It was before the collectable ornaments period in our lives. It was also before a camera was anything more than an item on my wish list. This was when my favorite Christmas tree stood in the middle of the large picture window in our living room.
Our best ever tree was not decorated with ornaments taken from boxes that had been stored in the attic for the better part of the year. Rather, it was decorated with ornaments that required planning, designing, and lots of family time together.
One of our children had learned about a recipe for making ornaments from dough. That was all of the inspiration we needed. So, for many evenings, family times were spent making dough, rolling the dough, and using cookie cutters to cut out Christmas shapes. Before being put into the oven to bake, holes big enough for ribbons to go through were carefully punched at the top of each ornament in progress.
Our creations included Santas, gingerbread men, snowflakes, stars, stockings, trees, angels, candy canes, and wreaths. Each person in our family became an “artist”, painting the shapes they selected and, finally, threading ribbon through the holes and hanging them on the tree amid the large, colored lights.
The resulting Christmas tree was beyond cute, nice, impressive, or even spectacular. It was family. It was four beautiful children. It was the best tree ever. It was my favorite tree.
Now we have a tree we take from a box and put together. We cover it with ornaments that include Hallmark and Waterford collectibles. It has tiny clear lights and is accented with ribbon. I enjoy my tree, but it will never be the special family tree lovingly created by our four beautiful children.