Due to my severe lack of decor skills and extreme traditionalism, I don’t do artsy Christmas trees. I do old-school, family ornaments and heirloom bulbs. I don’t use deco mesh on my tree (partly because I can’t seem to use it out without crying at some point), and there’s no creative theme – just traditional Christmas.
You might think that’s boring, but I don’t care. I love looking at my tree because I love the ornaments I see when I walk by the tree. Almost every single ornament has a memory attached to it – my tree is trimmed with meaning.
Three or four years ago, my besties and I decided to start giving each other ornaments for Christmas each year. I don’t remember why we stopped but we did make it two years, and in those two years I received some of my most favorite ornaments. I want to show you two of them:
Kristin (Mrs. Fincher) gave me this Texas Lone Star ornament when I first moved to Arkansas in the fall of 2009. She didn’t want me to forget my Texas roots (not that I ever would). I always place this one high and prominently on our tree. (The little teddy bear ornament in the top right of this photo is Michael’s “baby’s first christmas” ornament from 1984. So precious.)
Susanna (Mrs. Christensen) gave me this NEW HOME 2011 ornament last year when Michael and I closed on our new house. We closed on our house in December, so a Christmas-themed new home ornament was just so perfect for us and it meant so much to me. It still does, and it’s front and center on my tree. (On the bottom right, you can see the top of Michael and I’s “Our First Christmas 2008” crystal wedding ornament; it was given to us by his Grandma Irvin. It sparkles so beautifully in the tree.)
Kristin and Sue have given me other great ornaments too – including one Sue gave me with a picture of the three of us together at Sue’s first-ever fashion show. It’s not only a picture of my best friends, but it’s a photo from a very special day.
That is why I think an ORNAMENT GIFT EXCHANGE is a great gift idea for friends to do at Christmas time–or families could do it as stocking stuffers. Gifts with meaning are always the best anyway.
My husband and I also have an ornament tradition – we always buy an ornament from places we’ve traveled together. Starting on our honeymoon, we bought this Hawaiian-shirted Santa chilling in a hammock. It is the first ornament we ever purchased together. We went to The Big Island and stayed in the amazing Waikoloa region. It was a trip of a lifetime and we are so glad we thought to get this adorable ornament to remember that trip every year at Christmas time.
This past February, we went to Whistler, British Columbia for a week of skiing. It turned out to be one of the most amazing vacations we’ve ever taken. We got an ornament. This time, instead of putting it on the tree. I put it on the bookshelf with two framed pictures from that trip – to try and Christmas-up that shelf. It will eventually make it onto our Christmas tree.
I also love this puppy ornament of my doggie (among so many other special ornaments we have hung this year):
PS: Susanna posted about making your own Christmas towel last week, so I wanted to show off the one she made me last year. See how cute they are?! Mine is proudly displayed (not used) in the kitchen.