Monday, December 3, 2007

The Story of Us

We put up our tree this weekend and I was struck by how the whole process has evolved through the years. In the beginning it was a quietly joyful ritual performed by a young newly married couple, madly in love, looking forward to growing a family and establishing their own traditions. Fast forward 15 years and five kids. The scene now seems like chaos at first glance. Yet there is the same couple, still madly in love, with their growing children all around, following the family traditions.

As "A Very Veggie Christmas" plays in the background, we open the boxes of ornaments that tell our story. We sing along with the corny songs, laugh, drink hot chocolate, and share memories attached to all our favorite ornaments...

"Oh! That was the year we went to DisneyWorld! Do you remember how excited M. was when she finally got to meet Belle?!"

"When Mommy and I first got married, we couldn't afford Christmas ornaments. So we bought a few red ribbons at KMart to make our tree pretty. We've always saved this one to remember...""Mom, look! Here's the one from when I was a baby!"
There were dozens of such moments. Remembering Daddy's favorite team...

...or the time S. was so into Nascar and J*ff G*rdon.

We laughed and reflected as we took out each ornament and placed it on the tree. One for each new baby through the years, one for commemorating M's first year of ballet lessons, one to remind us of the ups and downs of raising the "BLT" (Busy Little Toddler - A's former nickname.) Look at that mischievous little face!

The last ornament put on the tree was one of the newest: a gilded Aspen leaf from our recent anniversary trip to Colorado. A symbol of our union as a couple; 15 fruitful and blessed years; and Lord-willing many more years to come.
As I look at the finished tree in all its splendor, I again notice how it has changed through the years. From a simple tree with elegant white lights...to a hodge podge with childlike color - and boughs decked by a 1- and 3-year-old that look like this:
But it is our tree - our story - and I wouldn't have it any other way!

Now, if I can only get motivated to take all of this...
...and make the rest of the house just as festive!

8 comments:

chickadee said...

i love the leaf. my friend collects ornaments from each place they visit on vacation. i think that's such a neat idea.

Janice said...

I love this post! Maybe you can archive this blog so that your kids can still somehow visit it when they're in their 20s and 30s. It's like an online scrapbook. Anyway, Merry Christmas you madly-in-love family, you!

Jennifer@DoingTheNextThing said...

Yes, I'll have to archive this someday - it's the only journal I really keep. Katherine over at Raising Five is using Blurb to do hers -I'll see how that turns out!

Rachel Anne said...

Oh, this was sweet! (wiping tears) I loved it.

We've still got some Kmart bows, too. Good reminders of our story, too.

The aspen leaf is beautiful.

jennifer h said...

Sweet post. I love the photo of the lower boughs heavy-laden with ornaments.

I keep thinking about the fact that it was 15 years ago that you got married. It was our first year in Nashville only 6 months after we got married. Time flies.

Kate said...

so sweet! isn't it fun to reflect on those sweet memories we created over all these years though the blood sweat and tears of parent/married life? yes, indeed!

The Small Scribbler said...

There really is a history behind the collections of ornaments on family trees isn't there. The same scene played out here. Different music, different memories but still the same.

Kate

Mary@notbefore7 said...

I think the best part about Christmas is the story told by the tree. We collect ornaments for occasions and trips as well - and one for each kid each year. I still have the ones mom bought me each year growing up and love to look at them as I put them on my own tree now. I can share with my kids how I loved unicorns, ET the movie, and various things my ornaments represent. So beautiful to relive each year!