My mom took the opportunity on their last visit to go through all the boxes I left at her house when I originally moved and bring anything I wanted to keep. It was one of the best uses of FaceTime I’ve ever experienced. I also found that it gives me great pleasure to get rid of things, even if they’ve been cluttering up a house that isn’t mine over 2,000 miles away. I really need to find a job where I can organize other people’s stuff…
Anyway, back to the point. One of the things we found while sorting was a box of Christmas ornaments. (If you understood the circumstances in which we moved to NY you’d get why our ornaments were still at my parent’s house, but that is a blog post for another time). Needless to say, my cookie tin filled with ornaments was packed in a suitcase and brought to our house a few weeks later.
I thought the most exciting part of opening that old cookie tin was that I’d get to rediscover my childhood ornaments. While that was fun, my favorite part was that with all the ornaments we’d collected in the years we’ve lived in New York, plus the ornaments in that tin, we now had enough ornaments to fill the tree without adding the matchy packaged ball ornaments I’d bought our first year here.
Because to me, the best thing about a Christmas tree is the non-matching, memory-making decorations that get hung. When we first moved to New York and had no decorations, the boys strung pompoms and felt drawings of Plants vs. Zombies on fishing wire for our garland (that game was a big hit back then). It’s honestly my favorite garland ever. And the star on top of our tree Mason made mostly out of silver duck tape.
I have never wanted a matchy or themed tree. And I’ve never understood the houses with a fancy tree in the front window and a “kids tree” somewhere more hidden from sight. Maybe because growing up year after year I hung paper ornaments I’d made in first grade, or passed weird salt dough shapes to my sister to hang. Or maybe it’s the same reason I like to make photo scrapbooks every year. (Insert that clip on Can’t Hardly Wait where the guy goes, “It’s all about the memories!”)
So now every single ornament on our tree is one we’ve accumulated over the years, and I feel like I accomplished something awesome in life. Also we didn’t even have to throw away the ball ornaments because Milo was collecting ornaments for packages at school. So double yay!
And, don’t tell anyone yet, but thanks to Etsy I had special ornaments made this year to celebrate our big events. I’m most excited to share these with everyone since every other year I’ve just picked ones I think the boys will like (except that year where everyone picked ornaments for each other and I ended up with a giant glittery goldfish–which of course I love, Tyler!)
Also, since we’re talking about decorating Christmas trees and all that… This year I figured since we’ve got that baby who seems to demand all our attention, he should probably be the one to put the star on the tree. And while we tried to capture that momentous event we ended up getting one of my favorite photos of a dad that loves his son. (See, it really is all about the memories!)
And true to my organized chaos mindset…although I’m really into un-matching trees I have a really hard time with unevenly decorated trees. But I had a good laugh at how Milo displayed ALL his ornaments right smack down the middle of the tree (then I fixed it right after I took this photo).