“A Tree Full of Memories,” Ensign, Dec. 1983, 61
Some people prefer their Christmas tree to have precisely placed bows, dried flowers, and satin balls that match the room’s decor. Our tree, on the other hand, doesn’t match anything—except us.
It holds a hodgepodge of ornaments collected over the years, each with its share of memories. Paper angels, preserved from first grade, carol in bright, crayon-striped dresses; a plastic gold nativity ornament a Primary teacher gave one of the children a long time ago glitters on one of the boughs; pink, green, and yellow salt dough cookie-cutter shapes, relics from preschool, hang by shredding ribbons. There are reminders of places we’ve been—a rope and dried flower ornament from Hawaii, a wooden ornament from San Francisco for each child, a pewter drum the older boys picked out in a Philadelphia shop two years ago, olive wood Christmas shapes we got in Bethlehem this year.
Other memories are held in wooden cars and rocking horses that Grandma tied to the packages one year, and engraved, gold-colored ornaments the kids found in their stockings. Several are wooden ornaments hand painted by Mom one summer. Topping it all off is the treetop ornament that got broken as we were putting it on the tree our first Christmas as a married couple.
Each child knows which are his or her own special ornaments and delights in placing them on the tree (and each plans on taking his ornament with him when he grows up and leaves home). Sometimes crinkled foil “candy canes” and paper chains appear on the tree the week before Christmas when the kids are out of school.
Ours is not the lovely, symmetrically decorated tree it could be, but we wouldn’t have it any other way. When we open the boxes of Christmas decorations each holiday season, we take out boxes full of memories—and place them on our tree. Laurie Williams Sowby, American Fork, Utah