Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Christmas Memories - Our First Christmas Tree

Had my husband, Thruston, not passed away suddenly in May 2012, this would have been our 29th Christmas together. He proposed to me the week before Christmas in 1985 and we were married on October 18, 1986, 10 days before my 25th birthday.

Our Wedding Day
St. Andrew United Methodist Church
Little Rock, Arkansas

Two months later we celebrated our first Christmas together. We were living in our first home, a two bedroom apartment on the bottom floor of a large complex in Little Rock, Arkansas. He was an Agriculture Journalist for KARN Radio Station and I had just moved back to Little Rock from Dallas where I worked in Advertising/Recruiting for EDS for two years. Upon moving to Little Rock I wasn't able to find a job in Communications so I was working as a Sales Associate at Dillard's Department Store in Park Plaza Mall. I worked every weekend during the holidays and realized that working in retail was very stressful!

I remember coming home one Sunday evening in December after working in the pantyhose department of Dillard's and there, in the living area of our small apartment, was a Christmas tree, complete with lights, ornaments and red/green/white Christmas garland wooden beads!

My sweet husband had gone out and bought everything for a Christmas tree, including the Christmas tree, and spent the whole afternoon decorating it for me as a surprise! I can still remember seeing the smile on his face when he saw the smile on my face as I walked into our apartment that night.

Because 1986 was years before everyone carried a personal phone with a camera and accessed social media with Facebook and Twitter, I couldn't find a picture of our first Christmas tree. But I do have a picture from Christmas 1992 that was taken a few weeks before I had our first daughter, Lauren Grace.

Leslie and Thruston Stewart Doan
Christmas 1992

By this time, we had moved into our first house and loved decorating it for Christmas every year. We would get a live Christmas tree and place all our Christmas ornaments on it, including the ornaments Thruston bought our first Christmas along with the red/green/white Christmas garland wooden beads. As our family grew to include Lauren and then our second daughter, Sara, who was born in March 1997, we continued to collect Christmas ornaments each year.

Christmas 1997

In the summer of 2004 we moved into our current house, a two-story brick home with a fenced in backyard in a family friendly neighborhood. The day after Christmas that year we adopted our dog Oreo who was then just a puppy! A few years later, we added our second rescue pet, a calico kitty named Lilly. We continued to celebrate Christmas each year with many wreaths and decorations outside and our beautiful tree inside.

Christmas 2004

In November I placed our house on the market, so this year will probably be our last Christmas in this home. Looking through all the Christmas decorations stored in our attic, I found the red/green/white Christmas garland wooden beads from 1986 and put them on our tree along with the other ornaments collected through the years.

2015 Christmas Tree with the red/green/white Christmas garland wooden beads!

And this year I had the best present of all when both my daughters came home for Christmas!

Happy Holidays 2015 from Leslie, Lauren (22) & Sara (18)!


  1. What a lovely story to read! That was the sweetest act of your husband to surprise you with that decorated tree! Great memories that you will carry to your new home! -- Amy @ http://thegiftedgabber.com/

    1. Thank You Amy! You just made my day! And I love reading your blog entries and seeing pictures of your two cute little ones. Have a great week!


  2. Love all the pictures especially the wedding day one.

  3. Your house looks beautiful, I'm sorry you will have to sell it! Sounds like you have an even more beautiful HOME though...a place of love that can be taken anywhere YOU are!