Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The Perfect Tree

There she is. Our Christmas tree. Slightly leaning. Half the ornaments are homemade and the rest are from the 1980s.

She was decorated (almost) entirely by the kids. And she even fell over once (which of course prompted grumbling from Scott.)

She's not wrapped with burlap garland or fancy vintage bulbs. But, it's our perfect tree. The big old-fashioned colored lights bring back memories of Christmases growing up and every ornament has a story.

There's the penguin made from popsicle sticks by Julie in first grade, and the ornament with
Johnny's preschool picture. There are a half dozen "baby" ornaments and a few other MacKaben family ornaments. There's the snowman I painted in 1986 and the Santa crocheted by my grandma.

Watching Julie and Johnny play with and talk about their ornaments reminded me so much of Christmases long ago.

Growing up we had two Christmas trees. The fancy, snow-flocked tree with blue lights and mirrored ornaments sat upstairs. That was the one we didn't touch.

Then, there was our special live tree downstairs. When Mom brought down the boxes of ornaments Kelly and I got so excited. We loved playing with the ornaments so much, we almost didn't want to put them on the tree. That was the tree we gathered around on Christmas Eve to read "Twas the Night Before Christmas" and on Christmas morning to open presents.

That's the tree I want for our kids. One that's full of love and memories. Even if it doesn't look quite Facebook-worthy, it's the best.

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