The Memory Tree

Every year about September I think, This year I will have a formal Christmas tree; white lights, globe ornaments, and a big red bow streaming down throughout the branches. 

Every year, when it’s time to decorate the bare evergreen, I unpack the white lights and think, I can’t do it. I can’t leave all of these memories packed away. 

And so, 2014 will go down in the books as another Zomerman holiday with a mish-mashed Tannenbaum. Notice the colored lights – not white.

I can tell you the tale behind each ornament on our tree. The ceramic ones I received from one of my mom’s best friends as I grew up. The vacations we’ve been on, buying ornaments as our standard souvenirs. My obsession with angels represents, as does every activity in which our daughters have ever participated. 

There’s the one I got the year I watched Miami Vice every Friday night.

The one we bought after spending a summer vacation in Whistler.

The mermaid I had to have after seeing the original, huge version at Hotel Del Coronado.

Every theater production the girls have been in have a corresponding place on the tree.

We have so. many. Disney. ornaments.

The gifts from my youth ministry days are here. I remember each kid as I hang each’s present on our tree.

Don’t even ask me how this got there. Edd may think he gets a say, too.

Someday I’ll have my formal, color-coordinated tree. I will. 
…I think. 
…when the kids are out of the house.

Shoot. It’s not going to happen, is it?

Well, we may not have the prettiest tree on the block. But if you come visit at Christmastime, I will be able to tell you stories about what you see. Lots and lots of stories.


  1. says

    My family's tree is always a "mish-mash" and I love it that way. My favorite ornament is a big paper plate with a nativity scene on it- I must have been 5 years old when I colored that. 🙂

  2. Laura Ann Klein says

    Beautiful! I grew up with formal Christmas trees and my mother would constantly move the ornaments after we had placed them. My Christmas tree is a hodgepodge of old glass ornaments found at garage sales; ornaments we made twenty mumblity years ago when I was a Sunday School teacher; bits of things my sons made throughout elementary school. I love it. It's more memory tree than Christmas tree. And those are always ten times more beautiful than a formal tree orchestrated by a designer.

  3. says

    Wow, thanks for saying that about your mother, Laura. It reminds me that perfection isn't necessarily the way to go. I love the idea of garage sale ornaments. I may have to add that in our mix.

  4. Teresa Kindred says

    My tree is like yours and I wouldn't have it any other way! Enjoy your tree! It is a tree full of memories and those are the best kind! Visiting you today from Women of Midlife. Are you coming to BAM? Would love to meet you in person! Teresa from

  5. Robin Sheren says

    Our tree is the same…old ornaments from my grandparents tree, ones that Jim & I made or received as kids, ones that have been given to the boys by special people or that the boys have made.. I love it!

  6. Sienna Langstaff says

    We have a glass horse ornament that has 3 broken legs. I have kept it around because it reminds me of the Christmas after my boys were born when we had a family visit us with their 3 kiddos. The little ones managed to sit on our couch at the same time which made it slide on the tile floor and knock over the Christmas tree which was sitting precariously in a bucket of sand (because we didn't have a tree stand). Needless to say, several ornaments didn't survive but I kept the 1 legged horse to remind me of that sweet time in our lives and that funny moment. I would rather look closely at a memory tree than a "perfect" one. 🙂

  7. says

    Our tree is the same way. I posted about it this week. Every year we go downtown to purchase another round of Christmas ornaments that tell about that year. Love our tree of memories…..

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