I have a little Christmas tree in my family room. It sits next to the fireplace and brightens my space.

It’s decorated with old and new ornaments. The oldest ones are 3 bells that I had on my tree as a youngster. The newest one is the handprint of my great-granddaughter Elaina, who soon will be 2 years old.

As I took ornaments from their box, I recalled many gifts I had gotten from friends, the crystal ornaments I collected for a number of years and the quaint ornaments that just seemed to have appeared. They are all cherished.

Everyone’s Christmas tree reflects a family history. We have a story for each of the ornaments that we hang on the tree. We don’t forget how we got them or who gave them to us.

They’re special each year. I always get a big smile when I put my painted gingerbread man and teddy bear on a limb. My kids and I painted the little wood ornaments decades ago.

There are exchange gift ornaments from friends and club members. The tree takes on a community feel which makes Christmas even more meaningful.

We all should share a storytelling time with our Christmas ornaments. Just review how each ornament got on your tree. I’ll bet there are some really happy stories and perhaps a few sad stories, but your Christmas tree will come alive with the joy of the season.

The ornaments are brought out each year, carefully hung on a tree branch. They are  jewels preserved in a box year after year but more importantly, they live in our memories of Christmases long past.

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