Our Christmas Tree Story
Everyone has a Christmas story to tell. This year I am giving my daughter, Mae, a James Avery Christmas Tree charm to add to her growing charm bracelet as a reminder of one of our favorite holiday traditions, but first, the backstory. (make sure you stick around to the end for more #ACharmedChristmas stories from James Avery, this post is sponsored by James Avery, all opinions are 100% my own!)
One of my fondest childhood memories was going to pick out the Christmas tree every year. My mom, dad and I would head out together, usually have lunch and go get a Christmas tree. Back then you went to a Christmas tree stand, a temporary makeshift kind of tree lot. We always got a fresh, live tree and my dad would have to stand there modeling a million trees until my mom and I decided on the perfect one. We would haul our treasured find home and spend the day decorating while Willie Nelson crackled Pretty Paper on the record player.
This day held such a special place for me. While I am extremely close to my parents we didn’t do a ton of traditional “family” outings like this, so these days are etched in my heart. This tradition went on through my entire childhood and teenage years. Once I went away to college it got harder. My mom finally got fed up trying to organize my schedule, my dad’s and the tree outing. That’s when the fateful day happened that I will never forget.
I came home from collage for Christmas break and my mom took me to the local craft store where we stood in the aisle, without my dad, and looked at fake trees. It was a moment I just couldn’t take. As the tears streamed down my face I started the kind of crying a toddler does when they desperately need a nap. I totally lost it. The end of an era had come and I just couldn’t stomach it. As I bawled in the middle of the store a worker asked if she could help as my mom stood there not knowing what to do, probably somewhat annoyed with me. It was my fault I didn’t get home to get the tree and decorate sooner. There I stood, 20 years old, a sobbing heap of a train wreck.
Every year after we pulled that stupid tree out of the box and fluffed the squished branches to form a perfectly shaped “Christmas tree” and I complained every step of the way. It just wasn’t the same. Once I was on my own, decorating my own house I swore to NEVER have a fake tree and I’ve kept that promise ever since. My children now have a live Christmas tree tradition that would probably stir similar reactions should I suggest a fake version take it’s place.
Looking back, my breakdown in that store was about so much more than a tree. But that’s the wonderful thing about traditions and memories, you never know how special something small you do today will be to someone down the road. One story begets another. I know my mom would never have insisted on that stinkin’ fake tree if she would’ve know the sadness it brought me. Who knows though, maybe I wouldn’t be so adamant about tradition if I didn’t go through having one broken, so for that I am grateful. Now the tragic episode is a family joke and I’m way past crying when I think back to that day. Starting (or maybe re-hashing) new traditions with my own family has filled the void. Now my husband sweetly stands holding the wonky trees until we settle on one then we head home and play Pretty Paper.
Something about the smell, the familiarity and the lopsided imperfection of a real tree sitting in the living room brings me such joy. Heading out as a family, begrudgingly smiling while mom snaps photos, decorating the tree, talking about each ornament we pull out, fighting over who gets to put the star on top this year all while listening to gobs of Christmas music…these are the memories my kids have and this year my daughter will be getting a James Avery Enameled Christmas Tree charm to commemorate the occasion. Are you familiar with James Avery? I had a James Avery charm bracelet growing up and was so happy when my daughter requested her own a few years back. It is one of my very favorite things EVER!!!
Memories are meant to be shared and treasured and I love that James Avery charms help to do that, their charms are more than just jewelry. I can look around the silver dangling from my bracelet and tell you what each charm means to me. And my daughter can do the same. The charms are love, memories and beliefs tucked up in one safe spot. Hopefully this Christmas tree charm will help Mae remember the story of our Christmas as a family, even after she has left our home and started her own. So I am curious what is your Christmas story? Both James Avery and I would love to hear it, share your story here in the comments…pretty please!? You can visit here for more beautiful stories from James Avery admirers.
Whatever memories the holiday season hold for you, good or bad, my prayer is that you will grow closer to Jesus. The true meaning and reason for this beautiful time of year.
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