Birds, Trees, and Memories

I just took our tree down this morning! It was so beautiful and up until now, had barely lost a needle. I felt like it was a special bonus for all the organizing I had done.

This year I’d purchased the tree from our favorite local farm stand. “They’re all grown right here in New Hampshire,” the woman had said. “Most of them big places cut ’em down in August, cover ’em in burlap and keep hosing down ’til December when they load ’em up on eighteen-wheelers.”


Walking among the trees I knew right away which one was meant to be ours. How? Birds were flitting in and out of the branches! At first I worried there might be a nest, but I checked. No, it was just a special tree. Watching the birds, Uncle Remus’ song from Song of the South rang through my head. Remember that one?


The best part of leaving the tree up for so long, was that after all the hustle and business of the holidays had settled down, I could truly enjoy the beauty and magic of having a real tree in our home.

Just a couple of days ago, I once again tugged on a few branches only to find  that the needles were still not falling off.  In that moment, I took pause and really noticed all the beautiful ornaments hanging from the evergreen branches.  I thought about the stories behind every one and decided to grab my camera and share a few of my favorites with you before I pack them away until next year.


A friend gave us this as an engagement gift. I love to give a big box of beautiful ornaments as a wedding gift.



A gift from my dear friend, Shandy. Seems a perfect expression of the simplicity I’m seeking. How do you always know, Shans?


One of the many ornaments from my classroom days. The Kindergarten boy who gave me this is now in his mid-20s!


Andie’s teeny-tiny preemie hat. We hung it on the tree the year she lived in the NICU and have every year since.


I love school-made ornaments. Is that the cutest picture ever or what?


Another one of Andie’s “at-home” haircuts!


My mother-in-law made this ornament out of two promotional postcards! What a treasure!


Cardinals always remind me of Gramp, who I dearly miss.


Angels always welcome!

So now our tree is back outside, just outside the kitchen window, where the birds can once again flit and flirt among its branches. And when the branches turn brown and no longer hold any needles, we’ll drag that tree into the woods where it can return to the soil from which it emerged.

What about you? Packed up from the holidays yet? Any favorite memories to share?