For some, it may seem a bit late to be putting up the Christmas tree today, but traditionally, I rarely put up the tree until a few days before Christmas. When I was a child, we never put the tree up until after December 17th, my father’s birthday.
Each year, I buy a set of ornaments, usually following a certain theme or design. I mark each with our initials and the year. I have done this every year since my son was born. Although as I sorted through the ornaments today I realized that I hadn’t put the year on each one. But, he does have one ornament for each of his 18 Christmases, even if we didn’t record the year. This year I bought three birds. They’ll roost on the tree with several others I’ve collected over the years. Birds on a tree just seem right to me.
The Santa Forest
Another ornament tradition that we have is to buy Santa ornaments. I buy at least one or two each year. We have so many now, that they don’t fit on the tree. So, we have what is known in our house as the ‘Santa Forest’. Santa Forest used to be on the piano. Other years it has been located on the mantel. This year, it’s the bookcase, which doesn’t have much room, so the Santas look rather cozy.
The Angelic Choir
The other type of ornaments that adorn our tree are angels. There are two types of people who decorate Christmas trees: Star people and Angel people. If you’re a Star person, Angels just look wrong atop the tree. The same is true for Angel people: Stars don’t belong crowning a Yule tree. What started out as a compromise many years ago — I got my Star where it belong and there was at least one angel on the tree — has turned into a collection of Angel ornaments, a representation of the Heavenly Host on the tree. I usually hum “Angels, We Have Heard on High” when I decorate the tree. At the last Annual Holiday Angel Count, I had 105 Angel Ornaments.
Speaking of Annual Counts, The Audubon Society’s Annual Christmas Bird Count, continues through January 5. Follow the link to find out how you can participate and to see a photo album of birds — the real ones that are so much more beautiful than any ornament on a tree!