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    As I was growing up, our Christmas tree was always an eclectic conglomeration of ornaments that my parents had collected across the years and countries they visited. Each ornament had a story; where it was purchased, why, or for whom.  There was the ornament I snagged off of the Christmas tree at the bank as a little tyke (the bank people said I could keep it), the corn husk angels to remind us our our great grandmother, the ornaments that we made as children,  the birds.

    There were two birds that sat in the Christmas tree, just regular looking birds, nothing fancy, but to this day they are my favorite ornaments. I’m not really sure why.  But I remember being so excited each year if I got to be the one to put them in the tree- always up toward the top.

    Last year I saw a bird ornament in a store, and decided that our Christmas tree needed a bird. Doesn’t it make sense that birds would have been present at Christ’s birth, raising their voices along with the angels? So I bought the bird, and then another, and another. And this year it continued.


    Some are shiny and ornate, others are kind of homely and sweet:


    (Seriously, I die over that owl. )

    I have about 16 now, and I have no intention of stopping.  My goal this year is a tree with silver ornaments,  full of visiting birds.

    And four of those silver ornaments will look like this:


    I found these little boxes years ago, before I had kids. I snatched them up instantly, in preparation for another tradition.  Growing up we had 5 little shoe ornaments that we hung on the tree. On Christmas morning we would each find the quarter that Santa’s elf left for us in the shoe ornaments. I loved that as a kid, and when I saw these little boxes, I knew they’d be perfect. Instead of a quarter, the girls get a little treat, last year it was a little toy necklace.

    A new tradition that we’ve started is that each year the girls get an ornament that reflects their interests of the year. The ornament is delivered by “Peter Pan”, our shelf elf.  This year Z is getting a Lightning McQueen ornament, A is getting a fish. (What can I say, the girl loves fish.)

    Do you have decorations that are traditions for you? Ornaments with special meaning? Do share!

    2 Responses to “Traditional decorations”

    1. Carolyn says:

      The decorations which mean the most to me are the ones from people who are no longer here.

      About your birds – my piano teacher was allergic to pine tress and had an artificial tree decorated in birds and tiny musical instruments along with gold ornaments. After Christmas, the weather was still dreary, so down came the gold ornaments and up went Valentine hearts. Sort of eased the transition between “the holidays” and the rest of winter.

    2. Brandy says:

      I love the bird idea; how sweet and simple! My fave decoration is a very folky looking Santa (Old World looking dwarf version, not Coca Cola Santa…) riding a polar bear; Susy gave it to me for Christmas the year before she died, and it means a lot to me.