I love Christmas trees. Specifically, I love our Christmas tree. It’s a mish-mash of ornaments that have made it our way through the years, along with some white lights and berry garland, which I think ties the whole thing together.

oh amanda is asking about our favorite ornaments now…. and like her, I can’t pick just one! Heck, I had a hard enough time just picking these 3! But they are all in their own category, so I couldn’t really separate just one out….

This first picture is of my favorite “ornament” ornament. It has a lot of special meaning to me…. I got it my senior year in high school, when I was singing with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus. It was an amazing year for me, and we were in the middle of the Robert Shaw Christmas concert performances – I think there were at least 4 or 5 performances for the Christmas season, and they were all sold out. It was a beautiful concert, with the Morehouse College Glee Club and a children’s choir singing with us, too. They each did some songs by themselves, and the ASO Chorus did a lot of songs by ourselves, and then we added all 3 choruses together for several songs, too. Imagine over 300 voices raised in song, with a symphony as well. wow….

I was in the lobby of the Symphony Hall, I imagine taking in the crowd and the atmosphere, maybe waiting for Mom. I know I was waiting for her that day, as she is the one who actually purchased the ornament for me (each time I drove into Atlanta, I had to have someone with me, as I was only 17 and Mom and Dad did not want me driving through the city by myself at that time. A lot of my friends joined me in the car for those Monday night rehearsals, and one person came to a concert at a time so I could sing at each one). I fell in love with this little angel ornament at the gift area in the lobby. It’s hard to see in this photo, but she’s holding a french horn. I thought she would perfectly symbolize this time in my life for me, and at the tender age of 17, I saw how I could cherish this ornament for years to come. I was so right… I love finding this ornament in my boxes and adding it to the tree (normally towards the top).

The next is my favorite “non-ornament” ornament. It has not hung on a tree until recently… until I moved to Richmond in 2000 and started having my own Christmas trees. Prior to that (and prior to my college days), this little girl used to hang on my bedroom door during the Christmas season. She’s a little framed cross-stitched girl – no larger than 3 inches in diameter, total. She is hanging an ornament on her tree… My brother has one like it, with a little boy doing something Christmas-y (I have no idea what his is – I haven’t seen his in years).

I loved it when Mom would hang this on the little nail that was on my bedroom door – when I was smaller, I thought that this would let Santa know which room I was sleeping in, so if he needed or wanted to come and see me while he was delivering gifts, he’d know which door to come in. And I remember just sitting and looking at it for long stretches of time… I’m not sure why exactly, but it fascinated me. Now, the memories fascinate me. It always makes me smile when I put this on the tree. I’ll have to ask my mom who made this for me, as I have no memory of that.

Finally, a recent addition… a “children’s” ornament, for my Big Boy. Until yesterday, I thought this was one that I purchased for my brother, UncaDo. I had no recollection of when else I would’ve gotten it, as the only one I remember buying was for him several years ago, and he has given Big Boy several of his own things (robots, stuffed animals, etc.) that he thinks the Big Boy would enjoy. But I found out yesterday at my sister-in-law’s house that my mother-in-law, Emmi, got this for the Big Boy last year. I saw one just like it on my niece’s tree, and my SIL mentioned something about how much she loved it, too. Emmi was there, as well, and she didn’t even remember buying it for the kids, but apparently she did, at Cracker Barrel last year.

So now we won’t forget who got these for the kids. It’s in writing! And who doesn’t love them some Christmas sock monkey? Big Boy already likes to come up to it and point out the monkey to me. I hope you treasure it as the years wear on, kiddo.

Thanks, Amanda, as always, for giving me wonderful things to think about and to share with my family.