love thursday: creating family traditions ... even when they make no sense

I call this my "Heart Partridge."

So we arrived back from England late Saturday night, and spent Sunday working through jetlag (read: doing absolutely nothing).  I did have one goal for the day, however: 

The Christmas tree had to go up.

Putting up the Christmas tree is quite possibly my favourite holiday tradition, and Marcus and I have worked really hard to ensure that the event includes various rites and rituals.  First, Marcus puts on a mix of Christmas music (which can include anything from Nat King Cole to Bing Crosby to James Brown to Run DMC).  And then, the tree trimming begins.  In our house, we have three rules:

1)  We collect ornaments of all kinds, whether they are store-bought, an original Alex creation or hand-made by one of the various children in our lives.  Even unusual gift-tags are kept.  We don't care.  If it's decorative, it works.

2)  Each year, we buy at least one more ornament.

3)  Without exception, they all go on the tree.

As a result, our tree looks ... well, INSANE.  We all participate in the tree trimming, and other than the occasional encouragement to "fill in the gaps!" the ornaments simply fall where they may.  Some of the most notable:

This is one of a set of really cheap ornaments Marcus and I bought when we first got married.  We had no ornaments, and we just wanted to make our tree look a little less ... sad.   After 7 years, these particular ornaments are starting to look pretty sad themselves, but, they all go on the tree.

 A gingerbread house ornament, with the words "Celebrate Adoption" emblazoned on a roof eave.  Not exactly something I would've purchased myself, and I'm pretty sure this was given to us by a well-meaning friend the Christmas after Alex was born.  So yes, every year, it goes on the tree.

 

This tiny nutcracker was actually a gift-wrap embellishment on a Christmas present given to us a few years ago.  Of course, it has to go on the tree.

 

A few years ago, I noticed we had an inordinate number of angel ornaments -- so I decided that every year, at least one of the ornaments we bought had to be an angel ornament.  This one is last year's.

This year?  I bought three. And they all go on the tree.

And finally, once the tree is completely finished, we do our Annual Family-Portrait-in-a-Christmas-Ball:

(See previous portraits here.)

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Happy Love Thursday, everyone.  Please leave your links to your images and stories of love in the comments section, below.

And may you spend the last few weeks of 2008 creating your own family traditions.

 

Song:  The Little Drummer Boy/Peace on Earth, the duet performed by David Bowie and Bing Crosby.  This particular version remains my very favourite song of the season.