I can admire the artistry of a themed tree. One that is perfectly coifed, with evenly spaced globes of silver and gold or purple and teal or whatever colors and styles and shapes that present visual splendor.
But for me?? While I might change from colors to white lights (I enjoy the zen of untangling to string them on the tree, so that can change without having to buy a new tree when my vision changes), and some years are Victorian with garlands of pearls and candle lights, and such, the ornaments are decidedly NOT themed.
The only coherence any ornament on my tree has is it is a memory.
My Aunt Gael gave it to me from her trip to New Orleans or that she ordered the one year from Lillian Vernon for EVERYONE with our names engraved, or that we bought together on a trip to Quebec.
There are ornaments my favorite highschool teacher made, who was like a mom to me in those chaotic teenaged years,
There is a silly Chinese lantern that we got at a Chinese restaurant when Arlie was a baby, with Nana and Boston Pop, when we flew to Boston to establish a relationship with that fractured bit of family.
William the Hippo brings back thoughts of the years that cousin Thomas lived with us, and the tale of the Missing Hippo, as well as fond memories of traveling to the Met with my grandfather.
(I could do this all day, you do realize, right?) Taking the tree down with someone, or putting it up alone, and the stories are there…sometimes expressed out loud and sometimes just smiles on my face as I pack them up till next year.
Then there are of course, the handprint ornaments, on fragile glass balls, as my granddaughter grows bigger, and the ones she makes for us. There are the vacation collections, one for each of the kitties, and the one very precious paper one from my grandmother’s tree…
Keep your perfection. There is a place for that kind of beauty.
Me? Unless my tree gets BIGGER, it’s only things that have a story that will make it onto the tree.