Ornament Memory Lane

  1. After seeing a heap of Christmas Trees tossed out after the special day I’ve always used artificial ones but like you I enjoy putting on ornaments that remind me of past times and places. There is a tiny angel which was the perfect size for the tiny tree we had when living in a caravan and little feathered birds which look all of their 30 years. Our baubles etc are now plastic so the grandkids can rearrange them as often as they like and I never have to worry about shattered glass. There isn’t really any order for our decorations other than the very special ones being out of reach of tiny hands but like yours most of ours have links to special people, places and times. Thanks for posting.

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  2. Your tree reminds me a lot of ours. It was so big this year that the farm wouldn’t let us cut it, and they couldn’t wrap it. We’re going a tad smaller next year.
    I have a few of those McDonald’s ornaments too! I only knew that they were my mom’s, or from my very early childhood. I had no idea where they were from. I’ll have to ask her about that.
    Merry Christmas!

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    1. Is this the Sarah R. I know?

      Just take your chain saw with you next year…you’ll be fine. 🙂 See, all sorts of people have those McDonald’s ornaments, which is blowing my chance of selling them on Ebay for big bucks. Of course, mine are not in pristine condition. Oliver the cat used to sing when a button was pushed, but one year the button wouldn’t quit singing and it sounded all warbly and slow so I had to slice him open at a seam and remove the sound button. 🙂 Merry Christmas to you, too!

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      1. Yes, this is the Sarah R that you know 🙂 Regarding the tree, we do plan to cut many of the limbs in order to get it out of the house this year.

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