Monday, December 12, 2011

OH Christmas Tree!

Because my December birthday has come and gone, the official start of decking the halls here at the Borowiak household kicked off this weekend with the selection, purchase, and set up of a lovely Frasier Fir from a local garden center.

It's been about three years since we've had a real tree in the house, so the kids and I were very excited about this endeavor - T not so much, but he played along with just a little bit of Scrooge-like grumbling!

There are lots of good things about trimming the tree, especially when it is real, like the nice, fresh Evergreen smell, or the pretty and green, but not-so-perfect branches.

But my favorite part of decorating the tree is unpacking all of the ornaments, and remembering the stories that they tell. "My ornaments have lots of wheels," exclaimed A excitedly, who does have a wide collection of planes, trains, and automobiles. A's collection of ornaments that "go" are among the hundreds and hundreds of ornaments in our vast array of Christmas decor.

We have so many ornaments that we barely cannot squeeze them all onto the tree, and that's a good thing, and here's why:

2. Memories: Like I said, each ornament has a story to tell. We have ornaments from our honeymoon trip to Maui including a colorfully painted starfish Santa (which btw the kids think is stinky, so they won't hang it up), and a small bride and groom that says "Just Maui'ed". I have many ornaments from my childhood including a little plastic sheep given to me at religious education classes, while T has a snowman shaped like a bell that he chose at Marshall Field's downtown when he was a boy. We have a variety of ornaments given to us by others as souvenirs from their travels, and we have a shiny Mickey ornament from our family trip to Disney World in 2007.

3. Milestones: Many of our ornaments mark important events in our lives such as Our First Christmas ornament from 1995. Both kids have their Baby's First Christmas ornaments from 2000 and 2002, respectively. We also have two very special handmade ornaments, one with Miss O's tiny baby footprint, and a small felt replica of A's hand. Every year, they match up their hands or feet to see how much they've grown over time. We have a New Home ornament from 2003 - the first year in our humble Yorkville abode. I also cherish many ornaments from my past life as an elementary school teacher. One of my favorite's is a small felt mouse with a mini-chalkboard given to me by my former colleague and good friend Kate.

1. Merriment: Many of our ornaments reflect the many interests and activities that bring us joy, happiness, and inspiration such T's collection of bicycle ornaments, A's soccer ball ornaments, Miss A's ornaments that feature polar bears and penguins, or my huge collection of snowmen/women ornaments - most of which could not fit onto the tree so they were designated to the garland on the stair railings, well, except for one of my favorite's from T ~ a Christopher Radko glass snowman that is holding a string of hearts.

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~ All photos by Miss O
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Ornaments - good memories, milestones, and merriment.
What stories can be told from the ornaments on your tree?


  1. My ornaments don't have any stories, or any meaning except one. I have my stocking from my very first Christmas when I was 5 months old. It is, indeed, hung by the chimney with care.

  2. Oh, my ornaments are similar! My mom has been giving ornaments every year as long as I can remember. I have all of those going back through the years, plus the ones I've picked up myself through the years. I MUST get my tree up tonight after work. I love it Sue!


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