Back in the box

Yesterday I put away all of our Christmas decorations. It doesn’t seem that we have as many decorations as other homes I’ve seen, but we do have seven storage containers filled with lights, knick-knacks, ornaments, stockings and dishes, in addition to the tree.

As I was taking the ornaments off the tree, I realized that we did not buy a single one.

Everything on the tree was given to us as gifts. My mother gave us an assortment of red and white glass ball ornaments and a set of wooden Nutcracker ornaments for our wedding. Over the years, our children made ornaments in school and Sunday School, and we still have some of them. My in-laws gave each of our children an ornament every Christmas. The older two kids have theirs with them. We still hang our youngest’s on the tree. We have a few crafty friends who made us some ornaments and some that came with Christmas cards. There are a few official White House ornaments an old friend gave us years ago, each one with its own special box. I have no idea where half of them came from, though.

We have a wide assortment of ornaments, only a few of which have a sense of the sacred. Lots of snowmen and Santas, toys and instruments, birds and pinecones, nurses and angels, snowflakes and candycanes. Some light up and some make music. We hang up a miniature disco ball, a tiny stocking labeled “Gabe” for a Labrador Retriever we used to have, Snoopy playing hockey and Scooby-doo riding a sled.

I think the tree we had when I was a child was decorated only with lights, glass balls and tinsel (put on one strand at a time). It was a live tree (much to the delight of our dog) and we didn’t put it up until Christmas Eve! But we kept it up well into the new year.

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