The other night I got together with a group of girlfriends and we pulled names for a “Secret” Santa.  There are 5 of us, so it’s not really a secret so much, but it’s fun anyway.  We talked about our Christmas trees because I asked if anyone had a “theme” tree.  They looked at me like I said I let my kids eat candy for breakfast (no, I do not do that).  I said, well, ummm, I’m southern you know and some people have more than one tree that they decorate a certain way.  For example, when those Hallmark motion ornaments came out, we started collecting so many that it soon became known as the light and motion tree.  That was around 1986.  When we moved to a bigger house, my mom set up two trees.  One was known as the Victorian tree and had the most beautiful ornaments on it ever, but it was pretty much just for looks.  The other tree had the ornaments on it that you have passed down from generation to generation and really had a story.

If I had known I would use this photo, I would have tried to take a better one…but I liked him.  I’m calling him Mr. Fish and I don’t know his story.  He was on my friend’s tree and I thought he was cool.

This is a Pengwan.  Yes, I spelled it wrong because this is how my daughter says penguin and she adores him.  I just thought he was really cute, so there he sits at the top of our tree.

This guy is here because my oldest daughter loves to play Angry Birds, and he looked like one.  She laughs at birds and saw him and started laughing, so there he is.

Lastly, I took a picture of this one because my grandmother made it.  She embroidered dresses for me as a child, and this makes me think of her.  We were always dressed very fancy when we went to lunch to see the real Santa Claus.  My brother and I were as well-behaved as we could be until my brother actually laid eyes on Santa.  Then, well, it didn’t matter how nice anyone looked, he wasn’t having any of it and every photo has him screaming and me smiling.  Ha.  Yes, this one ornament makes me think of all of that.

So the next time you start to decorate your tree, take a minute to reflect.  Even if the ones we love are not there with us, they are in spirit.

“Maybe Christmas, the Grinch thought, doesn’t come from a store.”  ~Dr. Seuss