I’ve seen(and pinned) some gorgeous trees lately where all the ornaments are coordinated. Someday, maybe I’ll have a second tree just to change out the theme. But I don’t think I could do without a tree full of ornaments that have special memories.
Starting the year I was born, my Mom (sometimes with assistance from my Dad) made an ornament for me every Christmas, and did the same for my brothers when they came along. She wanted to make sure that when her kids moved away from home, we’d have a collection of special ornaments for our own trees. Of course, I’m all grown up and moved away, but until I make the transition to a full-size tree, I just can’t bear the thought of them not hanging on my parents’ tree.
Each ornament has our name and the year on it.
Here’s my very first ornament. On the back is stitched “Jessica 1980” in my Mom’s hand.
These popsicle stick sleds were from Christmas 1983. My younger brother’s says “Baby” on it – he wasn’t due until April of 1984, and they didn’t have a name picked out yet.
I believe the noodle angels were from 1986. Aren’t they cute with their curly hair and bowtie wings?
Of course, he went all Dad and made an Oscar the Grouch ornament too. Sesame Street was on heavy rotation in our house back then. I think the Oscar ornament is hilarious.
I’m not sure what year this cute cross stitched snowman was from.
I adore these little gold angels. I keep meaning to make some of them myself.
I love this little bird’s nest. It doesn’t have a hook, It just nestles cozily onto a branch of the tree each year.
This gingerbread man is adorable. My dad used a coping saw to cut the shape from scraps of the hardwood flooring from their new home. The ornaments commemorated our first Christmas celebrated there in 2008.
Of course, not all the special ornaments we hang were made by my Mom.
This Eagle, Globe, and Anchor hung front and center the year my brother spent the holidays deployed in Iraq. We surrounded it with every angel ornament we could find, to watch over it. I still tear up a little bit remembering that.
My brother made this star for my Mom during that deployment. He created it one day from spare hardware on a whim, and I have no doubt it’s one of my Mom’s favorites each year.
Oh, and here’s Bill the Cat. I made him back sometime around 1984 when we were making salt dough ornaments as a family. I was just trying to make a cat’s face, but he came out so ragged and scruffy looking that my Dad named him “Bill the Cat” after the comic strip character (who looks rather like this due to “drinking heavily, using drugs, and free-basing tender vittles”). We laugh about bill every year, and then hang him somewhere toward the rear of the tree. Somewhere in here is a salt dough rug ornament from the same year. Why I thought to make an ornament shaped like a rug, I have no idea. I was four years old.
I love having ornaments that are meaningful to our family, and when I have kids I’ll be sure to continue the tradition of making them a special ornament each year.
What about you? Do you prefer the coordinated look of a collection of ornaments, or the hodge-podge of ornaments handmade over the years?