Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A Christmas Tradition - Decorating the Tree

When my first grandchild experienced her first Christmas at about nine months of age, her eyes popped when she gazed at the lit, decorated tree. She reached out her hand to touch an ornament, and I told her mother, "Let her touch; they won't break." I had purchased several unbreakable ornaments and placed them within Lauren's reach. Still, we taught her to touch "softly." The following year, we asked Lauren's parents to let her come "help" us decorate our tree. She carefully placed all of the sturdy ornaments on the lower branches of the tree while Papa and I hung the rest. The next year, Papa lifted her high, and Lauren placed the angel on the top. How proud she was! Eventually, Lauren's sisters realized how much fun they were missing, and they came along to add their assistance. A Christmas tradition was born.

Since then, our son's daughters, Lauren (19), Brittany (18), and Jenna (15) have come each year to decorate our tree. I sit and tell the story of each ornament and pass them out as they find the "perfect" spot for it. They take turns placing the angel on the top. (I've been reduced to record keeping to avoid declarations of "it's MY turn!") This year only Lauren kept the tradition going as Brittany had a mandatory chorus rehearsal, and Jenna had to meet with a tutor.

First, the tree must be "fluffed." If you look closely, you can see my Pink Saturday's ornament hanging where I photographed it.


We have Christmas music and hot apple cider. After the work is finished, we eat pizza and brownies or Christmas cookies. Not nutritious, but remember, I'm the grandmother--I'm allowed to spoil! Through the years, a surprisingly few ornaments have been broken. Whenever that happens, there is a bit of regret, but I always say, "You're more important to me than any ornament." (BTW: I think I broke three last year!)

Apple cider always tastes better in Christmas mugs. We were all too hungry to take pictures of the pizza and brownies!


Here's my beautiful Lauren placing the angel on the top of the tree; she uses a ladder these days.


This year, we made bows instead of using the gold ribbon to swag the tree.


One of my most precious ornaments is this one that Lauren presented to me in 1990. She "made" it at Sunday School, and her generous mommy encouraged her to give it to Grandma. Oh, I have treasured it ever since!



Here's the finished product:




I have seven grandchildren; only three decorate the tree as my daughter, son-in-law, and their four children live out of town. (sigh) you can't have everything!Want some pretty music? Click here, type in the title of a song or the name of an artist and listen while you blog away!

48 comments:

artis1111 said...

It looks like all had a wonderful time. The tree is lovely and with special memories to boot. Kathy

Chris said...

There's nothing that beats tradition at Christmas time. Your Lauren is very beautiful. And so is your tree.

Hugs,
Chris

jlshall said...

Beautiful tree, beautiful granddaughter, beautiful story! What wonderful Christmas traditions you have.

squawmama said...

Wow what great tradition with your beautiful granddaughter... and then ending up to be all three helping... This was a cute story and the tree is just as cute as can be... I love it... Have a great day Sally....

(((HUGS)))
Donna

Dawn said...

What a very sweet story!! I think you have a great tradtion that will be remembered by your grandchildren for all of their lives!

My daughter made me a similar ornament (wreath shape with her picture) when she was a wee young thing. I think I gave it to her for her tree last year.

take care,
Dawn

Theresa @ Take A Sentimental Journey said...

You have a beautiful g.daughter .How lucky you are to have them to put it up for you.

Needled Mom said...

That is such a lovely tradition that you have started with the girls. I am sure they enjoy it as much as you do.

Beautiful tree.

Darlene said...

Morning Sally,

The girls are so beautiful and so is your tree! Great traditions! The cider, pizza and brownies sound YUMMY!

Picket said...

Morning Sally...loved hearing about your beautiful tradition with your precious grandbabies...Now all these years later the tree is still beautiful and those grandbabies are all about grown but filled with memories that you have helped them make...Lauren is a beautiful young woman...you know she adores you girl...great post Sally....have a beautiful day!

Barbara H. said...

Sounds like a lovely time! I hope when our kids are older at least some of them live close enough to still do things like this.

Shelia said...

Oh, Sweet Sallyness! You're showing your sentimental side! I love it. Your Lauren is absolutely beautiful! What a precious little story about decorating your tree! I still don't have any grandchildren and that makes me sad! But I have 3 fuzzy faces granddogs. I don't think they can help me decorate my tree!!
Thank you for being so considerate to me! Isn't it great to be 'right' all the time? lol
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

jsprik said...

beautiful and what a great tradition!! take care, Merry Christmas!!

Scooterblu's Whimsy~Rhonda said...

Hi Sally, Great tradition! You can truly enjoy your tree and think about the memories it holds! How nice! Beautiful tree....and beautiful grandaughter! ~hugs, RHonda :)

Coloradolady said...

