Christmas tree decorations

December 12, 2011 in Holidays

Pier 1 Imports, 2011
Pier 1 Imports, 2011

A friend and I went shopping last night. It was fun and restful to have an adult, female shopping buddy who has good conversation skills. Most of my trips to a store are with kids or if alone they are a quick in and out, no time to browse sort of visit. One sparkling store we strolled through was Pier 1 Imports. They have dozens of adorable, sparkling, weird, beautiful, colorful Christmas tree ornaments. And sometimes their sparkles made me wish I could put them on our tree.–because a mom knows what happens when little girls see sparkles or currently, animal prints!

Pier 1 Imports, 2011

The tree–another Christmas tradition I altered slightly. I love real trees. But I am just enough of a penny pincher and an I-have-enough-to-do-without-pine-needles-on-the-floor kind of gal  to be content with the old artificial tree I bought from my neighbor 3 years ago. It is tall and narrow and fits in our house perfectly.  And the girls think putting it together is like a fun, giant puzzle.

our house, 2011
our house, 2011

My desire to let Christ be the center of Christmas led me to question the purpose of the tree. It is beautiful and fun to decorate. But what is its purpose? The tradition seemed so far removed from  any meaning that I wasn’t sure. I decided to use it as  a reminder. So we top it with a star, to lead the way to Christ, just as the shepherds followed the star. We talk about symbolic colors, red for the blood that eventually was shed; green, the color of life in the dead of winter (though I think February is the dead of winter); white, for the purity that was wrapped in swaddling clothes.  And every ornament (almost) is from the story of Christ. Some of the ornaments represent the people who were part of Christ’s birth. Some of them, like the numerous stars and hearts and doves, are symbols of the message of Christ’s birth. Sometimes people will give us gifts of ornaments that don’t fit our theme. We hang save them, since they represent memories of people who thought about us. We hang them on windows and doorknobs but not on the tree.

our house, 2011

In the five years we have been decorating our trees in this way, the number of ornaments in stores that fit our criteria keeps dwindling.  The trend is toward more winter and nature-themed ornaments. I mentioned to the sales clerk at the local Christian store that I couldn’t find ornaments with the shepherds or ornaments with the wise men anywhere. He couldn’t think of any in his store. At least Mary and Joseph and Jesus were still well represented there. The girls wanted an ornament with a donkey. So Tom found a donkey from a kids’ plastic animal display and tied a red ribbon around him. This year, donkey made it to the top of the tree and is hanging from the uppermost point of the star. I think he likes the view.

Do you put up a tree? Why?

our house, 2011
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