Christmas is a season that is rich with family traditions. My family had a lot of traditions that we carried on as I grew up. I'd go into greater detail but I already know this is going to be a long post and I don't want to make it longer.
One of the traditions that I clearly remember, partly because if I'm home to decorate the tree we still abide by it, was that I always got to put the first decoration on the tree. For the last two years this has been Jonathan's job, and since Jason isn't old enough to care yet, it was his job again this year. Of course there was always a picture to go along with the placing of the first decoration. Perhaps when I'm home I'll dig up some pictures of me over the years.
Here is Jonathan placing the first decoration on the 2009 Brough Family Christmas Tree. This year's choice for first decoration was a Lightning McQueen.
We gave Jason a bear decoration to hang on the tree. I wanted to let him try on his own before we helped him out.
He didn't really understand quite what to do with the decoration. I don't think he quite has the motor skills to hold the decoration by the string and get it onto the tree. But fear not, his overly helpful older brother was more than willing to help.
And between the two of them they got the job done!
As I was hanging decorations on the tree last night I thought it might be fun to showcase some of the decorations that have special meaning to our family. I quickly realized that I could probably take a picture and share a story for almost every decoration on the tree. Since I didn't want to write that much, and I'm certain you don't want to read that much, I chose some of the most meaningful, or ones with unique stories, to share.
If you know anything about me you should know the significance of a University of Idaho decoration. Dan and I both got our degrees from the University of Idaho. It's also where we met. We are Vandal faithful and I was so excited to find this decoration in the bookstore last year.
This little giraffe came from Lenox and commemorates Jonathan's 1st Christmas in 2005. We also have one for Jason but I do believe that one is in Fairbanks. Sooner or later Jason's decoration will join Jonathan's on our tree.
This bear is named Chaucer. I found him last Christmas at a bookstore. He also has a story book that goes with him. It is a really cute story about the little bear's first winter. Perfect for our little bear who was celebrating his first winter.
This moose is part of a series from Lenox. Growing up in Alaska I saw a lot of moose. The first decoration I got came with a card that said something about making sure to lock my doors. Yes, there is a story behind that. One very early, dark Alaska morning my mom was driving me to jazz band before school. We backed out of our garage and started off when we noticed a moose in the driveway. I was a little tired and not thinking clearly so when I saw the moose I locked the doors. Not sure what good I thought it was going to do but its been a family joke ever since.
My granddaddy loved Snoppy and he passed his love of Snoppy on to me. This is just one of several decorations of Snoppy and the gang that grace our Christmas tree. They are a reminder of my granddaddy. Someplace I have a cow beanie baby that reminds me of my grandmother but that's another story for another time!
My husband LOVES Star Wars. Enough said! (And after previewing my blog my husband wanted to make sure I added that this is a member of the 501st legion. Whatever!)
Paddington is here representing a whole collection of decorations that were given to me by my Great Great Aunt Lucy. I don't remember her, in fact I'm not sure I ever met her, (mom if you are reading help me out here!) but I heard so many stories about her and her adventures that I feel like I know her at least a little bit. Paddington was also a big part of my childhood. I had a Paddington bear and his Aunt Lucy in stuffed animal form. We also read the stories frequently while I was growing up. My very favorite Paddington story is Paddington and the Knickerbocker Rainbow.
And so that brings us to the owl. Before I was born my mom and dad spent sometime living in Guatemala and this little owl is souvenir of that period in their lives. They come in three colors: red, green, and yellow. I'm not sure how many the brought back but I know they had some and they gave some to each of my grandparents as gifts.
And so that concludes your tour of my Christmas tree. Mom if you are out there reading and have anything to add to the stories I've told please do so!