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What is the most important thing on your Christmas tree?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on December 23, 2007

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Photo of Randy Long

“The angel on the top of our tree is a family heirloom. It was my great-grandmother’s. In fact, we fight over who gets to have it on their tree every year. It’s fun though, everyone gets to have it.”

Photo of Briea Berry

“There’s this little rocking horse I made when I was in kindergarten with a bobble head and a little girl with pigtails on it.”

Photo of Keith Johnson

“There’s nothing too sentimental. I think the most important thing is the tree itself. It’s a shame we don’t keep them up all year to remind us to have that Christmas spirit all year round, not just on Dec. 25th.”

Photo of Lezli Root

“I guess it’s the angel on top. We’ve had it for a very long time, and I collect angels anyway. It makes me feel like it’s watching over everything.”

Comments

geekin_topekan 6 years, 3 months ago

The stand is the most important in my opinion.It keeps it from falling over.Otherwise i would have to lean it against the wall and that would be tacky.

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canyon_wren 6 years, 3 months ago

I have two boxes of twelve ornaments (each) on my tree that we got in December 1961, the first Christmas after we were married. We bought them at Woolworth's in downtown Lawrence--99 cents for the large ones and 88 cents for the medium-sized ones. They are very precious to me. Lots of memories of lots of different trees in different places across the country, mixed in with my decorations.

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GretchenJP 6 years, 3 months ago

All of the ornaments are important or they wouldn't be on our tree.

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Bobbi Reid 6 years, 3 months ago

I have a few that my parents passed down to me from Germany.. I also have a manger that is about 40 years old, and it was handmade in Germany as well. I also treasure all of the things my kids have made over the years too!

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Kat Christian 6 years, 3 months ago

2 ornaments from my childhood - bought the year I was born - they will be handed down to my daughter. Also ornaments made by my children and grandchildren and my crystal icecycles.

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trinity 6 years, 3 months ago

i wanted to offer a cyberhug to peaches also...my mama passed away in early november. thanksgiving was reeeaaallllyyyy emotional for me/us, as was my birthday in early december. sigh i just miss her so much, as i know you miss your mom and py as you miss your dad. py you're so right on-the wonderful sweet silly fun memories of mom get me through.

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Pywacket 6 years, 3 months ago

Jonas and Sue~ I'm enjoying your philosophical debate--and picturing (in one house) a nekkid trunk rising from the stand, lights twined around it, with a mortified angel presiding at the top, and (at the other house) a scattering of branches and ornaments lying in a circle around the empty stand, waiting to be buried under presents. I think you two have the makings of a sappy best-selling, moralistic kids' book there! ;-) It's kinda like trying to deconstruct a Reese's cup. In the end, every element is just as important as every other one.

We've reached the point where each ornament on our tree is meaningful. As a 20-something, before I had kids, I bought some beautiful, but generic, glass ornaments and stuff, but those have gradually had to make way for more significant items over the years. Ornaments the kids made for us--some with their pictures in them... Hand-made ornaments (with their names and the year on them) they received from a special aunt & uncle each year... Ornament we bought when traveling, that always remind us of the place of origin... etc.

One thing I've never had, though, is a truly special topper. I've had the same angel for about 15 years, but she is just a Hobby Lobby gal. I keep thinking that one day I'll be in some cool artsy shop or traveling somewhere and see the topper of my dreams--angel or star or ??? I'm open minded. I'll know it when I see it.

Peachesncream~ So sorry for your loss. I know it will be a difficult holiday season for you. My dad died in June, so we're also going through that year of painful firsts--first birthday of his that passes with him not there... first Thanksgiving.. first Christmas... I know I don't have to tell you this--it's the memories of wonderful times you had with your mom that will get you through.

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Kathy Gragg 6 years, 3 months ago

Yes well I put up a tree every year since the kids enjoy it so much, origins be damned. Every ornament on my tree is a rememberance of someone or some time of significance. I can tell any questioner when and where each one came from. Years ago in another state I worked for a major department store where they had a grand holiday department where folks would flock to buy the seasons offerings for their trees. I prefere that our tree be symbolic of years past. I have handmade ornaments as well as heirlooom ornaments dating back to my great-great grandmother's time. Additionally each year I purchase symbolic ornaments with family members names on them ( including the pets). Each season when decorateing the tree we can remember times we may not think of during the rest of year.

