Lifetime Christmas Decorations

Christmas Decorations for Life | the beauty in simpleI stopped by the thrift store on Sunday. I counted four aisles chock-full of holiday decorations and more displays of ornaments, Christmas books and holiday attire dispersed throughout the store. The scene told a story of over consumption, discontent, poor quality and lost meaning.

I dream of a different story that endures time, speaks of gratitude and brings peace and joy to the season. I imagine opening a small box of decorations each holiday that have been or will be in the family for many years to come. We wouldn’t consider replacing these beautiful decorations. There would be no need or desire to buy more, because they are enough. Our children and grandchildren grow to love these decorations because they too recognize something special.

Last year I had to replace a cheap plastic tree stand that broke after a decade of use. To some I may have spent a ridiculous amount of money on its replacement, but I chose to buy a stand that will outlive me. I love the idea that someday my children or grandchildren will make that tree stand their own and the sweet memory and tradition of cutting and decorating a tree will live on.

I’m not suggesting anyone run out and buy new Christmas decorations, but if you’re adding or replacing items in your collection consider buying items that have enduring quality, design and sentiment.

Here are a few ideas:

One of my favorite childhood decorations was an oil painting of Santa Claus made by my grandmother. My family looked forward to its annual holiday appearance. My mom has since passed the painting onto my brother, who (like me) loves the story it tells of a Christmas past. Do you have any favorite Christmas decorations that have been or will be with you for a lifetime?

6 thoughts on “Lifetime Christmas Decorations

  1. Hi Julie, I agree with you on this. I remember the same decorations came out year after year in my childhood and we’re always seen as old friends. I have tried to do the same for my family, with Decorations from their young school days and buying one special ornament each year that would be added to the collection and replace an old battered one. It seems to be working well and every year we get more picky about what goes on the tree! Best wishes. Lynne

    1. I love your idea of one special ornament a year! I haven’t bought one in a number of years, but several have broken. This year I was thinking the tree is a bit bare, so it might be time to start an annual ornament tradition. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Thank you for these thoughts… I even think wow.. even tho it is fun to have a few things to open on Xmas morning.. what more do I need? I have started a new tradition with several friends where we donate to the others favorite charity instead of giving a physical gift..

  3. I’m in complete agreement with you. One of the things that makes decorating the house and tree so much fun is seeing the same old friends coming out of the box each year. And we also have a cast iron tree stand (different from yours) which will still be going strong into the next millennium. Thanks for the great list of books, by the way. That’s the one thing I’m always looking for more of.

    1. One thing I love about my tree stand, and the cast iron stands I’ve seen, is that there’s no need for a tree skirt. The stand is beautiful on its own. That’s one last thing I don’t have to store. We have a couple Christmas books that only come out during the holidays. I too would like to add one or two more, but can’t decide on what to add. In our family we read The Night Before Christmas every year on Christmas Eve, so that’s always been in my collection. If you land on any favorites I’d love to hear your suggestions. Thanks!

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