Thursday, December 23, 2010

Our Christmas Trees

I read a post earlier today from Sue Runyon of Sue Runyon Designs about her tree of the year. You can read it here. And I thought it would delightful to show you my tree of the year, which is so completely different from Sue's. I think it's wonderful to see photos of how everyone else celebrates Christmas and how simple things like ornaments can hold such meaning.

Some people collect spoons. Some thimbles. Some plates. I collect Christmas ornaments. From my travels all throughout the world. It's delightful at Christmas-time to pull those ornaments out of storage and remember those places I've been, and I'll probably never get to see again. Or from places my friends and family traveled to and picked up and gorgeous goodies for my collection. That's our 7 1/2" tree. Yes, it's artificial. Yes, I'm low-maintenance. I keep my tree up from the day after Thanksgiving through Epiphany. I want it to last. It's whimsical, fun, and totally non-traditional. Just like us and our family! Here are some of our favorite ornaments:
From left to right: Germany, Mexico, Qatar, and Ireland (and the pink one peeking from behind that is from Russia)

From left to right: An extensive (if not super duper expensive) collection of Waterford and Lenox ornaments. Every single one a gift from a loved one.

From left to right: Our most cherished ornaments...the handmade ones. Hang tags (yes, we use ours as ornaments) from Teris Treasure, a batik egg from a dear friend, my own crocheted/beaded chandeliers, and of course all of my daughter's handmade treasures.
This includes the ones they make as gifts for me in daycare and the ones they make for others. My mother started this tradition with me as a child and it's something that I'm continuing with my girls. Every Christmas, they make an ornament for each family member, and then one for themselves to add to the tree. Another tradition that we continue is their own Christmas box. Every single ornament they've ever received as a gift goes into a box. Each year I give them both an ornament, as does Santa. And then of course those that family members give them. When the girls finally have families of their own **sobs**, they'll be able to take with them a box of ornaments for their very first tree.

And my very first ornament. Yes, 1979 **GASP**

Yes, I have so many ornaments that I have TWO trees! This one is a 5' one in our dining room. It's our "nature" tree full of birdies, animals, and fish. Some are from my travels, some are gifts, and a lot are handmade.

From left to right: Hand-blown glass swan from Germany, fish that I got for myself when studying Aquatic Biology in college, hand-stamped clay ornaments from Happy Lake, and dozens of glass/feathered birds from all over the world.
I would love to see photos of your ornaments from all across the world. Leave me a link to your blog in the comments below. Happy Holidays to everyone!


Beth said...

I love this post! And both of your trees are beautiful, I wouldn't want to take them down.

Teri said...

This was a fun read, thank you for including our hangtags! :) Merry Christmas to you and the girls!

MonsterBug Blankets said...

Love all the ornaments! And how fun for the girls to make ones every yr! (maybe they can make one for mommy, too, so her tree can always hqve the girls' pretties on it?)

Brodi said...

Love it! My mom did the same thing with us - we got an ornament each year, and when we moved out, we took them with us. I'm doing the same thing with my kids. :-) Merry Christmas!!!

Sue Runyon said...

I'm glad my post inspired you because I'm delighted to get to see your trees and special ornaments. Love that one from Qatar. I've been thinking for years about doing a nature tree since I have a lot of ornaments on that theme. Think it will have to wait until we retire from this military life, but I love yours!