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canyon_wren 6 years, 3 months ago

You're right, R-I--I was thinking in terms of relatively trivial and personal decorations.

I always turn my tree on first thing in the morning before it is light and enjoy the magic of it. I have always known it had pagan origins, though I hadn't read that part in Jeremiah--thanks for that information!

I have tried to imagine what it COULD represent for me, as far as the Christmas story goes, and so I associate the spectacle of the bright lights in a darkened room with how the angels must have looked to the shepherds.

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RETICENT_IRREVERENT 6 years, 3 months ago

canyon_wren, I do agree the OTS questions can be a bit "insignificant", with flippant responses. But the OTS community has at times, came to a consensus on how to save the world.

Remember that the humble Christmas tree was originally not associated with Christ, but was "decorated" with sacrificial male animals, and male slaves hung from the bows of the tree. Someone took it indoors, but it remained a symbol of the heathens.
Jeremiah 10: 1-5 Hear ye the word which the LORD speaketh unto you, O house of Israel: Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them. For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe. They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not. They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must needs be borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good.

Saint Boniface then associated the pagan ritual with Christ. But It took Martin Luther to start decorating the Christmas tree like most do now.

To some the question "What is the most important thing on your Christmas tree?" is..."significant".
A symbol of faith, a focal point for family, a seasonal tradition.

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jonas 6 years, 3 months ago

Sue: Ha! If going that route, though, I'd have to say that the trunk is more important than the branches. A Christmas trunk would still be pole-ish (polish?) and would at least stand straight. Branches without a trunk, though, would just be all over the ground. Or maybe a wreath, I guess.

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Dixie Jones 6 years, 3 months ago

the most important thing is the star on the top it was my mothers when she was a child when i got married she handed it to me , its plastic blue and covered in alum foil , not the most pretty thing but it is something that i treasure , more now than ever my mom just passed away last month and when i look at that star it reminds me of her so much.

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jonas 6 years, 3 months ago

No Christmas tree this year. In most years, the most important thing on the tree tended to not be on the tree anymore. With four cats, its difficult to maintain a Christmas tree's ornamental integrity.

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jumpin_catfish 6 years, 3 months ago

Items our kids made in school some 20 years old. Good memories!

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canyon_wren 6 years, 3 months ago

I suppose there's no need for "significant" questions on Sunday, since most of the regular posters probably don't check OTS that day, but it surely seems to me like the questions are getting more and more "so what?" You can look through all the other headlines and think of a question for many of them that would be a bit thought-provoking. It is no wonder people like H_Lecter and others can't resist posting the things they do--mostly very facetious.

All the stuff on my tree means a lot to me, but no one else would really care what I liked on MY tree!

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Richard Heckler 6 years, 3 months ago

The family handmade ornaments. This year we added LED lighting which puts off some very beautiful light and the bulbs do not get hot....barely warm is more like it. So there is a safer feeling and we are burning less energy.

Enjoy the Holidays!

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trinity 6 years, 3 months ago

i have two treasures i bring out every year. one isn't a tree ornament, but rather a "me" ornament; it's a little santa pin made by my youngest angel when she was only 7 or 8 years old! santa made from a cinnamon stick! :) and the other is a tree ornament dated 1982; an ornament that has my oldest two angel's pictures on it from when they were wee ones.

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PrincessConsuelaBananaHammock 6 years, 3 months ago

The ornaments my daughter has made for us are the most special things on my tree - at my mom's house it's the ornaments my brother, sister, and I made that she still has after so many years - and the pictures of us with santa when we were little are fun since my dad always played the santa in our town and none of us ever figured out it was him.

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H_Lecter 6 years, 3 months ago

It's so hard to choose... The razor blades and shards of glass provide a lovely dramatic effect as they cry out to be fondled. But, the electrified barbed-wire is a fun surprise for children and pets. The small bottles of liquor are inviting for everyone.

Ah, the simple joys of Christmas, bring such a warm feeling...or maybe it's the egg nog...either way.

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