Rockin’ around the (misfit) Christmas tree

We got a few inches of snow this weekend here in South Carolina, which led to being snowed in for the weekend! AKA: more time for projects we’re been putting off around our new house – like patching drywall, painting, and (re) hanging a toilet paper roll that the previous owners hung crooked.

So unfortunately, I got a little behind on my 25 days of Blogmas – but I’ll be making it up with a few extra festive posts this week! One of which, I was inspired for by a project I tackled this weekend…

One of my favorite things about the holiday season has always been Christmas trees. There is a store back where I grew up called Kraynaks, and every year they have “Santa’s Christmas Land,” better known to locals as “Santa Claus Lane.” It’s nothing crazy – a 300 ft display of Christmas lights, trees, and decorations – but to a child it’s downright magical. It’s still a tradition in my family to visit Kraynaks when I’m home for Christmas, starting there on Christmas Eve morning followed by breakfast at Bob Evans.

While I love to admire all of the put-together, magazine worthy trees with color-coordinated bulbs and ribbons and decorations… I’ve always preferred the (rather unorthodox) one we had at home.

At home, we’ve had an artificial tree for as long as I can remember (since my very first Christmas, actually), thanks to my face and throat swelling up when my parents brought home a real tree that year. But, I’ve never felt like I missed out on the ‘genuine’ Christmas tree experience.

You see, in our house, our tree may not look like it belongs on the front of Home & Garden magazine, or in the foyer at the White House. It may not be color-coordinated, or have any garland or ribbon at all, but if you look closely – it’s got a special brand of charm and beauty all of its own.

There’s something extra special about a Christmas tree full of misfit ornaments. If you look closely enough, it can tell the story of a lifetime of Christmases.

Another tradition in our house growing up was that my mom would buy me a special ornament each year. Generally, it would pertain to something special that I was into that year – our tree is decked out with dance, volleyball, and Harry Potter ornaments! Some of them are extra special, as she picked them up from places we traveled together. LJ even got one of his own last year, as the tradition continues.

One of my very favorite things about this special tradition is that LJ’s family had the very same one.

This year, while we decorated the tree, we added some new ornaments that his mama gifted to us while we were in Delaware over Thanksgiving. Each one represents us and our interests, and although I love the thought behind them all, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have a very favorite of them.

The first was for LJ, and his love of all things NC State – his alma mater.

The next was just for me – a Pirates snowman! She couldn’t find a Louisville ornament,
but I love anything that reminds me of home.

And this one – my very favorite. “Our First Home – 2017” And with a puppy! How fitting?

I haven’t had a chance to get all of my ornaments down to South Carolina from my parents’ house in Pennsylvania yet, but I’m looking forward to being able to intertwine a combined 52 (!!!) Christmases into our tree next year. Because while beautiful trees with white lights and color-coordinated decor are wonderful to look at, I think I’ll stick with our little misfit tree. It’s just like what Clarice told Rudolph in the Island of the Misfit Toys when he felt down that his nose was different from everyone else’s….

“But that’s what makes it so grand.”