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Growth Spurts: O, Christmas Tree

I love Christmas trees. I love the way they smell. I love the way they look. And I love the thoughts and feelings they evoke.

I have fond memories of decorating the Christmas tree with my family when I was young. Some years the tree itself resembled Charlie Brown’s, but we managed to make it pretty with all of our ornaments. Of course, then it was top-heavy and didn’t want to stand up straight. My father’s solution? Tying it to the ceiling.

The first time I ever went to a Christmas tree farm was after Kevin and I were married. We were on our way home from a family Thanksgiving gathering, and we were riding in a van with his parents, his brother, and his brother’s wife. I’m pretty sure we hadn’t planned on stopping at this Christmas tree farm, because we weren’t exactly prepared to haul the trees home, as was exemplified by the two trees that we carried back with us inside the van. That’s right. And if memory serves me well, it was about a two-hour drive home. Kinda prickly. And somewhat sticky.

My family now tends to obtain our Christmas trees from Lowe’s. It’s not as charming as a Christmas tree farm, but it takes a lot less time and money. And honestly, the choosing of the tree takes us long enough as it is at our local store. We do better with fewer options. And Lowe’s is now tradition. Plus, the real magic happens when we get the tree home.

Our family Christmas tree isn’t beautiful in the way that the decorations are coordinating, lovely, and symmetrically-placed; it is beautiful because it is a reflection of our family. The ornaments tell our stories. A few of the ornaments are from Kevin’s and my childhood–even a couple of ornaments we made when we were kids. Some ornaments have been given to us by family and friends. And several of the ornaments have been created by our children over the years. The majority of the ornaments, however, are ones that Kevin and I have picked out especially for our children.

We have given each of our three children an ornament every year–something that signifies that year for them. This means that there is much variety on our tree: Elmo, Bob the Builder, Ernie, ballet shoes, a piano, New Orleans Saints, s’mores and other such confections, Disney princesses, a strawberry, Star Wars, and even Krispy Kreme. We forget altogether about some of these ornaments when they’re packed away during the year, so we’re re-delighted when we pull each one of them out in late November/early December, and each person adorns the tree with their own ornaments. Of course, the favorite ornament is one that is shared by the whole family. It is a Partridge Family multi-colored bus that has a tiny Christmas tree strapped to the top of it, and it plays “Come On, Get Happy” when you push the bus door. (Between that and anything having to do with a partridge in a pear tree, our family makes the most of our last name at Christmastime!)

These are the reasons I love our Christmas trees. They may not be the most stunning or aesthetically pleasing trees, but they have personality and character and tell stories. Don’t get me wrong–I have much appreciation for the beautifully ornate trees that ooze rich reds and glittery golds. In fact, I could stare at them for hours in admiration of their elegance. But I can stare at my own tree for hours, too, because it takes me through the journey of my family. And as we add a few more meaningful ornaments with each passing year, I am reminded of how quickly the time passes and how it is good to to stop and truly reflect on how we are spending our lives. Also, we need a bigger tree each year.

Merry Christmas from my family to yours! Come On, Get Happy!

 

Carrie Bevell Partridge and her family enjoy their Christmas tree at their home in Ridgeland, MS. They also enjoy the pear tree in their front yard, and some of the family members do, in fact, get in it.

About The Author

Carrie Partridge

Carrie Bevell Partridge grew up in Memphis, TN with her parents and four siblings. She attended Mississippi College, where she met her husband Kevin. They have been married for 20 years and have five children. They live in Ridgeland, MS. Carrie has written the “Growth Spurts” column and managed social media for Parents & Kids Magazine since 2011. You can read more of her work at carriebevellpartridge.com and Facebook.com/carriebevellpartridge.

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