The Stuff of Life

The Pretty Christmas Trees


Sometimes I envy the pretty trees.

They tempt me to buy festive ribbon and coordinating ornaments and start from scratch. But I always stop short. Not that I won’t forever love the pretty trees. I may even stand in your home and ooh and aah over yours. But each time I contemplate moving things around and removing some not so perfect ornaments, I am reminded of the little hands that made them and excitedly placed them prominently in the front of the tree… all clustered together on one branch 🙂

Though my not-quite-pretty tree would never make it into the pages of a magazine or a post on someone’s decorating blog, I will choose to enjoy it for what it is. It is pieces of our story.

It is a 5-year-old’s handprint on gold painted plaster.


It is clay cookie-cutter ornaments painted red and green.


It is a too big foam snowman and plastic Vikings candy canes.



It’s a baby’s first Christmas frame painted in a child’s strokes.


It is a porcelain wedding photo faded strangely orange, noodle snowflakes and nativity scenes made from popsicles sticks.




It is not pretty in a Martha Stewart kind of way, but when it’s dark outside and the white lights are flickering on the hodgepodge of trinkets hanging from little metal hooks, it is beautiful in a “this is my life” kind of way.  And it is a wonderful life; regardless of what’s hanging from the tree.


Author: Kim Harms

I am a contributor at CT Women (previously known as Today's Christian Woman where I was a regular contributor as well). I blog monthly at and have freelanced for a variety of publications including Chicken Soup for the Soul, Guideposts, Thriving Family and Creation Illustrated. Cancer made an unwelcome visit in my breast in January 2016, and I am now working on a book about breast reconstruction after having gone through the insane process myself. My incredible husband of 18 years, Corey, is my biggest writing cheerleader and together we are having a ball raising our three growing boys; Carter 15, Owen 14 and Lewis 10.

3 thoughts on “The Pretty Christmas Trees

  1. That’s how my tree is too- and I love it. Your tree is perfect!

  2. Julie you are so artistically talented I would picture you to have a perfect looking tree, but I love it that yours is like mine 🙂

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