Over the years we have accumulated quite an assortment of ornaments. Some are keepsakes and find their way onto the Christmas tree year after year. Some have seen better days and have been relegated to the box of misfit ornaments. That is, until I got the idea to give a few a new look for this years family Christmas decorations.
This years Christmas Party theme was Boots and Bling, All things Texas! I decided to decorate the tree on our pavilion with a bit of Texas flair. I picked up 2 yards of red bandana fabric and 1 yard suede with a tooled leather look to recover the old ornaments.
I gathered the fabric up and tied it up with a bit of jute.
There you have it a whole new look..
Over the years our Christmas Tree decorations have reflected who we are as a family. In the beginning our tree was decorated with twinkling multi-colored lights and a spattering of ornaments. For several years our tree was a beautiful hodge podge of ornaments created by our son at school Christmas parties and dollar store treasures. Then there came the day when the colored lights were replaced with white lights and the ornaments were treasured purchases from numerous vacations. Now we are empty nesters with no grandchildren. So now our tree reflects a quieter more serene palette. This year the decorations are a reflection of our love of outdoors and a life blessed beyond measure.
I was talking with my sister the other day and she was sharing a few memories from one of her first Christmas’ spent living away from home. She shared with me how when she puts up one of her Christmas trees it reminds her of a Christmas long ago and far away. Our conversation got me thinking about things…like what Christmas is and isn’t.
Christmas is not… only about a big tree loaded down with expensive store-bought ornaments. It is not only about what you can buy at the big box store. It’s not even how many gifts are wrapped up and nestled under the tree. It’s not about decorating your house to look like Christmas exploded on your front lawn.. It’s not about parties, presents or plates piled high with pastries…Christmas is not a lot of things.
But Christmas is…about the memories of Christmas’ past that come flooding back when you begin unpacking boxes of old ornaments collected over the years. It’s the memories that are attached to a special ornament or two that make you feel a bit melancholy or nostalgic. For me it’s the hand embroidered ornaments made by my Mom when she was recovering from back surgery. The detail is incredible, the colors are still vibrant after all these years and they remind me of how much she loves her family. I also have a few handmade ornaments from my sisters and mom that bring a smile to my face every year when I unwrap them and hang them on the tree. When I hold these ornaments in my hand and look at them it’s almost as if they are right here with me in the moment.
For my sister her memories are attached to a box of $1 store ornaments that remind her of her first Christmas starting out as a family and funds were tight. The ornaments remind her that the joy on Christmas Day does not come with an expensive price tag…she remembers a Christmas when the toys purchased at the general store brought the same kind of joy to her childs face on Christmas morning just as if they had come from an expensive retailer. When my sister was unpacking her special ornaments she was also reminded of a wonderfully happy day spent in 4 story mall where all the shopping that was done was window shopping because that’s what they could afford. These special ornaments also reminded her of coming home to find a box of groceries on the front porch complete with everything for Christmas Dinner and how a tradition of sharing Holiday meals with Friends began…
Unpacking ornaments is a great way for us to unpack the memories of what Christmas is really all about…making memories with loved ones that can carry us through the coming year.
Here are a few of my favorite Christmas Ornaments. Each one made with love for me by my Mom or one of my Sisters. Every year when I un-pack them I think of my Family and the time they spent making these very special ornaments. It may sound silly but when I hang these ornaments on my tree it is almost like my Mom and Sisters are here helping me decorate my tree.
These handmade ornaments are my Family treasures and one day they will be Family heirlooms…