Monday, December 6, 2010

Christmastime is Here Again

We put up the Christmas tree over the weekend. I will admit that as I've gotten older, I don't really enjoy the putting up part as much as I do the ambiance it brings after all the decorating is completed. Oh, we always have our favorite Christmas music playing on the iPod. And we stop for a break of hot cocoa. This is probably one of Rachel's favorite things to do. She loves opening all of the ornament boxes and she loves placing the specialty ornaments in just the right spot. Mr. Wonderful thinks I would enjoy it much more if I would chill out and hang just a few things. Forget the tricky garland. Forget the gigantic bulbs that anchor the tree. Forget balancing the colors. Just stick a few things on the tree and be done with it. Well, that ain't gonna happen! Nope. Decorating for Christmas might be work, but it's wonderful when it's all said and done.

I started a tradition when the kids were babies. I purchased a Christmas ornament for each of them after Christmas was over. You know, when it's 80% off! The box is labeled with the year it was purchased. Each ornament has a story. I took a few pictures and thought it might be fun to share several with you.

These photos aren't in any particular order.

Last year we read a ton of classic books for our literature, history, and theology course. It required about two to two and a half hours of reading a day. It was big! We loved it and I commemorated the first year of this curriculum with reading ornaments. This is Rachel's. Caleb's Once Upon a Time is a little further down the photo list.

Another ornament belonging to Rachel. This was from the year we went to Disney World.

A handmade Nativity which happens to be one of my favorites. Caleb made this in Sunday school in 1999 when he was three and a half years old.

I made this little ornament when Caleb was 17 months old. There's a poem I wrote on the little piece of paper attached to the ribbon. This is what it says:

The Silly Reindeer

I know this reindeer looks silly and dumb
but if you look closely you'll see two thumbs.

Look now and do not linger
for right beside them are eight little fingers!

Look below and you'll see a face
with toes on top that are outta place.

On bottom is a nose to boot
that helps to hide Caleb's foot.

Merry Christmas 1997

The year Caleb fell in love with Curious George. I think we must have read every Curious George book ever written!

Caleb's ornament from last year, 2009. Behind it is Rachel's Precious Moments ornament from the year she was born.

A gift from my mother-in-love to Mr. Wonderful and me for our first Christmas together.

Rachel and Caleb ice skated weekly for seven years. This ornament belongs to Rachel.

Oh, the year we all fell in love with Lord of the Rings. One of Caleb's favorite characters, Gandalf.

My idea is to have a wonderful ornament collection to give to each child when they get married or move out on their own. I suppose I never considered how I might feel putting up the tree for the first time without their special ornaments. I've grown attached to them and all the memories they hold.

It has been snowing here like crazy. We're under a winter weather advisory until late tomorrow night. I'm so glad we're inside where it's warm and cozy.

Here's a little tune to get you in the mood if you're not already...

Christmas time is here
Happiness and cheer
Fun for all that children call
Their favorite time of the year

Snowflakes in the air
Carols everywhere
Olden times and ancient rhymes
Of love and dreams to share

Sleigh bells in the air
Beauty everywhere
Yuletide by the fireside
And joyful memories there

Christmas time is here
We'll be drawing near
Oh, that we could always see
Such spirit through the year
Oh, that we could always see
Such spirit through the year...


  1. MEMORIES! Aren't they wonderful? My children are both grown and on their own. But I still put the ornaments they made from Sunday School and at Young School all those many years ago. Not ready to part with them just yet.
    Every year those little ornaments grace our tree and every year I sit here in a dark room with candles burning and only the The Christmas Tree lights on and have a nice hot chocolate remembering my little boy and little girl waking up on Christmas morning. The Church Pagents at my Little Church in Millheim. I know you were in some of those too. Christmas dinner at Mom and Dad's house with the whole family. Yes, Good Memories, how I Love them.
    Love your Blog today.
    I Love You

  2. It was great to chat with you this evening and to continue to rejoice in the Lord's blessings!
    Anna did most of the decorating of our tree this year and it is pretty sweet. You can tell she put each ornament on with care; however, when you look at the tree, all of the ornaments are just around her eye-level :D Only a few are higher, and a even fewer are lower, all around the tree.
    In previous years I might have moved some, or added others to 'balance' it out. But this year I am content to let it be. I have to get a photo of her standing next to it. Not bad for a 9 year old. As she gets older she will have a better idea of balance but for this year it is wonderful.
    We plug our tree in and leave it on 24/7. Some of us don't sleep all night ;) and it is just special to come down and look at the tree in the wee hours with no other noise.
    My family was small - no living relatives, just us. My dad used to say it was a family reunion every time we ate dinner. Just mom and dad, my two brothers, and me. Since my mom has been gone since 1982 and my dad lives in Florida, Carl's family has been extra-special and our tradition has been to go to his folk's every C'mas eve. We look forward to going again this year, and we hope to bring a very special guest - Alex's Amanda! 'Tis the season for a new tradition; and Lord willing next year at this time they can start their own!!
    We hope to get together again soon! Love you all! teri

  3. I just looked over to the Daily Blessing Bible verse and found this:

    Let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. 1 Peter 3:4

    A meek and quiet spirit...the "ornament" we should seek. This certainly gives me something to ponder upon this evening.

    My Auntie Elle and Friend Teri, I LOVE the memories! I LOVE the traditions! Just as you, I have LOVED making them for my family and pray they will remember and one day make their very own.

    Teri, you'll be glad you took the picture of Anna with her first decorated tree. Time is flying by too quickly. I know. I remember being in the Christmas pageant Auntie Elle mentioned.

    Love to you!