I 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:
- Christmas tree stand
- Nativity or woodland animal display
- Traditional and classic wool stockings
- Antique bells hung from a homemade wreath
- A small collection of Christmas books
- Handmade, secondhand or vintage decorations
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?