Our Christmas Tree

There is something special about a Christmas tree.  The warmth, comfort, and light it brings to a house.  In case, it also brings many many years of memories hung upon its branches.

Christmas Tree


When wasting time browsing Pinterest, I have come across so many beautiful and amazingly coordinated trees.  While I enjoy looking at them, these kinds of trees will never grace my home.  My ornaments won’t match, and my tree will never appear in a magazine.  However, my tree is full of countless moments in time and I wouldn’t have it any other way.


My mom started a tradition with my sister and I that we each receive a special ornament on Christmas Eve.  My mom meticulously searches for and finds the perfect ornament every year that sums up what that year has meant to Heather or I.  She has done this my entire life and my tree has 25 ornaments that highlight every important memory I have ever had or lived.


Christmas Tree Ornaments


From top to bottom:

  • She gave both Heather and I the patriotic heart to commemorate September 11, 2011 and what it meant to us as Americans.
  • The baby booties were Emmalyne’s first ornament from Mimi last year.
  • The University of Arizona is for both Chris’ and my alma mater.
  • The Alpha Phi was the year I pledged and was initiated.
  • Our First Christmas was Chris’ and my ornament the year we were married
  • Peter Pan was my ornament when I was 2 or 3 because I had a huge crush on him and insisted we play Peter Pan for hours on end.


Last year mom also gave us a pickle to hide.  Hiding the pickle ornament on the tree is a German tradition where the first child Christmas morning to find the pickle receives an additional gift.


Pickle Ornament


I cherish each and every one of these ornaments and it makes decorating the tree THAT much more fun.  Beyond the ornaments though I almost cherish this more:


Christmas tree ornaments list

Christmas tree ornaments list


My mom’s perfect (to me) cursive with a running list of what ornaments where given in each year dating back until the year I was born.  Somehow we have kept this piece of cardboard forever.  Last year I started adding Emmalyne’s ornaments to the list as well.  This is a family tradition that will live on.


What does your tree look like?  Is it matching?  A hodge podge?

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Madeline @ Food, Fitness, and Family

Healthy living blogger sharing my love of yummy eats, sweaty workouts, and my sweet family!

25 thoughts on “Our Christmas Tree”

  1. Beautiful tree! And I love the list that your mom started. You’ll need a new piece of cardboard soon!

    Our tree is pretty much a hodgepodge. The designer in me wants to make it cool and monochromatic, but the lazy mom in me just wants to make use of what we have because with 2 clumsy dogs and a 3 year old, the tree is bound to get some abuse!

  2. How awesome! You have now inspired me to keep a list of ornaments. We get new ones each year as well, a d I never thought to keep track. What fun memories.

    As much as I would love a themed tree, I will never lose our family one. Too many memories, and special things to just not have up each Christmas. Eventually I will just have 2 big trees up. Ha

  3. I love your tree!!! Every year my husband and I find an ornament that we think fits the other person and give it to them as an early gift. We have a special engagement one and one from our first married Christmas. I think the personal ornaments are so much more special than any magazine tree!
    Ari @ Ari’s Menu recently posted..Fiesta Bowl 5k Race RecapMy Profile

  4. I love that cardboard list! We have a coordinated, themed tree but still manage to keep up with our family traditions. We have White House ornaments from every year, and then we also get one monogrammed family ornament with a date on it since we first met in 2006. And both P and I still have our baby’s first ornament from when we were babies. We think its fun to come up with a new themed tree every year (a new tradition for us) and still maintain both of our family traditions and have a tree with meaning. It’s possible!
    Maria @ lift love life recently posted..Being pregnant againMy Profile

  5. I love that tradition and I think I should start one for Penny. Last year we of course got a Baby’s First Christmas ornament. Now I need to search for one this year!
    Chantal recently posted..Get OutsideMy Profile

  6. My tree started out as matching but as I’ve collected more and more ornaments I’ve moved away from that – the special ornaments are so much more fun! I’m excited to start a collection for my daughter and I”m glad you reminded me to keep track. I think I’ll take a picture and somehow create an album to track them that way.

  7. We had the same tradition growing up! Each Christmas Eve, we opened our ornament, and like you said, they always represented ‘us’ to a T! I have them now all in a box and am one day hoping to have a second tree to put them all on. They bring such hapiness to me! And your tree looks beautiful :)
    Julie @ Swim Bike Running on Empty recently posted..Weekend RecapMy Profile

  8. I love this post, and your tree – your star lights are gorgeous. Family really are the true meaning of Christmas (that and the religious connotations) it’s so easy to lose sight of that.
    My husband and I have started the same tradition to celebrate our relationship. The only question is, what to choose this year!
    Emma recently posted..101 in 1001 – 96 – 5 new foodie blogsMy Profile

  9. Such a great idea to keep a list of the ornaments and the meaning behind them. Looking forward to starting this tradition with my family one day! :)

  10. Last Christmas my best friend gave me a really nice wooden Christmas ornament. It had my name and a picture of a reindeer engraved on it. It was super cool and I found out that a firm out in Colorado called Unique Custom Products made it. I am considering ordering from them this year…check them out if you like wooden item

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