My Favorite Christmas Tree: Dear Teachers

Last July, I spent a minute or two thinking ahead to how I might decorate our trees for Christmas (Didn’t see it? Find it here).  I wrote about a few of them and noted that I would share my favorite Christmas tree as soon as I finished it.

There is no decoration that brings me as much joy as our big tree.  And while no photographs I take quite capture the spirit of this tree or how much I love it, maybe the addition of these words will help:

 

Dear Teachers,
 
I’m putting up the Christmas decorations at our house and just pulled out four little wooden bead/terra-cotta pot Nativity scenes that are each about to find their annual places to be displayed. 

Dear Teachers Nativity Scene

I just wanted to say thank you again for all the time you’ve put into so many years of children’s Christmas gifts for our family.  I can imagine what a crazy month it is to get songs learned, grades closed, crafts made, and your own family’s holiday organized.  
 
Each year while I’m unpacking our decorations, I think about a conversation I had with a favorite teacher who—in the middle of a particularly busy week—was wondering if the 2nd grade “ornament tradition” really mattered. 

I was SO surprised that she didn’t know how much of a treasure they were and how seeing them each year was such a major highlight of our Christmas. 

All four sets of those ornaments will hang together again on our tree this year: the toothpick card frames, the popsicle stick reindeer and snowmen,Dear Teachers Popsicle Stick Snowmen

and the jigsaw puzzle wreaths will take their places along with sequin-pasted, felt-framed school pictures. 

Dear Teachers Jigsaw ornaments

We have dozens of Hallmarks, several Swarovskis, and a Lenox or two, but yours is the collection that means the most. Your one-time students truly look forward to finding their creations on the tree every year (while their parents get a little weepy remembering how little their hands used to be). 
 
We also have hung their macaroni wreaths and painted paper plate poinsettias,

Dear Teachers Poinsettia Plate

church windows and various angels,

Dear Teachers Childrens Christmas Ornaments

and treasured construction-paper-bound editions of the Christmas story with their displays of best artwork and cursive handwriting. 

Dear Teachers Gingerbread ornaments and Christmas Stories

And each year that we unpack them, we enjoy them more than the first, cherishing the memory of the care that went into them and happy thoughts of the years in which they were made.
 
One of those memories includes a surprise Christmas morning visit from our beloved school nurse, who discovered that our then 3rd grader had left her Christmas package at school.  She interrupted her own Christmas to deliver the package to our house because she knew how hard the kids and teachers worked on their gifts and how much it would mean to our daughter to give it to us.
 
It’s been years—a decade and more—since our kids were able to fit into those tiny desks.  But I just wanted to remind you of how much the big effort that was put into those little gifts have meant to our family.

We have several trees in our house now. But the one that means the most features all those carefully wrapped treasures–all on one tree. And though they are gifts from our children to us, it was made possible because you shared your gifts with them.

That tree is one of our most beloved Christmas traditions and, from the bottom of our very full hearts, we thank you for making it happen.
 
Wishing you a peaceful Advent and a wonderful Christmas! 
 
Dear Teachers My Favorite Christmas Tree