Pick a story, any story as to the origin of the Christmas tree ornament, and you could be correct.  Memories fade, stories become embellished and before you know it, there is no absolute as to the origin of the thing.

A few things we know for sure:

The first ornaments for Christmas trees were outside-lit candles on an evergreen tree.

Germany played a big part in getting the Christmas tree indoors and making it festive Some of the first decorations were fresh roses.

Food was sometimes used to decorate the trees, and by the time the tradition got to America, apples were the preferred fruit for decorating.  Add a few gingerbread men and things are looking festive.

Then came tinsel, glass ornaments, electricity and BAM we have the well festooned trees of today.

It was just a matter of time that the template for decorating the Christmas tree was abolished and personal taste reigned supreme. Creativity and individuality were the key to a beautiful tree.

I wanted to share some of my treasured ornaments that make my Christmas tree unique and beautiful to me.

When it was 2 little boys and me as our family we painted these wooden ornaments for our first tree in 1975.

 

I love the little handmade ornaments given to me by my sissies.

 

We gather ornaments as souvenirs.

 

For many years, our 3 sons, their spouses and our grandchildren, cleared the Thanksgiving table and painted wooden ornaments for the tree. Most are marked with the date and the artists. Treasures!

christmas tree for ornaments-5

And, finally, the tree topper-a little felt elf that would become the center of a craze in 2005-Elf on the Shelf! Our little felt elf was attached to a box of candy as a Christmas gift to my family. It was our firstborn’s first Christmas, and the elf became meaningful symbol as we put it atop the tree that year. So, since 1970 the little elf has adorned our tree top. He has had many repairs-his arms and legs sewn back on-his hat glued back together, etc.; but it is just that – the indications that he has been with us from the beginning that makes it so special.

 

It seems every year I add/take away something for the tree:  maroon ribbon, silver ribbon, burlap this year.  But everything is done to showcase the treasures, the memories bound up in the ornaments.

Would you please share YOUR Christmas tree in the coming weeks/days as you prepare for Christmas in this the most traditional of ways:  decorating the tree.