Why I think Martha Stewart has ruined Christmas trees

Oh, Martha, I’m not blaming you entirely. When I invoke your name, I’m lumping in everyone else online and in the media who tells me that the “perfectly” decorated Christmas is decked out in coordinating colors with a theme.

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Whether it’s a monochromatic color scheme (left) or my personal fav from her gallery here, the office supply tree (right), stuff like this used to make me feel wholly inadequate.

I have very little artistic skill. My crafting skills will soon be matched by my almost 3 year old. I’m doing tons of Christmas crafts with him this year because, well, I’m still better than he is. Soon he’ll be wielding the container of Elmer’s school glue like a crafty sword and I will be sitting here still making snowmen out of marshmallows.

This was a joint effort.
This was a joint effort.

In addition to not being crafty, I have a very limited budget. Trying to get all of those coordinating ornaments, no matter how much some Pinterest-y person tells me I can do it on the cheap, is going to cost me some moo-la I have a hard time spending money on something as admittedly frivolous as decorations to hang on a dead tree.

I’ve come to love our trees over the last few years. Maybe it’s because I have a family now. I wouldn’t trade it for Martha’s best creation. Not a chance. Our tree is decked out with 20 years of ornaments from my mother’s parents. They bought us a glass ball every year, and each one has the year it was purchased on it. Some of them were Hummel ornaments, some were from Hallmark, and others are from who knows where. I brought these with me to our marriage, and I love them. (I’m so sad that my husband, and many husbands I know, don’t have such a collection!)


I also have a couple of ornaments that I had given to my grandparents. When my grandmother passed away my grandfather gave them back to me.

I'm 99% sure this is from 3rd grade.
I’m 99% sure this is from 3rd grade.

Since S and I started dating we’ve been exchanging Christmas ornaments. Some years, like this year, they are the only gifts we give each other. They are all very special. It’s not a task we take lightly. We haven’t exchanged ours this year yet, and I’m anxiously awaiting that night.

From our 2nd Christmas together
From our 2nd Christmas together

I have a few ornaments I found when we went through my grandparents’ stuff after my grandfather’s death in June. They are wonderfully tacky.

You can't have it. Priceless.
You can’t have it. Priceless.

My favorite pairing of ornaments is this one. I always put these two together.

My first Christmas ornament beside Little Dude's first one.
My first Christmas ornament beside Little Dude’s first one.

So basically our tree is a hodgepodge of memories. We almost have enough personal ornaments to ditch the plain colored balls. It will be really neat when that year comes and we can trace some sort of personal story with every single ornament on the tree.

All decked out.
All decked out.*

Those balls hanging from the curtain rod are “The 12 Days of Christmas”, given to me by my Dad’s mom. I have no idea how I was lucky enough to inherit them. I hope my cousins who are reading this aren’t plotting to steal them!


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