Tree decorating isn't just hanging a bunch of ornaments in visually pleasing combinations all over a tree. It's a trip down memory lane...a family time capsule. Almost all of our onaments are either handmade, or gifts from the people we love. We have the pine cone ornaments that Robbie made in Cub Scouts, the paper plate wreaths the kids all made in kindergarten, all the quilted ones that Robin made, and all the little crafty ones Helen made. We have the "Baby's First Christmas" ones, the cross stitch ones, and the famous Uncle Daniel ornament that gets a place of pride every year. I've hung on to every school project ornament the kids ever made, and part of our holiday ritual is c-a-r-e-f-u-l-l-y repairing them every year. Finding the right color construction paper and replacing the leaves, gluing the pieces that break off back on, and restoring them to their former glory.
We have some storebought ones that we got in a metalworking shop in Bisbee that look very Arizona-ish...a cactus, a coyote, and some kind of lizard. We have some funny carved and painted wooden ones that weigh a ton that we bought from a street vender in Mexico one 120 degree day in July (I wonder if he thought he'd actually sell any Christmas ornaments?).
And we have 5 cheap colored glass balls that Rob's mom gave us to put on our two foot tall Charlie Brown tree the first year we were married, when we were living on peanut butter sandwiches and sharing a $100 car. They're a little battered, 25 years later, but they remind me every year to be grateful for the people in my life....and maybe to be grateful I drive a better car these days, too. LOL...the driver's door never falls off on my current car.
Christmas trees are a funny combination of who we are, who we were, who we love, and what we value. I think I know more about a person after looking at their tree sometimes than I might by asking specific questions about their belief system.
Our tree says "sappy sentimental goofballs" pretty loudly...and we like it that way.
Carrie, after we get the living room fully cleaned and decorated to Lori's exacting standards, we'll post a picture of the tree. I expect you to do likewise. And maybe stick your brother in front of it, holding today's newspaper, so we can see that he's still among the living.