I'm not sure how old I was, but I'm fairly sure I was pretty small when I decided we were doing our tree wrong. The branches were wrong. The tinsel was wrong. The lights were wrong. I don't think I protested too much. I think I just suffered in silence knowing that one day I would have my own tree. My sister would say I did not suffer in silence. As soon as she was old enough to be my tree decorating helper her torture began. There were hours of "tree fluffing." There was an order to the ornaments. MY angel went on top. (I'm sure she has a blog somewhere about the continuing tragedy of not having her own angel because of Baby Jesus.)
I got my first tree when I was a sophomore in college. My college boyfriend had a family tradition of drinking a lot during tree decorating. I don't think those were my tree's finest years, but as soon as I graduated from college (and that boyfriend, bless his heart) I started getting really serious about my tree. Then I got married. Have mercy, I became yoked to a colored light tree man. I can't recall if we alternated by year or something for a while . . . then I got my own tree. For a while I experimented with a prelit tree. These are fine as long as they light. When they start to go, it just breaks your heart (and really the environment because you're buying a new tree).
My tree is as tall as my ceiling will allow. (Don't think I didn't consider that when house hunting, but cathedral ceilings are hard to come by in my price range.) It displays my collection of antique ornaments, Bavarian glass, trinkets from travels, an assortment of birds, little ballerinas pirouetting down the branches -- all precious, all delicate.
And then there was Baby D. The climber. The destruct-o boy.
My beautiful tree lies in the garage this year. My ornaments are still safely packed away. A 3.5 foot prelit pine graces a table in the living room high, high above curious little fingers. Colin decorated this tree with his collection of ornaments from Sarah and Brennan. There's representative ornaments from things that are important to us.
There will be another year for my tree, but this year, it's a tree for Baby D.