Every Christmas, I get all of the ornaments out of the attic to put them on the live tree we put up the first week of each December. The oldest ornament is a tiny blue ball that I found in an old dresser, and each year there are new ones placed on the tree.
Sadly, a few years ago, I retired (temporarily) the "kid" ornaments that I had on the tree when the children were little. Not the ones that they made me...those are still displayed proudly each year...but the cutesy bears were banished to a box in the attic waiting on future grandchildren.
There were ornaments purchased each year for the past 24 years that hang proudly on our tree each year. Most of them have a story behind them. The little drummer boy that my sister Lara purchased for me in 1984 while they were living in Cincinnati. She was eight years old when I received it.
A white painted angel was purchased in 1985 at a church bazaar in downtown Montgomery. Someone in my office tried to buy it from me, and it took all I could to not sell it to him.
Sometime in the early 1990s, I did not win a silver reindeer in a horrible game of "Dirty Santa" and did not handle it well at all. I tracked a replacement down at a Hallmark store...and put it on the tree every year to remind myself to be gracious and that the competitive spirit I inherited has to be kept in check.
I have a lot of ornaments that reflect my faith, and others that are various Santas, reindeer, angels, and crochet bells. A couple of years ago, Jill decided that I needed to upgrade the tree, and so I have a lot of new bigger but beautiful ornaments on the tree.
Recently, I suggested to my scrapbooking ladies that we swap ornaments instead of gifts at our Christmas Baking Day in early December. One of them remarked that she had over 40 years of ornaments and couldn't manage any more. Not me! I love getting ornaments because they make my tree the changing beautiful reflection of past and present that I spend hours enjoying each year.
As you unwrap your ornaments from the past and place them on your tree...or as you look at the gorgeous trees that will abound everywhere from your living room to your doctor's office, bank, mall, or even in the background on TV...see the ornaments. See how what you place on the same backdrop (the tree) becomes something unique and beautiful with the ornaments it carries. Even the difference in the lights that are chosen matters. White lights, colored lights, or LED lights all highlight the ornaments in a different way.
Ornaments...beautiful, shiny representations of our past and present. All packed away in boxes waiting for us to bring them back to mind, sight and life each year.