Most of our ornaments went into storage when we made the big move from Seattle to Manhattan. To be honest, though, many ended up packed away long before that, as our family evolved.
My husband and I got married the day after Christmas. For a few years, the beautiful gold glass balls and red ribbons that adorned the church on our wedding day decorated our tree. It was truly lovely. Perfect.
Flash forward: We have two toddler boys and I’m tripping over trucks, cars, assorted teddy bears and train tracks; all in the exact spot where we usually set up the tree. A-HA! I was inspired. That year and for many after, the holiday theme was TOYLAND. We decorated the tree with my husband’s childhood ornaments and anything else that was home-made. We set the nativity scene — carefully constructed out of toilet-paper rolls and felt by our oldest at pre-school — underneath. Then we opened up the play-pen and surrounded the tree with it so that someone who was learning to walk would not be tempted to hold onto the nearest tree branch. Toys all over the floor? No problem. It’s just part of the theme. Train running through the living room? AWESOME.
Now that the boys are older, the tree will just have to evolve again. I’m not sure how a Christmas tree covered in Legos, action figures and video game controllers will look, but I’m willing to bet it, too, will be wonderful. And like its toy-themed predecessors, will outshine any “perfect” tree of the past.
This has been an actual conversation in the Man Cave. What’s the Man Cave? Read this.