Christmas,  Holiday traditions,  Holidays

Treasure trees

“Some Christmas tree ornaments do more than glitter and glow, they represent a gift of love given a long time ago.” ~Tom Baker

When Doug and I became empty nesters, we started scaling back on holiday decorations. Simplifying the season, we banked the mantel with greens and twinkle lights, but didn’t put up a Christmas tree. We’d grown tired of hauling everything down from the attic.

But things have changed now that we have a little grandson who’s old enough to appreciate the magic of Christmas. Last year, we bought a new tree and retrieved the ornaments we’ve collected over the years.

My favorites include the paper and macaroni ornaments our son made in preschool years ago. And I’d nearly forgotten about all the ornaments we’d collected on our trips around the country, too, including a few souvenirs from the years I worked as a travel magazine editor. There’s a tiny hand-painted bowl from Santa Fe; a miniature swan from Stockbridge; a pair of faceless dolls from Indiana Amish country.

Some people prefer a more sophisticated approach to Christmas tree decorating. They aim for a unified theme or a color scheme, evoking the lavish holiday displays we see at the shopping malls. But I’m still a sentimental fan of Christmas trees filled with a jumble of personal treasures — ornaments that tell stories about the people who’ve collected them. ~Cindy La Ferle

Throughout my career, I've worked as a book production editor, travel magazine editor, features writer, and weekly newspaper columnist. My award-winning lifestyles features and essays have appeared in many national magazines and anthologies, including Newsweek, Reader's Digest, The Christian Science Monitor, Writer's Digest, Victoria, Better Homes & Gardens, Bella Grace, and more. My weekly Sunday "Life Lines" column ran for 14 years in The Daily Tribune (Royal Oak, MI) and won a First Place (Local Columns) award from the Michigan Press Association. My essay collection, Writing Home, includes 93 previously published columns and essays focusing on parenthood and family life.

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