December 1, 2009

Christmas Tradition . . .

I am a Christmas tree snob. It's true. I like our large {artificial} tree in the family room to look a certain way. And that means its ornaments and other decorations follow a color scheme and are placed "just so" on the tree. It's an outward manifestation of my inner anal control freak. I'm so healthy I can totally admit it. What it also means is that all the ornaments my kids have made at school or church over the years are not invited to play on mommy's tree.

But before you write me off as the meanest mom on the planet {oh, wait, I am that}, here's a Christmas tradition we've had for years that solves the problem. Each year our kids get out their boxes of ornaments and decorate A KIDS TREE down in the basement. Just like a kids table at Thanksgiving, the kids tree just makes sense. There are enough ornaments between the three older kids to fill an entire tree AND since it's in the basement, they get to enjoy it where they spend most of their time playing!

When we take special trips we frequently pick up an ornament for the kids to put on the tree. Here's one from our last trip to Disneyworld:

Here's an ornament my mom made years ago to honor my dad's West Point heritage. Isn't he a crack up? Seriously, she made an army of them - look at all the detail. Mom, you're crazy! But my kids LOVE this ornament!

My favorites on the tree are the ornaments handmade by my kids, like this wreath out of puzzle pieces by RedDog.

Or this wreath out of macaroni by Hannie B. It's kitschy, I know, but I can still see the look on her face when I opened this on Christmas morning when she was a Kindergartner. She was so proud of her creation, so to me it is priceless!

I think my favorite handmade ornament is this one - a little peanut Baby Jesus made by Big C at church. The kids love putting him front and center on their tree. When RedDog was little we had to tell him not to eat this ornament!

Here's the kids tree. They decorated it last night for Family Home Evening. The Hubby and I looked on and reveled in the laughter, remembrance and joy that this tradition brings each year. And we are excited that this tradition will keep on giving. As our children leave home to start their own families, they will get to take their collection of ornaments with them. Some lucky boy who marries Hannie B will get that gold macaroni wreath! Awesome, right?
Tomorrow I'll tell you about the tradition that's under this tree.
{ps. Want to start a kids tree of your own? I got this tree for 60% off at Target at the end of the season last year. It cost me on $39.99!}
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13 comments:

Mammallama said...

Please show us your perfect tree.. there are us lurkers who do not know what a perfect tree looks like if it isn't in a store decoration section

Apis Melliflora said...

Great idea! I love homemade kids' ornaments. Some of our favorite tree ornaments: the kids' old pacifiers (one for each kid).

I think I know what's under the tree. I'll hold my breath until tomorrow to find out.

Tobi said...

I would love to have more than one Christmas tree. I just don't have a big enough house for that yet.

My favorite ornaments are the ones my kids make too! =)

The Carlsons said...

If you managed to have a baby and get what I think is wrapped under that tree you're one up on me. If I don't do it before I put them away it doesn't happen. Luckily I have boys that don't even care.

Kasey Hunt said...

So fun. This is such a great time of year. I accidentally deleted your comment from my blog!!! Didn't mean too.

lee kriel said...

I am a tree snob too! We picked ours out this weekend at a farm in PA...a tradition each Thanksgiving. Although, I do not put it up until mid December, my husband and boys are teasing me as I have to go out of town tomorrow for 5 days, that they are going to put it up and decorate it while I am away!!!

Please be teasing!!! Please?

MelancholySmile said...

We could be sisters! I'm the same way about our tree, and after I found a beautiful, new white one at the thrift store {$10!} I relegated our old one to the kids room. New home for their handmade ornaments! Great minds think alike.

Adam said...

Love this idea and a great solution to your tree snobbiness :)

Can't wait to see pics of your professionally decorated family rm tree! Love, Jessie

Lori Gerten said...

Golden macaroni rocks. It's got a little sass in it!!!

Burton's blog said...

We have the same tree "tradition"! Awesome! Only difference is we wait till Christmas eve to do the kids tree and then move all of the gifts downstairs under it and have Christmas morning celebration in the basement. The kids think it is cozy, but I love how it hides the mess!

The Queen Vee said...

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree .....how lovely are thy branches...especially if decorated by little hands. I love the angel, reminds of H-berg. Heading to bed, it's snowing here. I've a zillion more things to do before getting on the plane tomorrow.

Jennifer said...

I am also a really mean mom, and my tree has to look just so! The worst part is the kids tree...I want it to look just as perfect! I usually have a family tree and a living room tree. So I think I am going to have to get another tree and dedicate it specifically for the kids and their creations!

Laura said...

That's a good idea about the kids tree because ours is currently a mix-match of kids ornaments/handmade stuff by the kids/other more delicate ornaments. Now if I can only find the space... Laura in Germany