Friday, December 24, 2010

Buon Natale

I don't have a lot of requirements for Christmas. I don't need a lot of presents, and I have no attachment to the food once I get past Thanksgiving. All I need is a tree, and ornaments that mean something to me.

You see, I didn't grow up celebrating Christmas. I was 27 years old and 4 years married the first time I participated in this holiday; the first time I had a tree in my home. My husband and I made our sojourn to Hobby Lobby, buying a small tree and some coordinating ornaments. It was pretty, but it didn't have any meaning to me, regardless of my beliefs about the holiday.

The next year my husband excitedly pulled out the Christmas decorations, and discovered I had no enthusiasm. He was a bit disappointed but didn't let it phase him. He enjoyed setting everything up, adding lights as well. I helped, but only when prodded.

This went on for several years, until something magical happened. Patrick cajoled me into coming to help set up the tree one year. As we unwrapped the ornaments, I began to see the stories they held. One had been given to us by Patrick's parents. Another had been purchased on a trip. They were no longer just pretty baubles, they began to have meaning to me. For the first time, I had an excitement about decorating for Christmas. I had an emotional connection, found in the history of the ornaments. I now had a tradition.

That tradition has continued, through the years. Our son was born and we added "Baby's first year" ornaments. My husband completed a bicycle trip down the Oregon coast, and I made him an ornament to commemorate. We've picked up ornaments in places we've visited or they've been given to us as gifts from special people in our lives. Each one is a memory, something special to be revisited, as we set up the tree and admire them through the month of December. It is now a special family tradition the weekend after Thanksgiving, to turn on the Christmas music and set up the tree together. We carefully unwrap the ornaments, taking a walk down memory lane. My son loves it too.

So for me, all Christmas needs is a tree filled with ornaments that carry memories. The perfectly decorated and color coordinated trees can stay in the department stores, in my opinion. They are beautiful, I love to photograph them, but they hold no true meaning for me.

During our time in Italy, we've added quite a number of ornaments to our collection. In fact, we didn't bring any Christmas decorations with us, having the goal of gathering new ornaments on our travels. We now have a tree full of memories to take home with us. Here we are, by our tree of European memories, wishing you a wonderful, happy Christmas. Or, in Italian...

Buon Natale!

Today's 9 Muses Musing prompt is ORNAMENT. Today is my day to giveaway one of my favorite handmade glass ornaments from Murano. Please come by Mortal Muses and leave a comment or link in to enter the giveaway, I'd love to see it go to one of my faithful readers!


  1. What a wonderful post, Kat! Have a Merry Christmas!

  2. What a lovely tradition. I think that is what a lot of people do--add ornaments that have meaning every year. It's like unpacking a box of memories. :)

  3. nice post - that's amazing that you didn't celebrate Christmas until you were 27.

  4. How lovely! Merry Christmas to you all! xm

  5. aww i love the post and this is such a cute christmas family photo! merry christmas kat!

  6. Merry Christmas Kat! Loved your post and what a lovely family picture.

  7. You have a lovely looking family. We have a mish-mash of well loved ornaments too - and my teens still love going through them with us.

  8. what a great story, Kat! Wishng you love, joy and magic now and trailing right on into 2011... so glad I met you and your blog!!

  9. Great family photo! Hope you all had a great Christmas!

  10. Happy Holidays to your family and you, Kat! And a wonderful, creative and unique year 2011!
    Sorry for my silence (yeap, still busy...).
    Thanks for the beautiful postcard the other day - it brightened my days :)! Take care!


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