Decorating the tree is always one of my favorite parts of getting ready for Christmas. This simple activity is consistently one of the best reminders of how much love surrounds us.
This year, the tree itself was a gift. A man in our ward--who has consistently been wonderfully kind to our family since we moved into the ward a little more than two years ago--found out we were still without a tree. On Sunday, he asked how high our ceilings were, and then showed up on our porch that afternoon with this beautiful 10 foot pine. He and his wife had gone out after church in the snow (about 3 feet deep where they went) and cut a tree for us.
The ornaments are a mish-mash of thoughtfulness and affection. There are the little snowmen ornaments and the temple ones from Mimi and Papa. There's the pewter one from Papa Clark, and the star fish one from auntie Manda. There are the shell ones we bought at The Shell Shop in Morro Bay when Dylan was a baby. The black bear ornaments we bought while visiting Cabela's with auntie Jen and uncle Paul. There are the handprint and photo ornaments of various types that the kids have made over the years with me or in preschool and elementary school. There are so many which have been handmade by auntie Christa over the years for all the kids. The tree skirt wrapped around the base was a wedding gift--made by Grandma Clark, who has now left us.