I have two Christmas trees in my house. One has all the crazy colorful decorations that my children make and that my husband and I made when we were children... along with other colorful ornaments. The lights are multi colored and blink. It's in my playroom.
I also have another tree in my formal living room. The lights are white and the ornaments are all gold and silver. Each year I hang all the sterling silver baby cups and rattles I own. It's a nice way to use something that would otherwise stay in a box forever. I also decorate with cream silk ribbons from my great-aunt's wedding bouquet and lace flowers from my grandmother. I use antique tablecloths for the skirt.
I've been stumped as to what to put at the top of the tree, however, until inspiration struck. I'm thinking of buying an antique doll and putting her at the top like an angel. I would love to find a long lace dress similar to the one she has on for her to wear. I would also have to figure out a way to fashion wings for her. Maybe I could use old tinsel for a halo?
Even if I don't end up using an old doll, this kind of brainstorming really gets me going. I love to find new ways to bring life to old things. If not, they just stay tucked away forever.
Maybe you have an antique doll of your grandmother's you could use. Decorate with old blocks and toys tucked into the branches. Or just tuck in anything that has meaning and usually stays hidden... baby shoes, black and white photos, your mother's white kid debutante gloves. Make it your own.