We finally got around to decorating our Christmas tree this evening.
I know some people have lovely, show-piece trees with themed ornaments and a color scheme. Not us.
We have a kind of old artificial tree that we cram into a corner of our not-really-big-enough living room and cover with colored lights. There are lots of ornaments, but none of them match in any way. There are ornaments that I have hung on Christmas trees since I was a toddler. There are ornaments to commemorate our wedding and vacations we've been on. There are sweet nativity scene ornaments. There are ornaments that reminded me of one of the girls at one year or another. There are lots and lots of ornaments that say "joy", which is allowed when your name is Joy! But none of these is my favorite.
We have a lot of pewter ornaments. My grandfather and his family immigrated from Holland to Nova Scotia when Grandpa was a child. They lived in a little village called Pugwash (isn't that a fabulous name?). A number of years ago, we traveled there with my parents and sister and discovered that Pugwash is the home of a major pewter facotry. So we bought lots of ornaments and gave them to each other. I really like them. But they're not my favorites.
We have lots of ornaments from China. Some are cloisonne, like this one. Some are made of silk and knotted red threads. A few are wooden. Some represent each of our zodiac year animals. I love these ornaments a lot. So do visitors. But these aren't my favorites, either.
We have an ever-growing assortment of ornaments that the girls have made. (Can you guess who made this reindeer?) The girls love these the best and seeing them always makes me smile. I'll probably insist on putting these on the tree even when my girls are teenagers and mortified to be reminded of how cute they once were. But these aren't my favorite ornaments.
We received this ornament on Katherine's first Christmas. She had been home for only six weeks and we were celebrating our first Christmas as a family. I love this ornament. A lot. I hang it prominently near the top of the tree. It is almost my favorite. But not quite.
This, this, is my favorite ornament. My parents gave it to us the Christmas we were waiting for Katherine. We had been dreaming about a child, longing for a child, for years. We had been through so much pain and heartache. But that year, we had begun the adoption process. We didn't know who our child would be or when we would ever hold her, but we had HOPE. And this ornament states this so perfectly. I always get a little teary eyed when I unwrap it. I remember that deep feeling of hope and promise and knowing that the next year I would be a mother. And I am reminded how blessed I am to have these two beautiful girls to raise.
Tonight my daughters and I decorated our goofy, random, totally original tree. It may not be the prettiest tree ever, but it was decorated with lots of love and a ton of memories. And that is the very best kind. Tonight I spent some time celebrating the children my heart has always known.