My husband and I are not the most traditional couple but we do enjoy putting up the tree and adding the ornaments we have collected over the years.
After every last decoration was added I stepped back and surveyed our work and I quickly realized how much our tree says more than just “Happy Holidays.”
Each ornament reveals a little bit of who we are and our life together.
There are the ornaments that we acquired from our travels as a token of our trips–our first trip to the Bahamas, the honeymoon in San Francisco, our yearly Thanksgiving trip to NYC, our NASPA cruise to Alaska and our ten-year anniversary trip to Maui. Each decoration serves as a mini photo album, perserving a fond memory.
There are ornaments that friends and family have given us over the years, like the ones my supervisor gives to our staff each year (five and counting!) and the ones that personify our personalities–golf themed ones for Erik and a lovely array of glass high heels for me.
I linger over the ones that signify important milestones like the “Our First Christmas” one, or the ornaments we were given at our wedding.
Others represent where we have lived and where our educational and professional journeys have taken us. There are brightly colored symbols of Denmark, Detroit, Grand Rapids, Ann Arbor, Albion, Muncie and Chicago.
An ornament with my grandmothers face shines from the lights behind it, a beautiful tribute of the woman I loved so dearly who passed 4 Christmases ago.
Our tree tells a story of longevity, a couple who have blended lives but remain distinct individuals. It shows where we have been and hopefully we will continue to add ornaments as we move on to the next stage of our lives.
Each ornament has a story, a memory or personal connection to a friend or family member. They are bright, glittery examples of the things that are important to us and the people we love.
What does your Christmas tree reveal about you?