It’s Not All Mary Poppins

The way a tree is meant to be

This post is inspired by this post, particularly point #8, over at Parenting Without a License.

Christmas trees are not designer statements. They are not intended to accessorize your living room. They need not — should not! — be an artfully constructed and carefully coordinated piece of seasonal sculpture.

Christmas trees should be a riotous and meaningful mish-mash of bits and pieces lovingly accumulated over the years, including, but not limited to:

coloured lights, not white. (I am in complete agreement with Kimberly on the supreriority of coloured lights.);

wooden cranberry garlands with teeth marks in them from when your oldest was two and thought they were real berries;

miscellanious salt-dough stars, covered gloppily in red and gold acrylic paint;

multitudes of candycanes made by twisting lengths of red and white pipe-cleaners together;

fragments of felt hand-stitched into a six-inch garland;

and a few cut-up credit cards for the anti-consumer message.

Because Christmas trees, you see, are not created overnight, or even in one season, with a trip or two to the correct stores for this year’s hot items. No, Christmas trees are the slowly-accumulated repository of family history, your family’s seasonal history, down through the years. Each ornament should have a story behind it, should provoke a “remember-when” conversation. Each chip, each rip, each slight smudge and blemish brings a smile, not a frown, for they are evidences of the passage of much life, living, and love.

Some of those best-beloved items are no longer on my tree, but have been taken by my eldest (who made them) to grace her tree in her home. And while I miss them, and notice the empty spots on my own tree, I am glad, for thus the gloriousness of the chaotic Christmas tree is passed on, generation unto generation.

December 23, 2007 Posted by | Christmas, commemoration, holidays, individuality | 15 Comments