Tree Traditions

“Oh Christmas Tree!  Oooooh Christmas Tree!”

This weekend found the Hott House in a bustle!  With plenty of Thanksgiving leftovers still in the fridge, our oldest “Hott-ling” Caity began leaving subtle hints to put up the Christmas tree.  (Well, about as subtle as dropping a bomb, that is!)

For an unusually warm fall day, Caity and Violet dragged the 20+something boxes over to the house from storage.  The energy mounted from the younger brothers as the prospect of decorating the Christmas tree commenced.  Of course, the sight of a tree is a reminder of presents to follow.  Right?

First, the annual “discussion” over where to put the tree began.  You see, we have since mounted a flat screen t.v. along the only empty space in the house, which by the way, happens to be visible from every angle of the great room.  This was no accident, I remind you, of my engineer husband!

Only, it makes for complicated tree raising when Christmas rolls around.  Added to that, we purchased a sectional sofa from Craig’s List this year.  (Quite a bargain, by the way!  In great shape and all, but guess what?  It’s PURPLE!)  Did you know that a sectional sofa comes apart?  In LOTS of pieces?!

This only created countless options to rearranging the furniture to accommodate this  year’s holiday decorations!  (Don’t forget, one can NOT block the view of the t.v.!  After all, what if West Virginia or Maryland make a bowl game!)  Two hours later (and 3 Maryland touchdowns – the t.v. was on!), we finally agreed on this year’s holiday arrangement after moving the sectional about 100 times!  With ornament boxes up to our elbows, the tree would go in the exact same spot as last year AND the couch was set in the very first arrangement.

Let the decorating BEGIN!

It never fails to bring a smile to my face as I watch my growing Hott children open the ornament boxes.  I have a number of mommy made ornaments complete with baby pictures, crayons, popsicle sticks, 3 year old candy cane mice, and bead strung varieties from stars, angels, mangers to crosses.  Guess what?  I love every last one of them!

Do you know what I mean?  Ours is not nearly a tree one might see in the mall or department store.  Oh no!  It is every bit of a mess as is the house as the commotion of decorating continues.  Guess what?  I love every last minute of it!

Finally, mom’s “special” box is the last to emerge!  This box contains ornaments from each year of the Hott Family’s existence.  From the very first spun glass cardinal to this year’s manger globe from Sight and Sound, this box of ornaments represents not just God’s gift of Christmas but also specific memories of the Hott family.  Guess what?  I love each and every one of them!

As we remember each baby’s first Christmas, our wedding, to building our house, Levi is focused on only one ornament – one very specific ornament.  It’s not even very pretty.  No, not at all.  In fact, it is green, gross, and bumpy.  If not that it was breakable, you probably have a jar of them in your refrigerator.  It’s the “pickle” ornament!

And it is Levi’s favorite.  In fact, Levi went through ALL 20+ boxes until he found the pickle ornament.  You see, when you are the lucky “Hott-ling” to locate the pickle ornament on the tree, you receive an extra gift!  WoooHooo!  Right?

Well, it’s usually something along the lines of a movie the entire family will enjoy.  So, the smile I mentioned earlier?  Well,… it eventually fades.  Yup… all of the above decorating activity takes about an entire ten minutes.  For me, I see nearly 20 years in that ten minutes and then mom is left to decorate the rest of the tree – for the next two hours –  While finishing the tree – all alone! – guess what I can’t find?

The pickle ornament!

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.  – Ecclesiastes 3:11

Copyright © Angie Hott, Moms of Faith, All Rights Reserved


  1. Angie Hott on December 8, 2011 at 9:01 am

    I hear you loud and clear Stephanie! It is amazing the family history on a Christmas tree!
    love, a

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