- Family and Parenting
Make your Christmas Tree a Family Tree
Turn Your Christmas Tree into a Family Tree
Decorating Christmas trees is one of the fun parts of Christmas. It is a tradition that many people observe. Some people plan a theme for the tree and stick to certain colors of garlands and bows and lights and ornaments. Others may put up a collection of ornaments and decorations that have been accumulated over the years.
Over the years I have accumulated a lot of ornaments. Some were gifts from others. Some were handmade by myself or by my daughters. Some have special meaning and others just are pretty.
This year as I thought about how to decorate my tree I thought about making it a family tree. Family trees honor your family members whether it includes your ancestors or whether it includes your children and grandchildren. I was thinking why not create ornaments with photos of my ancestors and then place them on the tree. I don't have all of my ancestors photos, but I do have quite a few.
Then you could find ornaments of things that relate to your ancestors and remind you of events in their lives. Maybe you know about some of their Christmas celebrations, and you could find ornaments that represent their celebrations. Maybe you can find ornaments that show part of their lives. My parents raised chickens and sold the eggs. Maybe I could find ornaments of chickens or eggs to represent them. I have ancestors who crossed the plains in covered wagons. Maybe I could find a miniature covered wagon to represent them. Maybe you could print a favorite recipe on a card to hang from the tree. If you have a musician in the family, hang a miniature instrument to represent them.
You could do a simple tree with just hanging ornaments made from the family photos, or you could be more elaborate by writing stories about them in little booklets or on scrolls to hang from the tree and be available to be read by family members. It might be an ongoing project over the years to turn your Christmas tree into a family tree.
Personalizing Your Christmas Tree
If you don't have photos of ancestors to decorate your tree with, use current family members' photos. Buy ornaments about each family member's interests. Have each family member make an ornament to decorate the tree with. There are many ways to personalize your tree. When you personalize your tree no one else will have a tree quite like yours. Your tree with create family memories and may help to create a spirit of unity in your family.
I think when people would string popcorn to wrap around the tree or would create paper chains they felt the tree was more their own. There are pretty trees that are color coordinated with matching ribbons and garlands and balls, yet the most memorable trees are the ones that each person in the family has contributed to.
Christmas is a time to make memories and to build unity in your family. Reconsider how you decorate your Christmas tree and make it more memorable this year.
Family History on Your Christmas Tree
Throughout the years my Christmas trees have been a bit of family history. One of my children would make an ornament at school. We would hang it on the Christmas tree. Some of the ornaments have survived through the years and still decorate my tree. Sometimes a Christmas present was a beautiful ornament. Some years I learned how to make an ornament with a new craft technique. Hanging up the ornaments from the past on my current Christmas tree makes it a family tree.
I like my Christmas tree to reflect our family. The ornaments that we made, the ornaments that were given as gifts, and the ornaments that we especially like all make our Christmas special and meaningful.
There are beautiful Christmas trees decorated with lights, colored balls and ribbons that are very nice to look at. I have seen trees where all the decorations are spaced out evenly and balanced carefully. But the most interesting trees are those that are chosen by family members and hung without a lot of worry about getting each ornament in just the right place. Children love to decorate the tree and especially like being able to choose what to hang up and where to hang it.
Creating ornaments with photos of your family whether your children, your parents, your grandparents or great grandparents will personalize your tree and make it much more meaningful. With options like making a frame from paper or clay and framing your own photos to submitting your photos online and having them professionally printed on an ornament you can turn your Christmas tree into a family tree.
A Question For You
Would You Make Your Christmas Tree A Family Tree?
Framed Photo Ornaments
You can place photos on ornaments. You could put current family and pet photos on the ornaments to make a family tree showing your family as they currently are. You could make a nostalgic tree by putting photos of family members when they were young on the tree. You could put Christmas photos of your family from throughout the years on the ornaments. You could make an ancestor tree by putting photos of grandparents, great grandparents and other ancestors on the ornaments you use to decorate your tree. You could buy the same type of ornaments or you could buy each ornament to fit the photo. Your Christmas tree will be unique and unlike any other Christmas tree. It will have special meaning to your family and will put special emphasis on family relationships this Christmas.
Perhaps a loved one has passed away or won't be able to make it home for Christmas. You could feature photos of that person and of things that remind you of that person to personalize your tree and help make that a person a part of your celebration even when they can not be there.