Well Ornamented

Every year I say it about our Christmas Tree

This one is our prettiest tree ever

Even if it isn’t

It is

Covered in ornaments each of which tell a story

We are decidedly homespun

Nothing in any design magazine would ever be on our tree

Not that those trees aren’t wonderful

It’s just not what we do

Who is this Christopher Radko?

Never heard of him

Just kidding

We have some of those ornaments, even some given to us when were newlyweds

Mainly, our fir’s branches are covered in ornaments from Christmases past

Some are almost fifty years old

Just like their owners

I made that bell at the Blythewood Kindgergarten under the tutelage of Miss Weezie Gibson who had to tell some of my classmates to not eat the paste we used that day

We keep the bell in a box labeled “Paper Ornaments”

They also include paper ornaments made by our children

From Toddler Time at St. Michael’s

From First (Scots) Kindergarten

From their grammar school years

Both of our girls rush to put their handmade treasures on the tree

Places of prominence

Lots of glitter



Construction paper


Such J O Y given

Each child has her own box of special ornaments that stay in a sideboard along with her own bin of ornaments that can remain in the attic the other eleven months of the year

When we married, my parents gave me just such a box

They gave the same to my brothers

Same as my bride

Her parents gave her the ornaments she made

My parents also gave us some ornaments that had been on my tree growing up which I always adored including some stiff snowflakes made by some ladies in the 1970’s

We also hang little sweetgrass baskets because the Lowcountry demands it

Along with some sand dollars and lettered olives

Each and every item has its own tale

Such as

The teachers were lazy that year

I used a lot of glitter

Hey, I remember this one from the 4’s

I used a lot of macaroni on that one

I think that was some of my best work

They made us make a lot of snowflakes

I worry that I will rip some of the paper ornaments

One of my favorites is a twirly spiral which turns into a Christmas Tree

It sits lightly on a branch

Our eldest made that twirly spiral Christmas tree under Miss Janet Sosnowski’s watchful eye at Toddler Time at St. Michael’s some 16 years ago

It has one little blemish

Repaired with a little scotch tape

Gingerly placed back in the paper ornaments box before the New Year

In 2014, the year the tree fell, all these ornaments survived unscathed

Christmas Miracle

I see the ornaments and think of so many no longer with us

I see the ornaments and think of neighbors, friends, teachers, grandparents, great aunts, great uncles, aunts, uncles, cousins

I see the ornaments and think of so many years of love

I see a painted oyster and think of my across the street neighbors, the Aimars

I see the ornaments and think of so many years passing in the blink of an eye

I smile at each and every one of these treasures

I truly have no idea where the time has gone

So quickly

As we hang the ornaments each year, I still see myself hanging many of these same ornaments in our den on The Point in Beaufort

As I string the lights, I think of the yearly discussions my parents had over placement, the stand, the lights, the securing of the tree


That’s what we will call them

I still see myself in footie pajamas staring up at the tree

Counting the days until Christmas comes

Looking a lot like The Cowboy in Joan Walsh Anglund’s The Cowboy’s Christmas

May be it helps that I hang an ornament of the same Cowboy similarly dressed every year

Here’s wishing you all memorable trees with memorable ornaments

This year and every year

4 thoughts on “Well Ornamented

  1. I say that every year too. Love all of our ornaments with wonderful stories to tell of most of them. Ours decided to crash to the floor this year. Burst into tears. Thankfully, only about 10 were lost. One particularly hurt. Jodi Bateman gave it to Katherine when she was little-a beautiful ornament from Waterford in Ireland. Your tree is beautiful Hammy!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Fan of the inestimable Anne Postic and I migrated from your Instagram to your blog. Glad I did! I’m a bit of a kindred spirit- not opposed to modernity for modernity’s sake but boy do I love tradition. Bringing out the boxes of Christmas ornaments and other trimmings is always a much anticipated moment for me,if not for others in the household! I blame my mother in law for this recalcitrant attitude;she once said to me “ Oh,you bring out the same things year after year? Don’t you tire of them?”. I fear she is an apostle of the dreaded “theme tree”- I for one do not wish to live in a Pottery Barn catalogue. Good health to you and your family.

    Liked by 1 person

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