Can you believe it? Were less than a week away from Christmas. Has that reality sunken in for you yet? It hasn’t for me. Not one bit. I am relatively convinced that I will wake up at any point in time in 2017 and have a major dose of déjà vu. Meanwhile, I am enjoying a tiny bit of my sleepless nights while everyone is asleep because so far this year, this is proving to be the only time I can sit down long enough to write anything. I appreciate these festive post opportunities because they do not require anything more than for me to share the season I love most!
Today I am linking up with Emily to share my favorite ornaments. I have been collecting my ornaments technically since I was a kid, but it mainly began in my early twenties while in college and still living at home. I picked up some beauties here and there after Christmas that I still feel were major wins and held on to them for the “when” opportunity. Since then I started to pick up ornaments while I traveled the world as well as have been gifted many beautiful ones. I do not have an ornament for every place I have traveled as I initially thought I’d procure magnets as souvenirs. But, I have many and plenty and I can honestly say that I love decorating my old familiar tree by myself because I do (in fact) remember each and every ornament - where I bought it or who gave it to me. As I hang each ornament I have small moments of memories, sentiments, and reflections. Each ornament fills a tiny fragment of my life. It’s pretty special if you ask me.
I definitely have more ornaments than I can list and I have more favorites than I can list. Some of my top favorites are:
1) This little jingle bell cluster is one of many that I purchased many decades ago from Bath and Body Works when I still lived at home with my parents while I was in college. I have a bunch in pink, red, and silver and in clusters like these or round balls. They jingle when they’re moved. I have always loved them and bought them on clearance to save for when I had a place of my own in the year(s) to follow. They remind me of living at home, the smells of my step mom cooking delicious dinners, and the sound of my dad watching the news or Dateline type of stuff. I often wish I could go back and relive all of my childhood with more awareness to cherish the moments more.
2) The ornaments of my boys. All of them. I miss my precious angels, Romeo & Beckett, every day. Now I have an ornament of Lorenzo and of Prince (not in this photo) on the tree as well.
3) London, Scotland, and Ireland - a memorable trip in every way possible. Friendship, laughter, jelly beans, and some seriously great food.
4) Annalee mouse(s) - creepy little things yet so cute. I grew up with this brand of animals/dolls on display at my parents’ flower shop and once I started noticing them at Marshall’s/TJ Maxx, my sister and I started buying some for us and my brother to continue on this holiday spirit. Every time I see them I think of my family and our flower shop.
4) I found a little felt mouse on a trip to Round Top - just so cute and sweet and then was given another one later on. I don’t know why I love this little guy so much but thoughtfulness means everything to me.
5) This little felt girl from Romania - a trip to Turkey and Romania with so many memories, even more laughter, and experiences with friends that I will forever cherish as well.
6) My ornament of Mammaw and I - because Mammaw is an angel on Earth and I cherished that Christmas in 2016 that I got to spend in Knoxville with my family during a tough time in my life and my sister and I went to Christmas Eve service with Mammaw. It was so special to me.
7) This little hedgehog ornament - not only because I love hedgehogs SO much but because my sister remembers that and gave this to me. It makes me smile because she’s always finding hedgehog things for me and last year I found matching Christmas hedgehog nightgowns for her and I. ;)))
8) My Vail ornament from 2014 - It’s hand painted and came in a tiny wooden crate. I keep it wrapped and in it’s crate because it is special to me. It reminds me of a time of life that I took a leap of faith and I hold that very dear to my heart.
9) The Dutch windmill - this is something very special to me because it represents my first trip to Europe in 2012 when I went to France and The Netherlands. That was a year of wild changes for me, a second chance at life, discovering myself, life, and my faith in God. I count my blessings every time I think about that year. God is so good.
10) My newest ornament about this year (the back has a photo from our wedding too) - This is our little family and I am so appreciative. I wanted to capture it in time by making an ornament. We never know what tomorrow holds which is the best thing about pictures, it captures a moment forever. From top right clockwise - Lorenzo, Prince, the hubs and I meeting Lorenzo for the first time, and our first family photo together. =)))) We’ll be forever grateful to our friend, Paige, for picking out and giving us this little angel. He is the highlight of my day, every day.
I am sure I could go on and on about ornaments on my tree that I’ve acquired or been gifted through the years. I have so many! I decorate with the meaningful ones first and then the fillers. I remember when and where and why I bought the fillers too! Apparently I spend too much brain power storing these memories but I truly love and cherish decorating the Christmas tree every year and reminiscing fondly about who gave me each one or the time of life I was in.
What are some of your favorite ornaments? Do you decorate your Christmas tree alone too or do you prefer help? It’s so fascinating how different everyone and his/her customs are! Either which way you celebrate and decorate, our good Lord being born to save us all from our(selves) sin is the most glorious thing of all and there is simply NO ornament to capture that.
Wishing you all a wonderful weekend ahead!