Lessons Learned from Toppled Trees & Broken Ornaments

Christmas trees are part of the season. Whether you have a fake one or are a sucker for a real one every year like me, the tree is one of the many symbols of the season. So, what happens when your tree topples over sprinkling shatter glass all over your living room?

You learn and teach a lesson. (and clean it up of course!)

Let me set the stage.

Our tree was on its second stand of the season. You see, we had to transport it into another stand when we realized our first stand was leaking water because it had a crack at the bottom. So, one night my husband and I took off all the breakable ornaments and carefully transported it into its new home. When my kids woke up the next morning and saw half the ornaments were gone, they didn’t know what to think. So, I spun it into a fun activity called “we get to decorate the tree all over again, won’t that be fun?” Thankfully they bought what I was selling. Little did I know I would soon be selling that line again…really soon.

We redecorated the tree. It was just as fun the second time around. Okay, not really, but I had to play the game for the sake of the kids. All was well until a couple of nights ago.

We stopped home quickly to pick up my daughter’s favorite little teddy that we forgot on the way out. We ran in and turned on the light not prepared for what we found. Our poor tree had toppled over. There was broken glass everywhere. A huge puddle of water created a mini-lake on my floor.


tree fall

Cue the high pitched screams and hysterical crying.

My kids were just as crushed as some of the ornaments, if not more. Honestly, so was I. I love my Christmas ornaments, even the stupid ones. But, I had to quickly go into “mom mode” and stop this ship from sinking.

After wiping tears and giving hugs to calm my girls, I asked them if they were hurt.

They looked at me as if I told them a crazy elf flies back and forth to the North Pole every night and reports back to Santa.

“No, mommy, we’re fine. We weren’t even home.”

Exactly…you’re fine. Then I pulled out some lines that surprisingly made it all better.

“Ornaments are just things. Things can be replaced. If something bad happened to you guys, I could never replace you. There will never be another you in the whole world. There can always be another ornament.”


Those frowns turned upside down. There were smiles slowly creeping back onto their faces. As annoyed and aggravated that I was at the entire mess, I felt better too. There’s just something that puts a smile on your face when you know you were able to make your children feel better when they’re sad.

I was even more surprised when my four-year-old told me that the tree was tired from standing so it probably just needed a nap!

So when life gives you a toppled tree…you teach a lesson…and then go make a bunch of paper ornaments!



Every Ornament Has a Story

I’m a sucker for Christmas. I love everything about it.

I love the feelings of tranquility and happiness of the season.

I love the decorations, the smell of a fresh tree, the shopping, the wrapping, the Christmas cards, the visits to Santa, and all the other special little events that go along with it.  If I could bottle up Christmas and save it all year long, I would.

One of my most favorite Christmas things to do is to decorate the tree. Now that my kids are old enough to help without me yelling (too much), it’s even more special.

As I was taking each ornament out of its box this year, I started to get really nostalgic. Of course we have the generic ball ornaments and candy canes, but while unwrapping the rest of the ornaments, I started to realize that each one has its own story. We don’t just buy ornaments to buy them. There’s always a reason behind them or a reason why someone else decided to buy them for us.


wedding ornamentThere’s the custom-made wedding ornament that my old college roommate and bridesmaid gave to me for my wedding shower. It has our names painted on it with out wedding date. It’s crazy to think that it’s now ten years old.

There’s the Santa in a hula skirt from our Hawaiian honeymoon. I think back and remember how we said we were going to go back on our five year anniversary. Safe to say, that did not happen!

santa ornament

There are the baby’s first Christmas ornaments. The ones with the girls’ pictures and the other ones with their names, dates of birth, and other information painted on. To say these are special would be an understatement.

baby ornament


There’s the “sisters” ornament that my old college friend gave to me. While we were away, we had our own “fake families” and she was my pretend sister.

There’s the “Mommy’s First Christmas” ornament that my friend of thirty years gave to me when my first daughter was born. I remember thinking how I had never seen an ornament like that for moms.

mom ornament

There’s the “Dirty Dancing” ornament that says quotes from the movie. I bought this one for myself because it’s one of my favorite movies and “no one puts baby in the corner”.

dancing ornament

There’s the Clark Griswold ornament that says “Alleluia” when the lights turn on. I bought this one for my husband because his love for Christmas lights reminds me of Clark Griswold.

There’s the sunflower ornament my aunt bought me because sunflowers are my favorite flower.

There are the handmade ornaments my girls made. They help me track their artistic progress each passing year.

There are the Dora and Doc McStuffins ornaments sprinkled about because those were there favorite characters last year. Funny how no “Frozen” ornaments made their way on the tree this year.

There are the countless Elvis ornaments because my husband loves Elvis.

elvis ornament

There’s the salami and deli meat ornaments…they’re a new addition…don’t ask!

salami ornament


Each ornament is not simply “just” a decoration. Each ornament has its own story, its own memory that will forever be engrained in my heart and mind.

Do you have special ornaments that tell a story?