Perfect color and color matched Christmas trees are cute for the gram and all, but they just aren’t my family’s cup of tea. Instead, we prefer to decorate our balsam fir with a bunch of mismatched, mostly homemade ornaments, and you know what? I wouldn’t have it any other way.
The mishmash highlights the personality of my family: we are a little messy, sometimes chaotic, but always full of heart.
To be honest, I totally understand the tendency to decorate your tree with monochrome ornaments and all-white lights – it’s traditional, aesthetic, and makes for a photo worthy of a double-tap. But where is the love? Memories? The jokes inside? A simple red ball just isn’t capable of having the same sentimental meaning as, say, a hand-colored paper ornament made in kindergarten. Year after year, my family tree proudly displays a delightfully motley combination of relics from our childhood, gems from my elementary school’s annual Christmas bazaar, finds on sale my mom tagged after the Christmas rush, trinkets donated by friends, souvenirs from family trips, and DIY school art projects (macaroni, beads, puzzle pieces, etc.). Plus, we’re adding decades-old garlands and multi-colored garlands for good measure.
The mishmash highlights the personality of my family: we are a little messy, sometimes chaotic, but always full of heart. Our tree is a visual representation of every step of our past, with every branch causing trips into the past. We do our best to decorate the tree together every year, depending on who’s in town, always relishing the flashbacks as we carefully organize each ornament. I can confidently say that he never gets old laughing at the wacky handcrafted creations I gifted my parents at the time, naively thinking they were masterpieces worthy of a Museum.
If and when the time comes for me to have a family of my own, you better believe that I will cheat our tree with an equally nostalgic collection of ornaments – because you can’t buy love and keepsakes in the aisles of Target. . Read ahead for a look at some of the ornaments on display on my family’s tree this year – from shadow throwing balls to hand-sewn artwork.