Growing up our tree was always filled with mismatched ornaments because each year, my mom bought us an ornament as a memory for the year.
As a child, I was obsessed with Precious Moments, so a myriad of children dressed in pastels with tear-drop eyes filled out tree.
One year we went on a trip to the mountains. Apparently, I thought it was hilarious to pick out the ornament with a family of wide-eyed chickens losing control while driving their car down the mountain. And so, every year after its purchase, crazy-eyed chickens went on the tree.
Of course, any and every ornament we ever made in daycare or elementary school was saved by my mom. Popsicle stick reindeer and ornaments with pictures of my sister and I that would embarrass us later in life were all hung front and center for guests to see.
As I got older, I remember thinking when I grew up, I would have a tree like the ones in the magazines. I would carefully pick a theme each year and choose matching ribbons and colored balls and have white lights and the perfect tree skirt.
Now, years later as a mom, I get it.
For my mom, it wasn’t about having the Martha Stewart magazine edition of a tree. It was about gathering around as a family every year to decorate. It was about pulling out a box of memories to reflect on as a family. It was about laughing every time we saw cross-eyed chickens.
Now that I’m a mom, I’ve continued the tradition my mother started moons ago.
So our tree isn’t perfect. One side is uneven. The ornaments don’t match. I’ve lost our tree skirt.
But our tree is filled with memories.
Our tree was decorated by little hands that could only reach so high.
There was laughter, conversation, and memories made, so our lopsided tree with mismatched ornaments feels pretty perfect to me.