Thursday, December 4, 2008

Our Life in Christmas Ornaments

It was Christmas 1995. I was feeling pretty down. I was 21 years old and feeling alone in the world. I was not speaking to my family, I had lost my apartment, and I was living in the basement bedroom of a friend/co-worker. One day the Mountain Man candy lady came into my workplace like she did periodically and saw this cute Frosy ornament. I bought it, deciding right then and there to start my own Christmas tradition of buying myself a special ornament every year. And I have... This was my first ornament. Frosty. Because he is cute and I like snowmen. 1995.




The year 1996 was the year I met my husband. We broke up for a few weeks right before Christmas (we got back together on Christmas day) so I wasn't in the mood to buy an ornament. Luckily, a friend gave me this cute little doll. She's now missing a black button foot.

My husband bought me this cute Precious Moments ornament for our first Christmas together in 1997. We had a Precious Moments cake topper on our wedding cake too.


We spent Christmas 1998 surrounded by boxes as we waited for our first house to close. It finally closed two weeks late in 1999 but we thought that this house ornament was still appropriate for 1998 since we were up to our ears in closing stress and boxes.

I was pregnant with our first child in 1999. That summer we went to a big, outdoor boating event in a nearby city. Not only could you look at tons of cool, wooden boats but they had tons of vendors and food. I saw this salt dough pregnant woman and had to have her for Christmas that year. She lost her foot a few years ago. Last year, she lost her head...it falls off so she can't hang on the tree. I want to either find the lady who made her and get a new one or try to remake her myself.



Our first child celebrated her first Christmas in 2000. I just love these teeny Precious Moments shoes. They have her name and birthday written on the bottoms.


In 2001 we chose to commentorate September 11, 2001 with this ornament.


The year 2002 was our second child's first christmas. We chose this cute ornament for his first Christmas.


In 2003, the wife of a former coworker of my dad sent us this hand made ornament. This spider is so pretty and came with a story about how the spider covered a tree with its webbing and how Santa turned her web into tinsel. Cute story. We have no tinsel on our tree though.

A family friend gave each person in our family an ornament for 2004. Here's mine: a cute fabric bag with a snowman. Its begging to be filled but I don't know what to put in it.



This little puppy ornament reminds us of the year my husband's boxer suddenly became ill and had to be put down because she had advanced cancer in her liver and gall bladder. She never showed any signs until it was too late.


In 2006, my husband's boss took everyone to Disneyland. The kids loved it, I found this ornament in a shop on Main Street because I knew a Disney ornament would be perfect for our tree.
One month after Disneyland, I became pregnant. The kids had been wanting another sibling so everyone was very excited making a second ornament for 2006 necessary.


Our third child is celebrated his first Christmas in 2007 so my daughter picked out this ornament for him.

One year I realized that I wasn't going to give up my yearly ornaments as long as I live. My kids would have to come home for Christmas if they ever wanted to see them again after they move out. This led me to decide to start them a collection as well. I start each child's collection when they are about 4 or 5 so we can tailor them to their activities or likes. This year my daugher has a gymnastics bear and my son has a black Spiderman.

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4 Comments:

2TooManyHats said...

I love that you have done this for you and your family. My kids have their own ornaments from almost every year of their life - it did not start out as a tradition, but a few years back I did make the decision to make sure and do it faithfully from then on out. I know when we decorate our tree and I look at the ornaments that I had growing up it is very special. My kids will get to take their ornaments when they want to (my tree will be really bare when all 3 leave the nest).

Shileen said...

I love this! We collected ornaments for each of our kids. Very special. But what I really like here is this special gesture that you do for yourself each year. I think I might just adopt this tradition. I have a few that I've gotten for myself over the years but it's a not a tradition.

This kind of activity goes so well with my self-nurture program called The Wonder Woman Challenge. I think I might add this idea to our list of nurturing activities. Thank you so much for sharing.

Heather Irvine said...

My mom did this for me and my siblings (I am 34 and all the others but 1 are over 18). Upon turning 18 we were given our collection to use on our own tree. Unfortunetly my husband had his own tradition of collecting Star Trek ornaments!! Our tree is a hodgepodge of homemade ornaments speckled with talking plastic Star Trek!! I loved that I had a starter set of ornaments that were familiar to me and my mother continues to this day to make each child (and now grandchild) an ornament each year.

Renae said...

My favorite ornaments are the ones that hold the most memories. I don't really collect them, but many have a story behind them.

I inherited most of my grandmother's ornaments, and they always bring a smile to my face.