Growing up, my family always had a fake tree. I thought everyone had fake Christmas trees. Our neighbors had them as well. I remember helping my mom put the ornaments up on the tree and wrapping the tree with garland and popcorn on a string. I don’t remember where my parents got the ornaments but I remember they were intricate, shiny and so pretty.
My parents never gave us Christmas presents. Although my mom wrapped empty boxes and put them under the tree for decoration (I told my coworker this once and she said I should write a book about my upbringing because she found it enduring and comical). I used to head over to my next door neighbor’s house on Christmas morning to play with all her new Christmas presents from Santa, whom my parents told me is not real (another thing to add to my book).
I was never upset with my parents for not giving up gifts on Christmas though. They didn’t have a lot of money back then and for them, Christmas was and still is about the birth of Jesus. We would go to midnight mass and celebrate Christmas that way.
In high school, my parents gave away our Christmas tree (since we were moving) and all the decorations, including the ornaments, to the church. I was so upset because gone were all the memories, including all the ornaments my siblings and had made. To this day, I still wish my mom kept those ornaments. I know it’s material possessions but those material things hold so much memory.
Okay, so now back to our Christmas tree. Well, it’s a real tree! We’ve been having a real Christmas tree for the past five years. Our first year of marriage, I got us a tiny fake tree (similar to Charlie Brown’s tree). But since then, we’ve been going to the lot at Jayson Home and Garden on Clybourn for our tree. It’s the same Christmas tree lot that I took a picture of Luke in his Cozy Coupe. The owners of the Christmas tree farm still use that picture of Luke for their delivery signage.
The theme for our Christmas tree (yes we have a theme for our tree, well sorta) is the Eiffel Tower. I love the city of Paris and the Eiffel Tower is so symbolic of the city. I actually have Eiffel Towers all over my house. So a few years ago, I decided to collect Eiffel Tower ornaments. Right now, I think have about 10 or so. But my favorite find has to be the Eiffel Tower tree topper that I got on clearance from Pottery Barn several years ago. Luke told me this year that we were supposed to have a star or angel on top of the tree. I told him the Eiffel Tower is our star. Besides, all our angel ornaments are located near the top of the tree.
I’m pretty sure Luke is going to look back on his childhood and tell all his friends how obsessed his mom was with Eiffel Tower ornaments or that he will roll his eyes whenever I bring out the Eiffel Tower topper and make it a big deal (also making Charlie cue French music as I put it on top of the tree). Oh I can see it now….
We will have a lot of “filler” ornaments on the tree until I expand my Eiffel Tower ornament collection. But I plan to keep the sentimental ones for a long time and hopefully pass them down to Luke. I still miss the ornaments we had growing up (and still traumatized over it). So I want our ornaments that we have now for many years to come.
The other theme to our Christmas tree (yes there are two themes to our tree) is cars since Charlie and Luke love cars. It’s a good compromise. But I’m hoping my Eiffel Tower ornaments will one day outnumber their car ornaments.
Where to Find Eiffel Tower Ornaments in Chicago
For Eiffel Tower ornaments, I normally stop at P.O.S.H. Chicago since they normally have really pretty ones. But several other retailers sell them as well such as this Eiffel Tower ornament from Nordstrom, an Eiffel Tower in a glass ball from Cost Plus World Market, or this very cute one with baguettes in an Eiffel Tower bag from Sur La Table.
**Updated** My Eiffel Tower Ornament Picks for 2018