the winner!

Thanks to everyone who played along and submitted their tree and its significance. I had a difficult time narrowing it down but this is the submission that touched me the most. It’s from….. Beth Broeker (from Arizona). Yeah Beth!! Let me know when you’ll be in Indy and we’ll get your session on the books. Just mention this blog post!

“I love our tree, because it’s a crazy compilation of ornaments from my childhood and my husband’s, plus stuff we’ve accumulated during our marriage and life with kids. The photo isn’t the greatest, but at the bottom, there’s a little handprint ornament from when my daughter was a baby. We have photo ornaments from every year of the kids’ lives, and we also have the ornaments they’ve made each year (paper and glitter and cotton balls — LOVE those — they’re so precious to me). We have candy canes on our tree, because it reminds me of my sister, who used to sneakily swipe the candy canes off of my childhood tree, so that by Christmas morning, we’d have no more. I never tattled on her, though. 🙂 Our bows and wooden cranberry beads were purchased on Christmas Eve, the first Christmas after we got married. We realized we had NOTHING to decorate our tree (I was in law school, so we waited until after finals to even buy a tree, and then we had to wait for my husband’s paycheck to buy decorations). We rushed out to the department store, and those bows and beads were all they had left, plus two ornaments, which we also bought! They didn’t even want to sell us the bows, because they were part of the display — someone from the store had tied them with the wire ribbon they sold there (this was in Bloomington, IN). Every year, I have to hot glue them, because they’re falling apart, but they will stay on my tree until I die, because when I see them, I always remember that first Christmas we shared. My husband is a Star Wars nut, so we have all these crazy Star Wars ornaments that talk and light up. When we turn on the tree, Darth Vader says: “The Force is with you, young Skywalker, but you are not a Jedi yet!” My kids love that, so they turn the lights on and off and on and off a million times a day. We have a bunch of tomtes from Sweden, because my mother-in-law is Swedish, and we have a lot of Dairy related ornaments, because my father-in-law is from a dairy family. My mom passed on all of her Hallmark ornaments, which is where the 1979 Santa in a car came from. My husband has all the crazy retro elves, which you can kind of see in some photos. I used to hate them, but I’ve grown very fond of them over time. Then there are the handmade ornaments, from both of our families and some friends, including my friend Bob (Greencastle, IN…my former boss), who obsessively tied these crazy ornaments one year made of yarn and those 6-pack plastic thingies, which he cut up and fashioned into all sorts of festive animals. The best thing about my tree is that it’s a little of everything, not overly precious, not designer-perfect, but perfectly US. I guess that’s not a short statement, so I’ll stop now. I could go on and on. It brings me so much joy every Christmas to put up our tree. Even the tree is special. It’s fake, because you can’t have real trees in super-dry Arizona. We found it in the paper…a little old lady had bought it and it was too small for her room, so she sold it to us for $30, and invited us in for hot chocolate. A fun experience with a stranger, which I’ll always remember.OK I’LL SHUT UP NOW. Pick my tree! My tree rocks!Beth BroekerPhoenix, AZ”

Here’s her tree.

Just reading everyone’s story encouraged me to continue making my tree unique! I really like the idea of adding something that represents my child’s milestone for the year (or maybe their passion) as suggested by April Carter. I love how Stacey Huddleston has a kid tree and her ornaments represent the different foster children in their family’s life.

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a happy New Year! Looking forward to a fun 2008!

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