The Story That Our Christmas Tree Tells

Ben and I have been married for 9+years now. When we first got married, our Christmas tree was bare. We were wed in October and I remember one wonderful gift that we received. It was a box of ornaments, mostly personalized or at the very least all pertinent to the essence of us. There were a few others that guests gave us for our wedding. Those were the only ornaments that we had on our tree that year. After days of staring at a tree that looked lonely, I went out and bought some “regular old” Christmas balls, ribbons, and a star at a local store to brighten it up a bit.

Our second year, I talked to our moms and scored some of our favorite ornaments from when we were children…either ones that we were given or ones that we had made. There was the classic gummy bear (that is now one of our kids favorites) and the Santa popsicle stick that Ben made when he was 11.  I threw out those “regular old” balls that year. With that year came the singing Christmas tree lights that I had loved when I was a kid as well. I finally convinced Ben that these were the most awesome lights that any family could ever ask for and he caved. I may have used some guilt to work my magic, but it was worth every bit of it. Those singing lights that flickered and gave a musical rendition of just about every carol that you could think of had been my favorites since early in my childhood. Okay, we may have made fun of my dad for getting them at first, but we soon realized just how special they were.

Year three marked the year of our angel. We had just miscarried our first baby and it left an impression on us, in more ways that many will ever know about. It was the start of a struggle with faith and loss that we still have not overcome.  We still have a special moment together when we place this little angel at the top of our tree every year. This growing life within me was filled with our hopes and dreams and it is one we won’t ever forget.

Little C came just days before our fourth Christmas. We had just moved into our new home and she was due just after the holiday. We weren’t expecting her arrival quite so soon! Our family was prepared and we had plenty of “First Christmas” ornaments  and “Our New Home” ornaments to go around.


On our fifth Christmas, I was pregnant with G and we started our tradition of getting a “family ornament” every year. For this year it was a little bear with her papa bear and a preggo mama bear.


The sixth year, we headed out to our “usual” Christmas tree farm and in their ornament shop was a section labeled “Dollar Ornaments”. C was old enough now to pick one out, it was a crystal-like candy cane, and she so kindly picked out a straw boat for her brother this year as well. This was also the year that we started the tradition of picking out ornaments for the kids every year and gifting them on Christmas Eve. It is one of our favorite traditions in our house. With C’s obsession with nutcrackers, we can pretty much bet what her ornaments consist of. G generally gets a tractor or superhero and H, well, we’ll see. :-)

On year seven, our tree became filled to the brim with handmade, crafty ornaments. It could not have been more beautiful than it began to be that year. The kids made this GIGANTIC peppermint candy ornament with a their hands in red paint on either side. To some it may be a tacky, large ornament that would never see the branches of a tree, but to me, it is one of my favorite memories of that year.

Last year, year eight, my favorite memory wasn’t just about the ornaments, but about those singing lights again. H had just been born and 5:30 in the evening seemed to be his “fussy time” (if you can even call it that). All I had to do was take him into the living room where our Christmas tree is housed, turn on the caroling lights, and rock back and forth in our rocking recliner. Talk about peace. I would stare, sometimes for an hour while the other two colored or played together and just rock, remembering all of the past years of our tree. Pure peace.

This year, our singing lights died on us and we have a giant Superyard XT around the tree to keep ‘lil H out, but the essence of the tree remains. The ornaments are all there, each and every one of their memories right alongside of them. The crafted ornaments have doubled in number with new ones being added daily. But this year is different. It is the first year that my daughter can really remember the ornaments and their stories from previous years. She tells her brothers and my husband and I the stories now and we fill in the gaps.

These ornaments and family traditions have become more than simple decorations that we pull out of dusty boxes once a year to decorate our Christmas tree. They tell our family story in a way that words simply could not. Each year they ensure that these stories and this history is repeated and shared over and over again and become a part of the tapestry of our children’s memories.

Make sure to head on over to Jo-Lynne Shane’s Musings of a Housewife to check out all of the other bloggers’ ornament show and tell posts. I love reading through the hidden meaning to some of the most simple (or extravagant) ornaments!

Christmas Ornament Show & Tell with Musings of a Housewife

About Lauryn Blakesley

A woman out to explore, celebrate, and enjoy everything that my community and living locally has to offer. Blessed with three beautiful children and an incredible husband, our family embraces adventure while dreaming of what is to come. Lover of knitting, running (although mostly after little ones right now), the color orange, fun accessories, fall, tea, and a clean kitchen floor. I spend my days in awe of my family and trying to teach my three to treat others as they would want to be treated.

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  1. This is such a beautiful description of your Christmas memories. With a big family, it’s probably a good idea to do a family ornament. We started the tradition of an ornament for each person and our tree is filling quickly! Maybe we’ll just get more trees :)
    Jeannette recently posted…Merry Christmas! Ornament Show & TellMy Profile

  2. the gummybear looks cute, i love the color. Our kids ornaments will go with them when they are ready to have their own adult trees.
    Melinda@LookWhatMomFound…andDadtoo recently posted…Christmas Ornament Show and TellMy Profile

  3. I love this post! I’ve struggled a bit with the collection of ornaments each of my children has. I want to put them up in their rooms though with little ones around that hasn’t worked well. Maybe I should just put them all on the tree and enjoy them all at once.
    Barb @ A Life in Balance recently posted…#wordlesswednesday: thrift store findsMy Profile

  4. I love this post. What beautiful memories and traditions you are making for your children that will last them a lifetime! Merry Christmas!
    Jeanie recently posted…Christmas Tree – Show and TellMy Profile

  5. Great post – makes me reflect on all the stories on our tree too!

  6. SUCH a great story! And I love the angel ornament. It’s definitely more fun as the kids get older and they remember certain ones and get excited when they unwrap them. Merry Christmas!
    Jo-Lynne {Musings of a Housewife} recently posted…For the Love of Boots!My Profile

  7. love it and haha to to gate around the tree!! Does it really keep the kids away?
    Sarah Hughes recently posted…Tis the Season…Our Elf on the ShelfMy Profile

  8. Your family is super cute, Lauryn!

  9. Molly Kapalis says:

    We now have a 2 year old. Our tree tells a very similar story. I touch of history (with ornaments from our childhood, ornaments from our wedding) a touch of our 2 year old with ornaments he has “made” each year, and a picture ornament for each year, a touch of our heritage with ornaments crafted by grandparents, and a touch of our hopes for the future with some ribbons with our wishes tied on them (peace, job, etc)…. and somehow all these ornaments together create one beautiful somewhat coordinated story.

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