The sum of its parts

I have a friend who has a beautiful themed tree each year. Each year a new theme. And it’s not one of those tabletop numbers either.

Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer themed tree. (And no, the irony of the deer heads next to the Rudolph tree is not lost on me.)

It’s a massive tree accommodated by a two story family room. Last year’s theme was Rudolph the Red nosed Reindeer, complete with the entire cast of characters.

The year before that I think it was Raggedy Ann and Andy. The pictures don’t do the tree justice. The symmetry and attention to detail is amazing. It’s enough to put most other themed trees to shame and to make me feel like a true decorating slacker. Oh, don’t get me wrong. I’ve done themed trees before. I had a snowman tree for a few years, and our current tree started out with a theme: Rustic/Woodsy. But over the years it’s gone from rustic to rustic, et. al. It still has its rustic elements. The star on top? I would consider that rustic.

Ditto for some of the other ornaments.

But a strictly themed tree (and I typically only put up one tree, because I’m lazy like that) doesn’t allow for all the ornaments that reflect our interests.

Or our preferred footwear.

Ornaments from family members close to our hearts but not close in proximity.

We have several ornaments from my brother & his family in Hawaii, this is just the tackiest one.

Ornaments from close friends tried and true.

Ornaments made with once tiny hands which aren’t so tiny anymore.

Then there are those ornaments which mark milestones in the life of our family.

All of which make a hodgepodge of memories we get to unpack physically and metaphorically each Christmas season. A tree with no real distinct direction, but one which makes me smile.

Oh, wait…

There are two more ornaments I’ve yet to show you. Every Christmas tree should have some ornaments which represent the true reason for the season.

And personally, I think every tree should have at least one panda bear

Because panda bears make me smile…


(Thanks to my friends Jeff and Tamara for the Panda video.)

Do you have a treasured ornament that only you would treasure?

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10 Responses to “The sum of its parts”

  1. Maureen December 5, 2011 at 7:57 pm #

    I have a (small) collection of Santas but none that’s as dressed down as the one from your brother.

    A lovely tree, Kathy, because it’s made with all those wonderful memories.

  2. Jason Stasyszen December 5, 2011 at 8:09 pm #

    I admire the themed trees and the color-coordinated trees, but I like our hodge-podge much better. There’s a lot memories wrapped up in those ornaments. I do still move them around after the kids leave because they bunch them all up on one limb. The OCD had to come into play somewhere. 🙂

  3. Annie McMahon December 6, 2011 at 8:22 am #

    I never did that before, but I think this year I might add a few pickles in my tree, after reading Billy Coffey’s Paper Angels book. Or maybe not.

  4. Sandra Heska King December 6, 2011 at 8:39 am #

    Oh, you are so me. Your tree is so us.

  5. Sandra Heska King December 6, 2011 at 8:42 am #

    I forgot to mention. We have this apple ornament. I think it’s a Swedish tradition. It’s hung on our tree every single year–this year will make 41! It’s a little flakey now, like us. 🙂

  6. Helen December 6, 2011 at 8:45 am #

    I think theme trees are gorgeous. But I don’t want a gorgeous tree. I want a tree that makes me smile and laugh.
    There is a bell with a water globe snowman ornament that was my favorite as a child. The water is gone. The tiny bell fell out. It’s just a clear ornament with red on top and bottom with a snowman inside. I’d scratch and claw anyone who tried to throw it out. (Yes. Bob knows better.)

  7. karenzach December 6, 2011 at 10:19 am #

    Santa on the dolphin is my favorite. I want one of those. Beautiful, girl.

  8. James Williams December 6, 2011 at 11:19 am #

    That Santa/Dolphin one is classic, and needs to be your Facebook profile pic!

  9. Jake December 6, 2011 at 11:25 pm #

    Fat white man in a speedo riding a dolphin? Of course!

    Merry… it’s getting closer to Christmas 🙂

  10. Marni December 8, 2011 at 12:24 pm #

    Our tree is always a memory tree, so it never has a fancy theme. Like you, I have ornaments commemorating “Baby’s First Christmas”, ornaments made in Sunday School, ornaments I made as a baby, ornaments representing pets (past and present) ornaments with a new picture of each girl, each year. And because Dane is a cop, tons and tons of Santa cop ornaments.

    It’s hokey, but I love our tree each year. We have so much fun unpacking the memories as we unpack the tree. Each year, we all get each other a new ornament that represents a memory for that year. The tree is getting more and more covered in memories. If it gets too full, I’ll add a second tree because our memory tree is the highlight of the season for us.

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