Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Hanging Memories on the Christmas Tree


I mentioned in a recent post that our family has not been home for Christmas since 2003.

It was wonderful to have our small family ( just 4 of us ) together skiing in Lake Tahoe, Mammoth or Santa Fe.

Last year we went to Kauai and flew home on Christmas night.

With no small children, family vacations make for great Christmas memories, but I didn't realize how much I love Christmas until I began decorating this year.


Even though we were going away, I always decorated a little, but for 10 years, there was no Christmas tree and the ornaments sat forgotten in the attic.


 As I gathered ornaments together for the tree, I realized that they were not just ornaments, but memories.


If I was going to start fresh with tree ornaments, I would go out and buy more of these glass balls I recently purchased at the Restoration Hardware outlet.


Or, more metal pieces like this wonderful star I found at a cute boutique on Main Street.


While decorating the tree yesterday, I was glad that KC was in the kitchen baking and Steve was putting up the lights because tears came to my eyes frequently.


My ornaments are old and out of fashion, but they bring to mind so many Christmases and people who are no longer in our lives.


For several years I was into little wooden ornaments - the clown and boat are handmade and purchased by my father at a neighborhood Christmas boutique.


We are a family of tennis players so my mother had one of her friends make me the tennis racket themed ornaments.


I made many cloth ornaments in the 80s - the wreath evoked sweet memories because it was made by a very special friend who was not known for being creative.


I made the stocking on the left in a pottery class 35 years ago and the stained glass stocking was a gift from a student (who is no longer living ) in my very first pre-school class.


I bought this ornament on a 3 generational family vacation to visit relatives in Norway.


My college roommate and her family came to visit for Christmas one year and brought these "cook" ornaments (our last name is Cook).


For years I collected rocking horses (one of the collections I gave away when we downsized) and my mother always found rocking horses for the tree.


I remember buying these cat ornaments when we had our cats Eddie and Sadie because they reflected each cat's personality.


After decorating the tree, I realized that as beautiful as the glass balls and metal star are, they hold no memories for me or my family.


They might be old and outdated, but I am loving looking at all the memories hanging on our Christmas tree.

I have some free time today so I might just head to my creative space (the garage) and create some more memories of Christmas 2013 to hang on the tree.

. . . . . . . . . . . . .

Join me at these parties

Must Love Junk  - Creating Christmas 

Knick of Time - Vintage Inspiration Party

Our Home Away From Home - Tuesdays At Our Home

Elizabeth and Co. - Be Inspired

Cozy Little House - Tweak It Tuesday

Kathe With An E - You're Gonna Love It

43 comments:

greenthumb said...

I'm like you I just love my old decorations.

fiona anderson said...

Wooden, fabric and metal decorations are my favourite, so it was lovely to look at yours and read about your memories of them.

The Quintessential Magpie said...

They are precious! They are not outdated because they are meaningful AND cute! Where do I start? That tin bucket that is the tree stand, the wood bead garland (I have some with kitties from years ago that I still adore), the wooden figures, every ornament... You rock my Christmas world!

xo

Sheila

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

I know exactly what you mean about certain objects. You hold them in your hand and suddenly, a vivid memory crops us, and puts you in tears.

I wish I had the old vintage glass balls my mother had; you may remember those type, in the old carton box with the dividers, and they came in blue and pink. I did however, get a waft of a real pine Christmas tree the other day in a shop and it brought me to tears. It's been since my childhood that I've had a real tree, and the moment I smelled that perfume, I was 7 years old again, hearing my mother calling me.

Fabulous ornaments covered in the patina of YOUR life. Have another super day dearest Carol! Anita

Deb @ Frugal Little Bungalow said...

These are adorable and much more fun to view than glass ornaments...Hard to pick a favorite but I think that little boat is mine. Too cute! :)

Diane said...

Carol - I totally understand your love of all of these precious ornaments (and memories!). We usually have two large trees - one pretty and the other one a memory tree. This year, I am just putting up one small tree - my family is not getting together to celebrate Christmas, until after the big day this year. It is the first time ever, but I am grateful that we still are able to work it out. Hope you have a fabulous Christmas!!

NanaDiana said...

Oh- I know the feeling. Last year when I had all four kids here I pulled out all of our old family ornaments and the kids went one after the other and picked out ornaments that meant something to them. There was not an ornament left after they finished. I did the same with my LARGE Santa collection. It is fun now to go to the kids' homes and see the things worked into their decor. There are wonderful memories attached and I LOVE how special yours are to you after being in hiding for so many years- xo Diana

Linda said...

Thanks for sharing your lovely ornaments along with the story of each one.
Like Anita above, I still hold on to the special ones that came in a cardboard
box with dividers. It's a shame we don't have them out of the box more often.
I say your ornaments are in style Enjoy your day.

