In case you haven't noticed, I've been in Christmas mode lately! That spills over to the blog! I've been loving the guest posts on Holiday traditions, haven't you? I decided that it's time to share one of mine with you!!!
This idea is something I started probably about eight years ago. I'm not sure I recall where or why the idea first came to me. I'm sure it had something to do with the fact that we love to host Christmas gatherings at our house. We used to have a big party at our house with coworkers...until one year someone puked on the carpet. Grody.
Then we decided to have smaller, intimate dinner parties with small handfuls of friends at a time. Then those friends started having kids, so the parties grew again.
Now we have a family here, a family there, a mommy game night, an Open house, etc. Our Holiday entertaining has changed a lot over the years.
But one thing that has remind the same....the Giving Tree. Every year, we adorn this tree in our dining room with ornaments that we give away. Every person who comes to our house during the Christmas season gets to pick an ornament off of it to take with them. It could be a customer stopping by to get travel documents, family visiting for the weekend, or attendees to my open house. Whatever the case, I always say (when I remember before they head out the door) "Come get an ornament off the tree to take home!"
Over the years I'd say I've given away hundreds of ornaments. They're nothing terribly fancy. One of the favorite ones I've given away were these little snowmen from Oriental Trading. I can really get some good deals on some great little glass ornaments there.
Even the Dollar Tree, where everything is $1, has some cute ornaments. I had to restock the tree after the open house I recently had, and got some of these cute glittery mittens to go on it.
Last year, a friend messaged me and said "hey, Walmart has cute cupcake ornaments, you need to get them for your tree!!"...so I got a bunch of those to put on the giving tree.
Why do we do this? I love the people in my life with my whole heart. Every person who comes to our home over the holidays is precious to us for one reason or another. The giving tree is our little way of saying 'thank you for sharing some time at Christmas with us'. Over the years, there have been the occassional repeat visitors...and I heard a few comments such as 'I love that you do this' or 'I still have my ornament from a few years ago and I think of you everytime I put it on the tree' or 'I've got several ornaments from you on my tree now!'...and hearing that makes my heart warm.
The Giving Tree is currently in our dining room. Every year when I have a group of people here, some get out the door without me reminding them to get an ornament. I think I need to move it to a different spot so it is right where I can see it when people are leaving. So if you come to my home this year, I'm telling you now...get an ornament!!
Maybe you will start your own Giving Tree tradition! It's such a fun way to spread the love at Christmas.