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Are Ornaments Necessary?


DSC03225For just a moment, long enough to take a picture, I decided our Christmas tree was beautiful with only lights – no ornaments, no angel, no red ropes -just lights. It was late one night in early December, and I was really tired when I posted that picture on Facebook and wrote “Are ornaments necessary?” And Facebook friends chimed in.

Nell: Real Simple magazine recommended this style of decorating about twelve years ago. I tried it and got zero votes of approval from my grown and gone children.

Kim: If they are special to you.

Janet: Well, you know the hard part is over. Go for it. (I didn’t even do the hard part. Husband did.)

Carolyn: I found out I could do without some ornaments this year. Got tired of finding a place to hang all of them. I looked at them, remembered, and put them back in the box. Does that count? (Yes!)

Jimmie: I’ve made the grievous move from a live tree to an artificial one. I’ll enjoy going through the ornaments, but there will be serious downsizing. Things change, but the tree will be pretty, just different.

Sara: The ornaments tell stories of our life and Christmas past and present. I’ve seen many lovely trees, but for us, the ornaments matter because they connect us to one another, whether present or absent, living or not, family or friends.

Becky: I’ve passed the ornament memories to Staci (daughter), which she loves, and I simplified my tree, just red ornaments and frosted pinecones. Different tree, same Christmas memories! It’s all in the heart anyway.

Carol: (a retired teacher) I still enjoy the ornaments because I have names of students written on many and I say a prayer for each of them as I hang their ornaments. The ornaments bring such fond memories of days gone by and remind me of the love we shared during the school year and beyond.

Tanya: I love personal ornaments. It warms me so when I open my box of decorations and see all those handmade ornaments given to me by my children and special friends.

Daughter: Yes!!!! I’ll send some elves over to help tomorrow. So you only have to do the top third and maybe a little rearranging on the bottom. And don’t forget the train underneath!

My friends encouraged me. The next morning I strung the red bead ropes and hung my fragile ornaments near the top of the tree and my bird ornaments nestled in a flock. My two oldest Grands and I decorated our most beautiful tree ever, and then they helped Husband set up the train.

I didn’t rearrange a single ornament that my Grands hung. Not even the three that touched each other on one branch. A plastic glitter bell from the first Christmas that Husband and I celebrated as man and wife. A glove ornament cut from one of Granny’s quilts. An elegant green and red ball that was gift from a friend.

I knew the real answer to my question. Ornaments aren’t necessary. Neither are lights or angels or electric trains or even a tree. None are necessary to celebrate Christmas. But my tree is beautiful and late on Christmas night, I plan to sip tea and cherish each ornament. Its memory. Its love. Its story.







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