Picture-perfect, color-coordinated Christmas trees are cute for the 'gram and all, but they're just not my family's cup of tea. Instead, we prefer decking out our balsam fir with a swath of mismatched, mostly homemade ornaments, and you know what? I wouldn't have it any other way.
The hodgepodge showcases my family's personality: we're a little bit messy, at times chaotic, but always full of heart.
To be fair, I totally understand the inclination to decorate your tree with monochromatic ornaments and all-white lights - it's traditional, aesthetically pleasing, and makes for a double-tap-worthy photo opp. But where's the love? The memories? The inside jokes? A plain ol' red bauble just isn't capable of holding the same sentimental significance as, say, a hand-colored paper ornament made in kindergarten. Year after year, my family's tree proudly displays a delightfully motley combination of relics from our childhoods, gems from my grade school's annual Christmas Bazaar, on-sale finds my mom scored after the Christmas rush, gifted trinkets from friends, souvenirs from family trips, and DIY'ed school art projects (macaroni, beads, puzzle pieces, and all). Plus we add in some decades-old garland and multicolored string lights for good measure.
The hodgepodge showcases my family's personality: we're a little bit messy, at times chaotic, but always full of heart. Our tree is a visual representation of every stage of our past, each branch prompting trips down memory lane. We try our best to decorate the tree together every year, depending on who's in town, always relishing in the flashbacks as we carefully arrange each ornament. I can confidently say it never gets old laughing at the wonky handmade creations I gifted my parents back in the day, naively thinking they were museum exhibit-worthy masterpieces.
If and when it comes time for me to have a family of my own, you better believe I'll be tricking out our tree with a similarly nostalgic collection of ornaments - 'cause you can't buy love and memories in the aisles of Target. Read ahead for a peek at some of the ornaments displayed on my family's tree this year - from shade-throwing baubles to hand-stitched works of art.