Christmas Tree Tour

Every year we decorate two trees – the ‘family’ tree which is downstairs and then ‘Mama’s Tree’ upstairs, after Emmy’s birthday party is over. Mama’s tree is in the picture window of our upstairs living room, and is allllll silver deco and pretty bright lights. It’s also our real tree so putting it up mid-December just makes sense.

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Our family tree downstairs is artificial and full of red plastic ornaments, soft yellow lights, and tonnes of the kids’ stuff that can’t break. There are also really special or sentimental ornaments (high up) that we add to each year. My mom buys the girls a special ornament every Christmas that’s usually dated and Kevin and I will often buy a couple that represent what’s going on in our life around this time of year. I’ve left out so many of my favourites but I didn’t want you to be here reading all night! Here we go!

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Kevin and I started dating on December 15th, 2007. My Aunt Ellen was visiting around the same time, and we were out shopping with my mom when I saw this little ornament. I was excited and really wanted to buy it, and my mom said it was silly since we would only be together 10 days at Christmas! She was right, really, but my Aunt Ellen was more optimistic and said, “What odds! Buy it anyway! If you’re together forever you’ll be happy you did.” Thank you, Aunt Ellen.

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Similarly, this ornament was a Christmas gift from my Aunt Ellen who is no longer with us. She loved Christmas. We all love Christmas and every year this little angel watches over my family. It gets packed away very carefully each year in a box wrapped up with warnings written all over it to be EXTRA careful.

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This is one of my all-time favourite ornaments. When I graduated with my Bachelor of Nursing from UNB in 2013, I noticed people doing all kinds of things with their diplomas and tassels and so I started browsing Pinterest for something that was a little more “me” than hanging it off my rear-view mirror. And then I saw this – using an empty craft ornament from Michael’s to string up the tassel as a Christmas ornament!

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These ornaments go together because they are from the same person! One of my favourite things I’ve ever done is work on the postpartum unit on Christmas Day! We bring a bunch of food, gifts to exchange, and snuggle all those sweet Christmas babies. These ornaments were gifts from a nurse who is always supportive, kind, and patient. And her husband has bees!

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This isn’t technically an ornament – it’s quite literally a chunk of wood that just sits on a branch of the tree! It’s a slice of the trunk from the first ‘real tree’ we cut down in our new house the year we moved in! We counted the rings when we cut it and I am pretty sentimental so I like seeing it there every year.

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This is the ornament we bought for our tree the year that we brought Emmy home from the hospital! We had decorated her room (and half our house) with owls while we waited for her to arrive, so it was only fitting to have an owl on the tree that year!

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I have a few of these ornaments from Christmas at the Market and I love them! We (almost) always go to church on Christmas Eve and it’s really one of my favourite traditions. I like having one on the tree to remind me why we celebrate with our loved ones every year!

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A couple years ago I found “B”, “E”, and “K” ornaments for the tree, and then last year when we had Chloe I couldn’t find the matching “C” anywhere! It was getting close to Christmas so finally I just told Kevin to go out and find any “C” that he could! He brought home this huge gold one and it really stands out! Just like Chlo, I guess!

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Last but not least, the tree topper. This star was the cheapest one we could find in 2010, the year I moved in with Kevin and insisted we decorate for Christmas even though we were broke. We had one string of blue lights in the PMQ window, a hand-me-down tree and lights, and a handful of plastic dollar-store ornaments. And this star at the top. It’s still my favourite tree topper, even after all this time.

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The tree isn’t complete without Alaska – I swear she waits all year for this spot to curl up.

There are a dozen or more ornaments I’d love to show you, but the truth is they probably mean more to me than I could convey here to you. And even the ones that don’t look like much, are somehow more valuable than the fragile glass ones higher on the tree.

Christmas, love, traditions – none of it needs to cost a fortune. You don’t need a million dollars, or a gajillion gifts or big trips. Staring at the tree and seeing Emmy’s handprint ornament from her first daycare or a bone with the name of our first dog written on it is more than enough for me. Holding a candle in the back pew, singing Silent Night. Smelling the cinnamon scented pine cones in a basket. Watching my girls’ faces of wonder as they look at the Christmas lights on our house outside. Snowflakes falling on our faces while we’re out for a walk.

I hope you enjoyed my Christmas Tree Tour – but you can bet I enjoyed it, even more.

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