It’s our annual family tradition to decorate the trees together. We bought our first tree the year before we were married. I knew the tree and ornaments I wanted, waited for the post Christmas sales and bought them all the day after Christmas. Since we were not yet married and had no place to call home, we stored the goods in my father-in-laws garage.  Some women dream of their wedding day; I dreamed of my first Christmas tree. Kinda weird, huh? Since then we’ve added onto our family and multiplied our trees.

We have two trees – one that rotates and one that doesn’t. A wave of nervousness swells in my throat when we decorate the rotating one because it’s like getting the house ready for company – it must look good, lest it be judged. With the rotating tree one has to put their best ornament forward, shall I say. You can’t hang the ugly, broken ornaments in the back because eventually the back becomes the front. It all has to be good.

On the stationary tree we hang the ugly and broken ornaments in the back. We don’t want to get rid of them (why, I don’t know) and yet, we don’t want them showing, so we compromise and hang them where they won’t be seen. My kids have learned to take their personalized ornaments and hang them front and center. They’ve learned the stories that go with certain ornaments. They’ve learned the retelling of the story is tradition. They’ve learned that like decorating the tree, Christmas is all about tradition; no matter where you hang the ugly ornaments.

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