In our family, it’s tradition to put up the Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving. I have loved doing this every year since I was a little kid. For me, carefully unwrapping each ornament from it’s tissue paper is like….uh, Christmas. The hubs was TDY during Thanksgiving this year, but my parents were visiting, so they helped me decorate!
Handmade With Love
Who doesn’t love handmade ornaments from your kids??? I can’t get enough of them, personally. We have so many, in fact, that I’m going to have to have a separate tree soon just for them.
Included in these are THE handprint ornaments. Every child must have a handprint ornament, right? These two from each of our boys are two of my very favorite ornaments hanging on our tree:
For those that don’t know, my hubs and I are high school sweethearts. We began going together in 1997 and got married in 2004. The first Christmas we spent dating (I was 14, he was 15) we bought an ornament from Things Remembered (remember that place?!) and got it engraved. Every year after that we got one together up until we got married (pretty much). When we got married we received this beautiful glass ornament, and we’ve had it on the tree for the past 9 Christmases we’ve spent as a married couple:
Contrary to popular belief, I was NOT named after The Little Mermaid. I was 7 when that movie came out, and I got quite a few mermaid stuff that year for Christmas and my birthday, including:
My dad is a very talented artist. He makes my sister and me ornaments just about every year, and they are incredibly special. These are just two of the many. The first one has the Eishen crest on one side and my maiden name’s crest on the other. The second ornament is of a lion because I was named Ariel after the Hebrew meaning, Lion of God.
Every teacher remembers her first year of teaching. This was from mine, and I hang it up every year:
Everyone has one of those ornaments that is so special, they cause you to stop and hold it in your palm in remembrance for a few minutes before placing it on the tree. This hand-painted wooden bear is so light you can barely feel it sitting in your hand. It was given to me by my kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Baldridge. She had cancer, and right after school was over, she passed away. You don’t remember a ton of details when you are of that age, but I remember the warmth of Mrs. Baldridge. I remember her glasses and her smile. I remember the love she had for all of her students. This little guy sits in the top center of our tree every year.
This is another special one, especially this year. I got this the year we got Charlie the cat…the absolute sweetest cat on the planet. My husband is quite allergic to him, so my parents loved and nurtured him over the years. He died this year after a very full 17 year life. I miss that sweet boy.
We obtained a lot of ornaments when we lived in Japan. These are a few of my favorites. In fact, the one on the end was given to me by one of my previous students.
Believe me, I know the first one is ugly. But I made it myself, and I’m proud of its ugliness! I went to a workshop once and everyone made these out of little gourds from my little beloved island of Okinawa. The second one I made as well. In fact, all of my students made them that year. It was a simple glass ornament covered in washi paper, Japanese paper used for origami.
Of course, you HAVE to get an ornament from Disney World. The one on the left is from Tokyo Disney and on the right is from Disney World in Florida. We plan on going to Euro Disney while we’re stationed here in Europe, so we’ll add that to the collection!
Piper from Scotland Yes, that is says LA PUSH. Coiled sweetgrass from Charleston
Neuschwanstein Castle The Biltmore in Asheville, NC Jamestown, VA