The Perfect Christmas Tree


Each year I long to have the perfect Christmas tree, arranged and brilliantly coordinated. A theme of similar colors, matching ornaments and enthusiastic grandeur. You know, the tree that looked to be right out of the page of a magazine.

Yet every year, as I take the many seasonal containers out of storage, I see the ornaments of years past and cherish the memories they represent. The commemorative ball from our first year of marriage, all my daughters ‘1st Christmas’ porcelain figurines, glass bells from vacations abroad, handmade ornaments from my sister, and crochet angels from Hubby’s late Grandma.

When my Husband and I got our own home, my parents sent us a box of their Christmas decorations – since we didn’t have any for ourselves. One ornament from the bunch, and my personal favorite – is the roughest looking ornament you will find. It’s is an old sting ball, that was once hung on my parents’ tree, decades upon decades ago. This tattered and frayed string ball had seen more Christmases than I most likely, and it certainly showed it’s age. I actually recall gazing upon these ornaments as a child, I remember they used to be in much better shape and hung in a huge set on the tree. I immediately went to throw this old and lonely ornament in the garbage, yet my Husband snagged it and wrote with a permanent marker, “I made it thru x-mas 1954”.

Meant as a joke, it was hung on our first Christmas tree, in our first place together.

And, it has been found on all our trees since then.

This year like all the others, I wished for a perfectly coordinated tree to adorn our home {especially wishful thinking when you have twin toddlers!}. Yet again, I slowly studied all our ornaments gathered through the years and felt warmth and comfort in having familiar and meaningful items to represent this time of year.

Our 1954 ball is hung proudly in the center of our tree. And in it I feel my parents’ watchful gaze from heaven, watching over my family with love. In this small and wreckless ornament lies strength and determination – combining past, present and future. And just like I wish each year, I realize that I do have my perfect Christmas tree.



  1. A tree of memories of life and the ones you love is finer than the fanciest designer tree. Designer trees are beautiful to look at but a tree like yours reflects love, family, beautiful memories and the true meaning of Christmas. Merry Christmas to you and your family and all the other readers. Have a fun and safe holiday everyone.

  2. I remember those old string ornaments. It’s amazing yours has lasted this long. I think someday I’ll have two trees. A fancy one and a family one. I’m growing a bit attached to my lopsided tree. It would give Charlie Brown’s tree a run for its money lol.

  3. My Christmas ornaments consist of ones that we have collected over our 32 years of marriage. Some are handmade by our children, some given to us by Mom, some by various churches that we have served in , some by friends, and I have few that came from older cousins in my husbands family , those are even older than 32 years. We didn’t get our tree up this year- we just have a ceramic table top tree, which is kind of pretty all we could manage for this year.

  4. Yes I do remember my tree growing up with all kinds of ornaments like the ones you described. My parents still have many of them. They did make Christmas special. I can’t wait until my boy’s start to make ornaments. One will be in kindergarten next year and the other one isn’t even in preschool yet. It will be fun seeing their ornaments on the tree!

  5. Just a bbeautiful post. I have an ornament from 1982 that I remember from my childhood and I have hung it on my tree and remembered every since my mom passed.

  6. I love this post. Like you, I always feel the same way. I have friends that I get jealous of, because they have that Christmas Creativity that I somehow lack. I always put up the ornaments that mean something to me, too. Thanks for this post!

  7. Beautifully said. There is nothing more meaningful than those that bring with them warm memories.

  8. Ours is the same way. Love the tradition and love the eclectic look. I unify mine with a huge ribbon around it that matches the tree skirt. Otherwise it’s all mismatched, but we love it. My kids love to hang the ornaments and hear the stories behind each one.

    New follower from Me Me Monday Hop.

  9. Just beautiful! I do a “designer” tree every year too, but if you look closely you will see the sentimental ornaments hung about. Happy WW!

  10. I still have a bag full of those polyester string ornaments most look like that one pictured. I once as a child took one and ripped it to shreds cuz it was starting to unravel and I was bored. You should of seen the pile of green shiny thread on the floor. Underneath was a bar plastic ball.

    My Tree growing up was like yours with all the different ornaments. I like the look of those store/magazine picture perfect trees but there’s something special about a mismatched ornament tree with history.

  11. Love your story. I think it is better to have the memories than new fangled ornaments and stuff. To me that is what Christmas is about.

  12. I love your post.. I too have my perfect christmas tree with old ornaments from when i was a child ,my mothers handmade crochet ornaments..

  13. Was just at another Canadian blog who said she dosn’t give in to old ornaments and I told her do not throw them out because when you get older those will mean the most, well for me maybe because I am a sentimental person, but seriously isn’t the perfect tree memories and thoughts of the people you cherish and love? Maybe I am just old fashioned but Tammi thank god everyday for your husband because most men probably couldn’t care less:)

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