In years past I've sometimes put up a themed Christmas tree—all white one year, a pig tree complete with pig lights for several years, and a French country tree. But I've always had a traditional tree with an assortment of ornaments for my main tree.
When we were newly married, one of our first trees was a live tree that some early departing students had left behind. For years I said that I would never have an artificial tree, but I finally gave in—first a "bottle brush" variety, then a more realistic tree, and finally a pre-lit tree a couple of years ago. Life is certainly easier now that I don't have to wind all those lights in and out among the branches.
My ornaments have been collected over the years. Some I've purchased at craft shows or in stores just because I liked them. Others have been given to me by friends, and some I've made. Some of my favorites are the ones the kids made when they were young, like this elf that Ben made in first grade.
My friend Kathy Olson painted this family ornament for us in 1986 when we lived in Texarkana.
And I painted a whole set of these Christmas "cookies."
When we travel, I'm not big on buying souvenirs, but I usually try to find a Christmas ornament or two. I bought this one when we went to Bainbridge Island for Brent's and Katie's wedding in 2005.
One of my newest ornaments is this beautiful paper cone that my sister-in-law Susie made for me this year.
And finally, my tree would not be complete without a few ornaments from the University of Arkansas.
So the tree is all decorated, and most of the presents are wrapped. This kids start arriving tomorrow. We are celebrating Christmas early this year, because they will all be elsewhere on the day. But the important thing is that LBeau and I will get to spend time with them during this special season.
Now be sure to visit Susan at Thoughts from Over the Rainbow where she's hosting Deck the Halls. I'm sure everyone else is way ahead of me on their decorating.