A Tale of Two Christmas Trees

I have a confession to make – I have BPCTD

Or, as it’s more commonly know, Bi-Polar Christmas Tree Disorder

To better show you how my affliction presents itself, I submit the following exhibits:

Exhibit A – The “Pretty” Tree

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The “pretty” tree speaks to my love of all things shiny and beautiful.  It is technically a themed tree due to the predominance of cream, gold, and burgundy colored ornaments and it is topped by an elegant, golden angel whose arms move back and forth shining one tiny twinkle light.  

I’ve been collecting ornaments for the pretty tree since our first Christmas together nearly 20 years ago.  I love them all, but I am particularly fond of this spindly, burgundy ornament.  I used to have four, but they are incredibly fragile and now only have two left.  Oh and I also love this little cluster of gold acorns that I found at the Christmas store in Tahlequah.

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This was last year’s addition to the pretty tree.  I love the holly berries and big red bow.

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And this sweet little birdie is this year’s addition to the collection.

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Now in contrast, I would like to show you the tree at the other end of the spectrum:

Exhibit B – The “Family” Tree

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This tree…well…this tree just makes my heart smile (even with the lights out at the top)…although I often find myself in tears once it’s done.   Our family tree is made of all the ornaments that Kelsey made in grade school and all the ornaments I’ve made while sitting the middle of the living room floor.  Also on this tree are the ornaments we’ve bought on vacation and a yearly ornament with our names on it.  Plus this is where I love to hang all the ornaments given to us from my our dear friends.  This tree is quite literally a walk down memory lane.

***Warning!!! Nostalgia Alert!!!***

I’m just going to tell you right now – I think I’m a little hormonal, which is why I’m probably inclined to write about sappy family memories.  Just wanted to give you a heads up.

So here is where it all started.  Just Tripp and me in our tiny Stillwater apartment.  I was about four months pregnant and finally over months of morning sickness. I was so excited to decorate our first tree and probably sent Tripp back to walmart three times to get more lights.

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This was the first ornament I ever made.  We were living in OKC and Kelsey was just a toddler.  I was working at an oil & gas company, but happened to be home one day with Kelsey when she was running a fever.  This was about the time that I had been bitten by the craft bug – I had a glue gun and wasn’t afraid to use it! – and had some leftover bits and pieces from my dried flower/napkin ring project.  While Kelsey napped in her crib, I watched the home shows on the Discovery Channel and made these mini-grapevine wreath ornaments.  This was also the project where I got the third degree burn on my thumb, but it didn’t even matter because I was so proud that I made something to put on our tree.

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Here is another ornament I made when Kelsey was in preschool and we lived in our first house in Owasso.  I don’t remember what in the world I was making with all those little string pearls, but I had a ton leftover so I hot-glued them around little wooden balls. 

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This sweet little ornament bears the pinky prints of my sweet little Kindergartener.  The tears usually start about the time I unwrap this precious little ornament.

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Here is the ornament we got when we went to Disney World.  It was the park’s 100th anniversary and it was a magical trip.  It was actually our second visit – not the first time where I wrote Tripp’s cell phone number on Kelsey’s belly in bold sharpie marker.  (Just in case she got lost and couldn’t remember.  And yes I know I was a freak.)

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I love this set of vintage ornaments given to me by my great-aunt Missy.  She came and stayed with us for Christmas one year when we lived in Owasso which also happened to be the year we got 10” of snow on Christmas Eve.

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The very last ornaments to go on the family tree are the collection of handmade ornaments with our names written on them.  Usually by the time I get all these ornaments on the tree I’m already pretty nostalgic and weepy, so when I start unwrapping these is when the serious waterworks get going.  This sweet snowman ornament is the one that started the tradition.  A friend of mine invited me to go with her to the OKC Affair of the Heart.  It was the first time I had gone to a craft show and OMG I was like a kid in candy store.  Here was a convention center full of booths of ladies doing and making exactly what I loved doing and making. 

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The past several years I’ve been buying these cute little dough ornaments.  The nicest gal makes and sells these at various craft shows in the area.  I love the adorable faces on her ornaments and lucky for me she usually adds a new style every year.  Here is our 2011 installment.

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I’m not sure how or why I started calling one tree “pretty” and one “family,” because I think our family tree is incredibly beautiful.  It speaks to everything I love about our family and our life – the tradition, the love, the expression, and even the imperfections.   But I think what I love most about this tree is that it is a like scrapbook – each ornament is a memory and together they tell the story of our family.

Peace, Kelly

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About Minding My Nest

wife, mom, not-so-empty nester.
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