Traditions on the Tree

My basement floor is hanging on my Christmas tree. Well, not the whole floor exactly. Just part of it.

You see, my husband and I have a Christmas tradition. Each December we choose an ornament that represents some important aspect of the past year, and we hang it on our tree. The goal is to have an entire tree filled with the events of our lives when we are old and grey. So far, we have four ornaments, and while we aren’t especially crafty, we’ve actually made three of the four.

We began this tradition the year we got engaged (2014), so of course, our first ornament represents the engagement. Notice my long fingers in the picture below. I ordered the photo ornament online because I felt that a photo of the engagement was the best way to capture that moment on the tree. While the final product looks a little funnier than I intended, I still like it.


Ornament #1

By 2015, we were married, so our wedding was definitely the most important event from the year to hang on our tree. The leaf ornament below comes from Smoke Hole Resort where we got married in September 2015. This is the only ornament of the four that we did not make or design ourselves, but since it is a real leaf, I know someone made it, and we love it.


Ornament #2

For 2016, I had my heart set on an ornament from Ireland. I would be traveling there as part of my MFA program in June 2016, and my husband would be joining me for grand adventures in the north of Ireland after my school travels were over. Unfortunately, I never found quite the right ornament on our trip, so I decided to make one. The ornament below includes a flower we found in Donegal and a shell we picked up on the beach in Greencastle.


Ornament #3 (This is actually #3 in progress. I wanted a clear photo of the flower and shell before I finished the mold.)

And that brings us to 2017 and the reason why my basement floor is hanging on my Christmas tree. Throughout this past year, my husband and I have attempted to remodel our basement. We’ve attempted relatively minor household changes: painting the walls and putting down a new floor. We are not naturals when it comes to do-it-yourself projects, but we tried. And yes, it has taken us a full year (and then some). So, it only seemed fitting that part of the scraps of the floor should end up on the tree. I think we’ve learned quite a bit from this project. First, we really can do home-improvement projects ourselves, and we can do them well. Second, sometimes it pays to call the professionals.


Ornament #4 (Not pictured: the hole drilled into it for string that attaches it to the tree.)

Obviously, four ornaments isn’t much. So, we also fill our tree with more generic ornaments, which will gradually disappear as our personal collection grows. I’m excited to see what ornaments make their way to our tree over the next five, 10, 15 years and more. A whole life time on our tree—I think that’s a beautiful way to celebrate Christmas.


Merry Christmas!

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