My little Christmas elf has been itching to put the tree up but I wanted to wait until after Maddie's birthday. On the first of December out came the decorations and up went the tree. Hannah is very much of the stand-back-and-chuck school of decorating so our tree would never feature in a magazine anywhere but the kids had a ball and even Maddie joined in the fun (and surprisingly has "touched" but not destroyed the lower branches!) One thing I do love about our tree is the memories that are evoked every year - plastic cup bells from a preschooler who is now a big grade 7 girl; a salt dough baby jesus that weighs so much the branch tips to one side, countless paper angels and stars from playgroup and kindy; and all of the treasured ornaments from friends and students collected over the years. Every year I treat myself to a porcelain photo ornament of my cherubs too so decorating the tree is a reminder of how our family has grown and changed each year. It might never win a decorating award but this tree is special for the lovely memories and the many small acts of kindness hanging from every branch.