My Family Will Take Our Homemade Ornaments Over Your Perfectly Matching Christmas Tree Any Day
Picture-perfect, color-coordinated Christmas trees are cute for the 'gram and all, but they're just not my family's cup of tea. Instead, we prefer decking out our balsam fir with a swath of mismatched, mostly homemade ornaments, and you know what? I wouldn't have it any other way.
The hodgepodge showcases my family's personality: we're a little bit messy, at times chaotic, but always full of heart.
To be fair, I totally understand the inclination to decorate your tree with monochromatic ornaments and all-white lights — it's traditional, aesthetically pleasing, and makes for a double-tap-worthy photo opp. But where's the love? The memories? The inside jokes? A plain ol' red bauble just isn't capable of holding the same sentimental significance as, say, a hand-colored paper ornament made in kindergarten. Year after year, my family's tree proudly displays a delightfully motley combination of relics from our childhoods, gems from my grade school's annual Christmas Bazaar, on-sale finds my mom scored after the Christmas rush, gifted trinkets from friends, souvenirs from family trips, and DIY'ed school art projects (macaroni, beads, puzzle pieces, and all). Plus we add in some decades-old garland and multicolored string lights for good measure.
The hodgepodge showcases my family's personality: we're a little bit messy, at times chaotic, but always full of heart. Our tree is a visual representation of every stage of our past, each branch prompting trips down memory lane. We try our best to decorate the tree together every year, depending on who's in town, always relishing in the flashbacks as we carefully arrange each ornament. I can confidently say it never gets old laughing at the wonky handmade creations I gifted my parents back in the day, naively thinking they were museum exhibit-worthy masterpieces.
If and when it comes time for me to have a family of my own, you better believe I'll be tricking out our tree with a similarly nostalgic collection of ornaments — 'cause you can't buy love and memories in the aisles of Target. Read ahead for a peek at some of the ornaments displayed on my family's tree this year — from shade-throwing baubles to hand-stitched works of art.
A Full Look at My Family's Gloriously Chaotic Christmas Tree This Year
There's This Embarrassing Reminder of My Sixth Grade Pigtails Phase
Beautifully encased in a wooden snowflake, of course.
This Hand-Written #1 Brother Bauble
Mind you, I have two brothers . . . I'm not sure which one was on my bad side back in '03.
This Furry, Plastic-Gem-Adorned Ornament of Unknown Origin
It's honestly one of my favorites.
This Puzzle-Piece Reindeer
Pretty sure every family has at least one of these cuties. (We personally have three.)
This Glitter-Filled Relic From My First Christmas
The bottle's nipple has seen better days.
This Ornament Trolling My Older Brother's Favorite Football Team
We're a loving bunch, I swear.
This DIY Macaroni Angel
We just kind of stick her on the end of a random branch.
This Souvenir From My Family's Trip to Australia
What's cuter than a kangaroo in a stocking? Answer: quite literally nothing.
This Spherical Styrofoam Masterpiece
I just really love the random placement of ribbons, flowers, and sewing pins.
This Giant Snowman That Casually Chills in Any Big, Empty Spaces
The trees we pick out usually have a few of those — just our luck.
This Paper Ornament With a Very Unimaginative Sentence Written on It
Putting it on our tree makes my mom and I laugh every. single. time.
This Slightly More Imaginative but Equally Ugly Paper Ornament
My handwriting was pretty decent though, TBH.
This Evidence of My Evil Grin Back in Preschool
Yep, that's me dressed as Mary for my preschool Christmas play, wearing a veil my mom made herself and holding a baby "Jesus" doll.
This Reminder of My Older Brother's Participation in the Spiked-Hair Fad
I can smell the hair gel just looking at this ornament.
This Cute Lil' Popsicle Stick Snowman
Made to look like he's picking his nose, naturally.
This Old Ornament From My Mom's Childhood Home
Though it's got some wear and tear, it's a sweet way to feel connected to my mom's late mother.
This Jaundiced Santa Claus I Colored in Kindergarten
As you can see, I was an expert at staying inside the lines.
This Attempt at Drawing a Soccer Ball on an Ornament
This Handmade Mini Stocking Knit by My Mom's Grandmother
It's become a bit misshapen through the years, but it's still a cutie.
This Frosty Pinecone From My Parents' First Christmas Together
Back to where it all began.
This Potpourri-Filled Bauble From the '90s
You can't even remotely smell said potpourri through the plastic, but it's the thought that counts.