How fun! It is amazing how traditions just seem to happen sometimes. What wonderful memories you have made with your grandaughters they will never forget...priceless.

Diane of Crafty Passions said...

Family traditions are priceless in our memories aren't they!!
Diane

Baba's Blog .. Babies Are Special said...

Hi Sally, Your Christmas tree is beautiful and you are so lucky to have a granddaughter decorate your tree..Lauren is pretty and is lucky to have you for a grandma!!! Thanks for sharing.. Baba

nikkicrumpet said...

Very nice that she still came over to decorate the tree. What a fun tradition! She is gorgeous...and the tree is darn pretty too!

Charli and me said...

Dear Sally, I so enjoyed reading your post and seeing all of your lovely pictures. You granddaughter is absolutely beautiful. I love your tree. It's so pretty and I like how you added the ribbons. You have a memory tree just like me.
p.s. My addiction post is up.
Have a wonderful day, Carol

Carrie said...

What a lovely tradition to share with your granddaughters.

Debbie said...

Your tree is very pretty, as is your grandaughter. What a special time for you.

jeanne said...

Sally, I am so moved by your lovely Christmas tree decorating story. It is a wonderful tradition. You are right your Lauren is beautiful. The tree turned just gorgeous. I love the pretty bows.

I am posting the rest of the store tomorrow. Believe it or not it is not expensive. I agree. it looks very expensive. I wonder if it keeps some would be customers away.

Christmas hugs...Jeanne

Beverly said...

Sally, this is the most wonderful post. I love the tradition of decorating the tree with your granddaughters. And, I am especially glad your Lauren made it this year. She is a true beauty, and clearly she has a beautiful soul, too.

kbbryant said...

This was such a sweet post. You have built some wonderful memories for your grandchildren and the tree looks lovely.
Kathy b

Cherdecor said...

Sally, Your tree is beautiful! It is so nice to have a tradition for the children.

I love your header too!

Jill said...

Pretty! I love traditions... :) It's nice to share those moments with the ones you love!

Gina said...

What a beautiful tree, and what great memories!

Neabear said...

You definitely have some special memories. And you are still making them. Your granddaughters will treasure those memories too.

Wendi @ Every Day Miracles said...

Your tree is gorgeous! I love family traditions and look forward to starting more with my boys. :)

We are THAT Family said...

Beautiful job! I love it. I've never been able to make those bows....

Monica said...

What a great tradition you have with your granddaughters! I know they will treasure that time with you forever. And your tree is just beautiful!

Amanda said...

How wonderful to have family near by and what great memories your making!! Beautiful!

Proud Mommy said...

Gorgeous tree!!! Your granddaughters are going to remember that tradition forever.

Tina said...

What a lovely family tradition. We still help to decorate my Mom's tree but it is mostly her grandkids who help. And she doesn't rearrange the ornaments as much as she used to. :) Being a grandma is making her soft. lol

Robin said...

Your tree is beautiful. Thanks for your comment on my blog.

JanMary said...

Love your tree, and what a wonderful tradition to have for your decorating. I am sure you and your grand children really look forward to this each year.

Thanks for visiting my blog.

Shana said...

Very pretty! Thanks for stopping by my blog. :o) Merry Christmas!!

dj said...

What a lovely tree, the gold bows are so elegant!

Jen said...

What a pretty tree. Thanks for sharing. Thanks for stopping by my blog. Merry Christmas!

Shannon said...

thanks for stopping by cyberbones. My oldest is actually pretty good at the violin. He tried to show his little bothers how to play and suddenly I remembered why all the younger ones take piano instead. LOL

Your tree and the traditions you share with your grandchildren are wonderful. Merry Christmas!

The Happy Housewife said...

What a beautiful tree! I loved the picture of the single pink ornament hanging from the tree!
Toni

kspinning said...

Beautiful tree...I love the gold bows! Nice touch!

Jenn said...

What wonderful memories you are making with your granddaughters! I hope to do that some day too.

Muthering Heights said...

It looks like you all have such a nice time decorating together!

D... said...

What a beautiful tree! But, even more so, what a beautiful time decorating it. :)

Merry Christmas!

The Southern Family said...

What a lovely decorating tradition and tree! Thanks for coming to the tree show- and it wasn't too late. I added you to the list.

:-)

Yellow Rose Arbor said...

I enjoyed seeing your tree! The gold bows are a nice touch too!

Katherine

Susie Q said...

Such traditions are priceless...thank youf or sharing a bit of them with us!

Your Lauren is beautiful...and so is your tree!

Love,
Sue

Amber, That's Me! said...

looks like a fun tradition!