20 years ago I was a newlywed. Our tree was put up with more LOVE than ornamentation. Christmas Tree 1991Thankfully, it could be scooted into the corner of our tiny townhouse so that the back of the tree sans decoration wasn’t obvious. It might have been sparse, but it was OURS. It was the prettiest tree in the WHOLE wide world. Nearly 10 years went by. He was working full time. I was working full time. We had a dog and two cats. We moved to a larger home. We bought a bigger tree. And a few hundred ornaments. The decorations were chosen based on color and style. Each was carefully placed equidistant from the others. Christmas Tree 2000The front faced the living room. The back faced the front window. They were visually interchangeable. It was the prettiest tree in the WHOLE wide world. Time passed…not much time. Just two years, but the days of the equidistantly decorated tree were long gone. We had an almost 2 year old. The tree was quickly assembled and decorated during naptime. The bottom of the tree was disassembled in 3.2 seconds post-naptime. Christmas Tree 2002The glass ornaments were quickly removed and replaced with plastic. Hot Wheels, Alphabet Blocks and binkies soon joined the lower tree decor. The ribbon became a pull toy. It was the prettiest tree in the WHOLE wide world. 9 more years passed and the toddler grew into a boy. Two brothers were added to the family. Gone were the days of unfettered un-decorating of the tree by tiny hands. Instead, three boys helped me pull the boxes of Christmas decor from the attic. Three boys unpacked the boxes of ornaments. Three boys decorated the tree. Christmas Tree 2011Each found favorite ornaments. Each found a favorite place to display them. The back of the tree may have been neglected. There may be places of ornamentation imbalance, but it was decorated with enthusiasm. It IS the prettiest tree in the WHOLE wide world.

Now I’d love to know, how do you spread real cheer with your holiday decorating?

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