Holidays with eleven kids - The Tree

Holidays with eleven kids - The Tree

Eleven little presents Christmas Cookies, hot chocolate with marshmallows and all the trimmings for a tree would await us in the living room. The gifts were opened one by one from the oldest to the youngest. In every perfectly wrapped little package was an ornament.

The year I was born it was a crochet bell my mother had made. These treasures are stored in the attic. Every year I climb up and pull them down with the kids. Their excitement picks up as the tree is pulled in the house, ready to be decorated.

When I unpack the smurf, the princesses, the bear from Yellowstone, the Korean shoes and much more, I think back to how I have changed, to the adventures I have had. You can see my phases of life, some like a bad seriously what was I thinking that I liked that. Nevertheless, there they hang reminding me of Christmas' past.

My kids are part of this tradition. They receive their ornaments as well and have their own boxes. When they leave home, they will be able to take their ornaments with them.

You must imagine the size of our tree to fit all those ornaments. We were elven kids and each year we received two ornaments; one from my parents and one from my Grandma.  It was a massive tree. One year it broke the door. If anyone asks where I got my big tree craze...blame my Mom.

My tree hasn't broken the door yet, but I am in fierce competition every year with the Montreux Palace for the prettiest tree. I would say I win.

–Allison Ochs, Social Worker M.S.W. , Coach, Expat, Mother of three, Wife

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash