Christmas Tradition: Traditional and Not-So-Traditional Decor

We have accumulated lots of Christmas decorations over the almost 15 years of our marriage. We didn’t have much when we got started, and my husband decided we needed everything right away. I wanted to build our stash a little more slowly with meaningful decorations. We kind of did both. He went to the after Christmas sale and bought a cart-full of Disney ornaments, one of my least favorite themes in the world. I pick out yearly ornaments to commemorate our growing family. Every year each child gets a special ornament with her name and year on it, and we get a family ornament. I like the ones which have a place for each family member, but as our family grows it’s hard to find ones with that many spaces. You also have to be careful putting them on the tree. It might tip if all the family ornaments are on one side.

This past year, I inherited some of my parents’ Christmas decorations. I picked the things that I remember from my childhood, such as a ceramic tree with lights on it. Some of the lights are missing, but it is still pretty. I also got their ceramic nativity set with the shed my dad built. It’s a beautiful set, if you don’t notice the angel’s wings that have been glued together a few times, and I hope to some day have a place to set it up properly. It’s rather large, and space is a premium in our house.

One of my favorite decorating themes, besides the nativity, is the villages, especially the gingerbread ones. Again, lots of space required. My mother would buy each of us a piece of the village each year, so I have a rather substantial city now. Again, lots of stuff, no space.

So, if my house were decorated perfectly for Christmas, I’d have all my sentimental ornaments on a brightly lit tree, my parents’ nativity set with a heavenly light on a table, and a happy village-city displayed on a mantle. But, then there is reality. All of my decorations are in storage, and my husband is not inclined to retrieve any of them…mainly because half of our other possessions are stacked in front of them. We sold our house, so most things of non-essential value went to storage. Since we started decluttering almost two years ago, Christmas boxes went first. Thus, they are at the back of the building.

A paper Christmas tree is the ultimate low maintenance decoration.

A paper Christmas tree is the ultimate low maintenance decoration.

So, what does our apartment look like this Christmas? Rather bare, unfortunately. A few years ago, when I was in the hospital around Christmas, we had a similar conundrum. The girls took matters into their own hands and drew a Christmas tree that we taped to the wall. Below is a picture of their masterpiece. Pretty cute, huh?

We tried to keep this special tree, but paper has a way of tearing in a house with a lot of children. So, it’s been shredded since then. My girls are in the process of re-creating another wall tree for this Christmas. I’ll post pictures when we have it up.

While I like the traditional tree with all our commemorative ornaments, this paper tree has kind of grown on me, too. It might become our new tradition.

What new tradition could you add to your holiday decor?


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