Every Christmas, I go a little crazy. I love our family Christmas trees. I’ve posted about them before, so I won’t bore you with the details. But one of my favorite parts of decorating is spending time with the memories every ornament carries with it.
Most of the ornaments on our family tree are homemade. Those that aren’t were gifts from dear friends. And all of them have special meaning to me. So I thought it might be fun to share some of those meanings with all of you.
1. Old painted wooden ornaments
My parents bought an unpainted set of wooden ornaments for one of their first Christmases as a married couple. They painted them all together, and we still have them. Every year, they go on our family tree, and with every one I put up, I think about how thankful I am to have parents who love each other.
2. Chick-Fil-A ornament
When I was little, there were two Chick-Fil-A restaurants in Wichita, and they were both in the malls. Once, we went to eat there, and in the kid’s meal was a plastic gingerbread man ornament with crayons.
Both my brother and I decorated our ornaments. I hang them up every year. It’s awesome for me to remember hanging out with my brother and my mom when I was a kid.
3. The old cardinal
This poor old bird.
I grabbed him off my Grandma’s old Christmas tree in the early 90s. She had a whole bunch of them that would just perch on branches, and I liked this one so much I would have conversations with him. Yes, I was a strange child. Still am.
But he’s missing a leg now, and he’s not as bright as he used to be. But he reminds me of all the wonderful Christmases I spent at my grandma’s house when I was a little girl. It was the highlight of my year, and it remains a very bright spot in my memory.
4. The Ugly Ornament
Yes. This horrid thing made my favorite list, and, yes, it’s another ornament my parents made. And I think I like listing it just because it’s so blessed ugly. But I like putting it on the tree because it helps me remember things that used to be. Like, in the 70s, ornaments like this were actually considered pretty.
It’s a good reminder of how times change and how the things that matter never should.
5. The tinsel ball
My dad made this. We were sitting on the floor of our house in Wichita. This would have been in 1992 or 1993, and he just got it in his head to make an ornament. It’s special to me because it’s such a vivid memory of being together.
6. Mrs. Reid’s Christmas angel
Finally, this handmade painted wooden ornament has a special place in my heart because it was a gift. My sixth grade Sunday School teacher, Mrs. Reid, gave it to me. She was one of two teachers who I adore to this day, two amazing ladies who loved me and encouraged me and were willing to share their knowledge of the Bible and their life experience following Jesus with a crazy pre-teen girl like me.
Mrs. Reid and Mrs. Dinsmore, you mean the world to me. And this ornament makes me thankful for the teaching and discipleship and mentoring I received as I grew up following Jesus. I wouldn’t be where I am today without the people God put in my life, who patiently guided me and genuinely loved me for who I am.
Those are some of my favorite ornaments. What about your tree? What ornaments mean the most to you?