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Christmas Family Time: Decorating the Tree

There is a magic to admiring a newly decorated Christmas tree - particularly one kids helped decorate

One of my earliest memories is of wrapping my hands around a Christmas tree light and admiring the way the light shone through the cracks between my fingers. Every year when we decorate our Christmas tree, I enjoy watching my kids enjoy this same phenomenon of light captured in their hands.

One of my earliest Christmas memories is of admiring Christmas lights. I love seeing my kids do the same thing!

Christmas is my favorite time of year. It’s a time to slow down and enjoy family during quiet evenings sitting around a Christmas tree. This year I made sure our Christmas shopping was finished before December, and it has made for a wonderfully relaxed Christmas season. We have been listening to a lot of Christmas music and singing carols too. The kids have enjoyed spending their free time making gifts, and I look forward to the end of this week when school gets out for the calendar year and we are free of homework and lunches and school bells for a couple of weeks.

take a moment this Christmas to enjoy the magic of the season with your family

Have you spent time around your Christmas tree yet this year? Or sitting around a candlelit dinner? Winter can be a dark time of year, but if you use the dark to enjoy the light of candles or a Christmas tree, the darkness can make for wonderful family memories!

Christmas is a wonderful time for quiet contemplation

During the day, the tree has become the center of my kids’ play. A Playmobil baby turned up in a stroller ornament on the tree that I received as a gift when Johnny was born a couple weeks before Christmas. One morning I came downstairs to find the kids counters ziplining their way to the Christmas tree.

Prioritize family time this Christmas

Our condo is not particularly large, and certainly not designed to hold a family of six. Our Christmas tree is in the middle of our living room, and visitors tend to comment on the way the cord for the lights stretches across the floor to the outlet. It is not trendy or elegant. The moments and memories it has inspired are wonderful.

What memories are you cherishing this holiday season?

MaryAnne lives in Silicon Valley with her Stanford professor husband Mike and their four children. She writes about parenting through education, creativity, and play. Mama Smiles - Joyful Parenting is a space to share crafts, hands on learning activities, and family outings that enrich lives and bring families together.

21 thoughts on “Christmas Family Time: Decorating the Tree”

  1. Your memory of wrapping your hand around a Christmas tree light and watching the light through the cracks in your fingers brought back memories for me. I will have to make sure our children try that. We have let them be very hands on with the tree this year. There have been a few broken ornaments (the common round ornaments, nothing sentimental) as a result and we’re OK with that. Seeing them interact with the tree has been so much fun and beats trying to keep them away from it!

    1. My mom says it is a little sad now to have her Christmas tree look perfect the day they take it down just the way it was when they decorated it now. We have to enjoy these years of kids enjoying trees while we have them!

  2. I love the warmth of your Christmas traditions. We certainly enjoy all the lights of the tree and of our winter village, plus candles. First half of December was busy and very stressful for me with deliberations in murder trial and changes at work, but I am looking forward to unwinding and disconnecting for the next 2 weeks.

  3. Elisa | blissful E

    wonderful photos and memories!! I just got back from donating a bunch of stuff so we will be able to move a piece of furniture and make way for the Christmas tree. I think we will be putting it up this weekend since my husband works Christmas Eve.

  4. The Christmas tree is also our main focus (and honestly the only holiday decoration) we have in our house. They love it, and so far even the little ones have been good about not knocking down the ornaments or trampling it! My eldest is really into making his own ornaments out of scraps he finds, like paper and string. I also bought them wooden ornaments that they all painted and we hung those up. You can even put a picture of them in the ornament!

  5. Love your Christmas tree photos! I always loved decorating the Christmas tree at my parents’ house. Even when I was coming home from university for Christmas, I’d be a bit disappointed if they’d decorated the tree before I got back.

  6. This was the most rushed Christmas season we’ve ever had BUT Jeremy’s family was able to visit us so that was a treat. Glad you had a great Christmas!

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