As far back as I can remember, decorating the tree has always been one of my most favorite things about Christmas. To me it symbolizes family, togetherness and celebration of the beginning of a wonderful time of the year.
When I was a child, and through my early adult years, we ALWAYS decorated the tree as a family.
My mom handing ornaments to my brother and me to hang. My Dad always sat smiling, telling us to spread them out, not to hang them all in one place. After we were finished hanging the ornaments, my Mom would put the final touch on...the tinsel. She has always loved that silver tinsel. When I moved out, my mom carefully selected the ornaments that I had collected over the years and gave them to me to take, to begin my "own" tree.
It remains one of my most cherished parts of Christmas.
When Matt and I moved in together, I remember how excited I was to get "our" first tree together. We went out and cut one down at a local tree farm. It was so much fun. Snowy and freezing, but worth it.
When Chloe celebrated her first Christmas, we bundled her up and took her to the tree farm. I have photos of her snuggled in the baby bjorn, in her snow suit, complete with rosey cheeks and a grin from ear to ear, riding along out into the field looking for our perfect tree.
It makes me smile and admittedly tear up to watch my girls decorate "our" tree. Just as my parents taught me, I am teaching them. Carefully handing the ornaments to them and watching as they carefully select the perfect branch for each one. They get so excited to unwrap the precious treasures and remember where each one came from. When they made them, or who gave it to them. They each have their favorites. They even comment on how old some of them are.
Chloe has become the "star placer" it is her very special job every year. Her Daddy lifts her to the top and she places it atop. She has become quite a pro in her 7 years.
I sit and think about what Christmas means to me...everything can be summed up in "our" tree. Joy, beauty, sparkle, memories-past, memories-present, memories-future, and most of all, the love of family.