But I know that I would not be able to have a real holiday without the big tree. It's the one that makes Christmas special. I've been putting off the chore, because I have orders that need done, and have to clear a path in the basement to access the tree, and clear a space to set it in the living room. That's a lot of stuff that needs to happen. But today, by some minor miracle, I completed all the orders (all of them!), and Becky offered to help me get the tree decorated. I don't turn down help.
Our other trees have themes. There's the Mickey tree, the nature themed tree, the dog themed tree (did you expect less?), and the birthday tree, for the boy with the December birthday. The 5th one is a tiny little thing that simply lights a dark corner, wearing a Santa hat on top and twinkly lights all around it.
The large tree, however, is our keepsake tree. The theme would be Memories, and we need the size of the big tree to hold them all. No ornament is of value on it, but they're all invaluable to us.
The crocheted snowflakes Sam's grandmother made us grace the tree every year. His grandmother passed away several years back, but I'll never forget when she came to Alaska to visit us. I asked if she'd teach me to crochet so that I could make my own snowflakes, and she nearly cried. She said everyone asks her to make things for them, but not one person has ever asked her to teach them to crochet. She took me to the store that same day to get supplies to get me started. I love those snowflakes. They started something that meant so much to both grandma and I.
My mother-in-law got the kids each an ornament every year since they were born, and I got the kids each one most years. Grandma's ornaments were all the Hallmark ones for Baby's First Year, 2nd Year..., and after they reached the 5th year she got Hallmark ornaments that fit each kid. I got ornaments for the kids that represented something they were doing that year.
There are the golf ornaments for Josh, who played in high school, and the Perry the Platypus ornament for Luke, who loved Perry for years. The brown pony represents the year we got Tommy and Flash for Micah, and a french bulldog, of course, for the pack of french dogs we have.
The little shepherd boy was for the year Luke was a shepherd in the church play and was so excited about it that it was all he could talk about.
There is a Toy Story ornament and a Shrek ornament for Micah, who loves those movies and watches them constantly.
A little girl with a kitten for the year Becky got her black cat, Daisy. A paint palette for her, when she took up painting as more than a hobby.
There's the ornament for the year Josh was in Boy Scouts, and soccer ones for Becky and Josh for the years they played AYSO.
There are ornaments for each year we spent in Alaska while Sam was in the Air Force.
And ornament from vacations, collected around the world. I have a keepsake from Germany, France, Switzerland, Italy & Spain. This year we collected Williamsburg,VA, Wickenburg,AZ, and an ornament to represent our trek across America.
We have Tigger and Pooh from the year we went to Walt Disneyland in California when Josh was just 6 months old.
There are so many ornaments. So many. Each one has a memory with it, and each one makes us stop and smile, or share a happy story. And when the tree is done, it is definitely our very favorite tree in the house.