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Not Just A Tree

Is it tall enough?

Is it wide enough?

As for me, growing up, it was the tree that made the season feel so magical.

And picking that right tree took time.

This year we walked two blocks down the street to the corner Christmas tree stand.

Ah, that smell, the smell of freshly cut pine trees signifying the scent of the holiday season.

Our same Christmas tree guy was there.

We chatted with him about how his daughter was doing and his trek from Canada.

We searched through the 6 and 7 foot Fraser Firs.




Until we found it.

The one that, with a lot of work and a little magic would light our mornings and evenings for the next month.

Dean hoisted the 2 foot Fraser over his should and we headed home.

The tree, suited for a toddler.

Set up time was short.

No need for trimming or rearranging furniture.

Lights were strung in 60 seconds.

I remember, as a child, the mystery of that darkened room and the beauty of those twinkling lights.

Maddie looked on with wide eyes as the lights illuminated our first Charlie Brown tree.

This year we carefully picked just a handful of our plastic and wooden ornaments, sparing all glass – I’m sure a couple will hit the ground, be tossed across the room or sway with the tree.

The special memories relived through each ornament – my mother’s duck, Dean’s martini shaker, our trip to Rome bulb before Maddie was born, the Cape May boat of our first family trip of 3.

Then I came across “Baby’s First Christmas,” time sure is flying, faster than I had truly imagined.

Already so many precious memories in just a year and a half.


Maddie hung a few ornaments.

Analyzing each branch where her tiny fingers were determined to place them.

This year spacing didn’t matter.

Several ornaments on a single branch were waved.

Not the same tree as in the past – small in stature, but big in meaning.

Family history lives and is growing on that tree.

Tonight I played with Maddie next to that tree.


With those ornaments.

The past, the present, all woven together with so much meaning, so much joy and so much love, on and next to that Christmas tree.

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  1. Lourdes Crawford says:

    That made me cry, Amy, especially the last paragraph.
    We put our tree up before Thanksgiving because the girls couldn’t wait. I was a little emotional seeing all the ornaments the girls have made through the years. There are a few with pictures of them back when they were in pre-school and they look so little, it made me realize how much they have grown. I started hugging and kissing them and of course they thought I was crazy. Maddie is getting so big, she looks so cute. Can’t wait to see her.

    • Amy Fechner says:

      What a great idea, putting pictures on ornaments! I can’t wait to add Maddie’s creations to our xmas trees. I’m sure the strangest things are the most adorable but only to mommy! She’s grown and changed so much since you last saw her. Can’t wait to see you all in a few weeks!

  2. Oh Amy, that picture of Maddie and your tree was just beautiful. Loved hearing about how you made some memories decorating the tree with Maddie in tow this year. Beautiful, really and Merry Christmas to you and your family!!
    Janine Huldie recently posted..Going Out to Dinner With My Kids: When Will I Learn…My Profile

    • Amy Fechner says:

      Thanks Janine! That’s what makes the season bright! Reliving all the happy memories with family and friends over the year. Glad you liked it! Merry Christmas to you and your two beautiful girls.

  3. Monica J says:

    I loved this post. It reminded me of my childhood and all the great memories I have from Christmas. My mother still hangs up my ornaments i made in grade school. I love the picture of Maddie decorating the tree. No matter how big or small the tree it sets the stage for many wonderful memories that you will create this holiday. It’s the perfect size for Maddie. Enjoy this holiday season with your friends and family. Happy Holidays!
    Monica J recently posted..Mommy Monday: An Evening with MimiVail FounderMy Profile

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