Bundoo’s Twelve Days of Christmas: Starting Traditions with Tree Decorating
At our house, decorating for Christmas always begins and ends the same way: everyone is excited to get the decorations down from the attic, but that enthusiasm does not last throughout the entire process. First, I admit that I spend a lot of my “decorating time” that first day doing some deep cleaning, and the house usually takes so long that we typically do the tree a day later.
Decorating the tree is much more of a family event—but there is a “pre-decorating” process no one enjoys. I am the one who gets to put the lights on the tree. Interestingly, no one sticks around through this process. I am sure it can’t be because of the frustration of untangling of the strands, precise placement of each and every light bulb, and then inevitable sections of lights that won’t light even through each strand passed the initial plug-in test before it went on the tree. I will never understand how they go up into the attic in good working order and meticulously wound and come down in a tangled mess with fickle functionality.
Once the challenges of pre-decorating are done, we can get down to the fun part. This too has become a long process, but a much enjoyable one for all of us. We have special ornaments that have meaning, handmade ornaments by each of my kids, and ones that have tradition attached to the holiday itself.
Each ornament has a meaning and memory attached to it. Whenever we go on vacation or attend a special event, we try to bring home an ornament to memorialize our time together. We pull out each and every ornament and share memories of what it symbolizes.
Years ago, I started a new tradition: I bought a special box for each of my boys so they can keep their own special ornaments. These boxes will one day be passed down to them with their ornaments to put on their very own tree one day. The kids love pulling each and every one out of the box, talking about them and finding the perfect placement on the tree. During this time, I get to sit back, do some mild refereeing, share in the memories, and reflect in awe of a job well done.
Even though it seems like such an ordeal, I cherish these times with my kids. I love seeing the look on their face each day and night as they stand in awe of the tree and what it symbolizes. We regularly reflect on the true meaning of Christmas and why we celebrate this season. Christmas is a time where we celebrate the birth of our Savior and reflect on the many blessings we have enjoyed not only in this past year, but also in all past years together as a family. I hope you find ways to celebrate the season and the blessings in your life as well!