I love to visit friends at the holidays and see how their traditions differ from my own family’s, and I can’t imagine I’m the only one, so I thought I’d invite you in today to see our tree. I don’t remember ever having a themed tree, though I know a lot of people do them. Our tree growing up was always a mix: soft ornaments at dog level, handmade school crafts and personal favorites at kid level, and a couple of special ones up high. With two toddlers, the tree looks very similar here, and the soft ones are all clustered on a few branches thanks to my “big helpers.” My special ones, I realized, are mostly souvenirs from trips and experiences. The straw angel and wreath is from our day in Cozumel on last year’s cruise, and the only thing we bought on the whole trip. The wooden starburst was purchased in Germany when we visited for my brother’s wedding. The cardinal perched at the top was a decoration at our wedding. J’s gram makes the snowflakes, and she gifted us the Currier & Ives globe some years ago, passing it along from her own collection.
I didn’t unpack a lot of decorations this year because Beans is still into everything. Most of the breakables went right back into the box, but we put a few things out to make it look festive. We will hang the girls’ stockings on Christmas Eve, probably on the tv console as we don’t have anywhere high enough to keep them from becoming playthings before Santa fills them up.
We are going to celebrate the Solstice tonight, and maybe begin some new family traditions. I have been wanting to mark this date for several years now, and when Heather shared the simple ways that her family makes it special, I was inspired to give it a go. I’d love to hear what traditions you and your family hold close this time of year.