When the time came to pull out our tree to decorate this year, Matt grumbled a little (as usual) as I rushed to get my favorite Christmas station on Pandora. I’ve long since accepted that Christmas decorating is not my spouse’s favorite way to spend his free holiday time, but he helps me out anyway, which I heartily appreciate.
As we unpacked the ornaments (some of which I’ve had since I was a baby), each brought back fond memories of Christmases past and of the love of family members and friends.
It’s gotten to the point where each and every ornament reminds us of something—whether it’s my brother-in-law Peter, who brought Matt back a frog coin purse (that was once living!) from the Philippines, or my days back in Primary at church, where my name was emblazoned on a golden star that hung on my mom’s Christmas tree for years.
A large collection of my ornaments reminds me of the various places I’ve been able to travel to. When I was younger, I would always collect t-shirts or other items of clothing from the places I visited: Ohio, Oregon, Florida, Colorado. However, it didn’t take me long to discover that I often outgrew the cheap cotton t-shirts, or I no longer actually wore those particular articles of clothing.
So, when I was 18, I decided to adopt an idea I got from my mom:
Instead of collecting random souvenirs that would just collect dust or clothes I would outgrow, I would buy a Christmas ornament from every place I visited. I started with the trip to Europe I took back in 2005, and I’ve been collecting ornaments (or small items that could work as ornaments) from each place I’ve visited ever since.
It makes the unpacking of the Christmas decorations that much more special because it reminds me of how lucky I’ve been to see as much of the world as I have (plus it brings up happy memories).
My other ornaments also bring up happy thoughts: the matching china pieces and gold and silver balls were a wedding gift from my mother, and the various collectible Hallmark ornaments have been given to me each year from my dad since he started working as a calligrapher for Hallmark seven or eight years ago.
Where have most of your ornaments come from? Do you have a particular collection?