I admit it…I put up and decorate three Christmas trees every year. The main one has to be a real tree, because the one year I tried to get by with an artificial tree, there was an immediate revolt, and I had to quickly take it down and go get a real tree. Apparently if it doesn’t smell like a Christmas tree, it won’t pass muster at my house. This tree has every ornament that each of my six children have ever made on it, plus a lifetime of special ornaments that were gifts from special people. It also wears all the ornaments that I made as a young bride for our first Christmas tree. Some were needlepointed, some were sewn, some were embroidered…all made with love. I love that tree when it’s all lit and covered completely with all those memories. Then there are two smaller trees for my crystal ornaments. Every year that we have been married, all 34 of them, my husband has given me a Waterford ornament. For two years, a long, long time ago, he forgot that he had been giving me Waterford and he bought Baccarat instead. They were exquisite, but different, and on the third year, when he realized what he had done, he bought the Waterford ornament for the two years he had missed along with the ornament for that year, and he never messed up again. No matter what was happening in our lives, no matter whether he could afford to or not, he never missed a year. Never. Those two little trees are also covered with beautiful memories once they are all lit and dressed. Even the grown kids like to find the ornament from the year they were born. I read something on Facebook today by some celebrity who said that her favorite tree, even though she had bigger, more beautiful ones, was the one with her kids hand made ornaments on it. I appreciated that sentiment, although I think I would have to say that all my trees are my favorite. Each one represents all the wonderful memories from so many blessed and wonderful years. So, while I enjoyed this Coastal Living article with pictures of charming coastal Christmas trees and I even LOVED the tree with the flamingos on it…I wasn’t really tempted to duplicate any of them. My Christmas trees are not big elegant affairs, decorated under the watchful eye of an interior designer. They are sort of like photo albums with snapshots of the years and times of our lives. Some of the ornaments have been glued back together many times, some are paper and glitter…some are messy and sweet, some are beautiful and fine. All are precious. Enjoy the memories as we begin this wonderful holiday season!