Beth Edwards said...

i love the star & the silverware ornaments ... great fun!! ( :
several remind me of my mothers Christmas ornaments. too fuN!!

Susie said...

Oh honey, I cried for two days after putting the ornaments on my tree...and thought "what's wrong with me?" ...then I realized I had looked each special ornament as I hung them and it made me nostalgic for Christmases past. I am so happy for you to have beautiful memories. Plus your daughter's there with you ...to hug . xoxo,Susie

podso said...

I could have written this post! Our tree is full of similar memories and in many of those "categories." I saw that stuffed fabric candy cane--we may have used the same pattern. I made my cloth ornaments in the late 70s though. And then I crocheted some, and then we were into painting little wood ornaments … the dearest at the clothespin ones from Africa. Maybe I should do a repost of that one! You got me started down memory lane. And of course there are the gifted ones from special people. Great post!

Junkchiccottage said...

Too sweet Carol. What a great Christmas tree. I bet it brings a smile to your heart every time you look at it . So cute. I love all your sweet memory ornaments.
Kris

Betsy@ coastal-colors said...

This is such a sweet post! I love the stories about your ornaments! So true that Christmas is about family, friends and memories. Thank you for sharing your lovely ornaments!

Vickie @ Ranger 911 said...

I divided up the ornaments we bought each year for our girls, but I kept a few special ornaments that they made in school. My favorites are the ones with their school photos glued on the front. I thing of beauty no glitzy new ornament can rival! Your stories about your ornaments are wonderful, Carol.

Sherry at The Rusty Pearl said...

I love that y'all get to travel for christmas. I agree it makes for some awesome memories. I too love the decorations that you have and the beautiful ornaments. SUPER cute.

Claudia E said...

Thanks for sharing your memories with us. I love Christmas and everything about it. Your home always looks so beautiful!

must love junk said...

That's so sweet that your ornaments hold special memories! I love your metal star.
Susan

bobbie said...

Most of the holiday stuff I put out is from my childhood, with many memories behind them ~ talk about warm fuzzies!!

Lorrie said...

A poignant post, full of love and memories. I also think of times past as I decorate the tree with ornaments from years gone by. It's a lovely time.

Mary@mydogsmygardenandmary said...

Oh Carol, how special your ornaments are. I incorporated some of my special ornaments into my tree from my son and granddaughter. When putting them up I though about the Christmas they were given to me - such wonderful memories. Yours are beautiful and have such special meanings to you.
Mary

Poppy said...

Carol, isn't it interesting that your colours have remained intact over 10 years?! I also collected wooden ornaments like the rocking horses you have, as well as little soldiers. I don't believe that ones own ornaments go out of style, unless they, themselves, are done with them for whatever reason. I have had mine for over 25 years, and some for as old as I am, (double that last number!), which belonged to my parents and since Christmas is always spent at my sister's in Toronto, my mom gave half to her and half to me, the latter, obviously will be passed down to my daughter, and so on...!

How lovely that KC was baking while you were decorating! I can imagine the scents in your house that day, of sweetness and perhaps pine or cinnamon from the tree and candles.

Thanks for sharing all the lovely memories, something I know A LOT about!!

xo
Poppy

Daniela @Frugal Aint Cheap said...

the best part are always the memories...always. Love the wooden ornaments collection

Down by the sea said...

Your memory ornaments are so lovely for the stories they tell.Ten years seem such a time since they made a reappearance. It must have been wonderful greeting old friends, with more time on your hands to enjoy the pleasure of decorating your tree.
Sarah x

Beverly said...

I love all your special and memory filled ornaments. I am sentimental about my Christmas decorations, too.

Thank you for visiting day one of my holiday home tour. Day two is now posted, and I hope you can come by again and for the remainder of the tour days.

cynthia lee designs said...

I'm like you...I have many memories on my tree too. I have a tiny bible that my grandma gave me when I was 5 years old. I have a manager ornament that my oldest daughter painted when she was in school. I have a paper candy cane that my granddaughter made. Yep...I have Christmas memories out all around my home this year.
Hugs,
Cindy

Dawn said...

I love every inch of your tree:) and the memories are to be cherished.

Renee said...

No, never your ornaments are not out of date and old. They are memories and memories are never outdated. I have a big tree in the living room that is just an accumulation of what I have collected through the years. I have one of the first ornaments hubby and I ever bought for a tree :) I have some wooden ornaments, some country looking, some angels I made from crochet thread and some things I cross stitched. I have a taped together gingerbread man my daughter made in school. I love your tree of memories. And love that type of tree. Loved this post.

Prince Snow Farm said...

Carol, I can feel the joy unfolding in your house! Every nook and cranny is filled with a happy memory, a cheerful tuck of color, a comfort, a sign of the season. I thoroughly feel your spirit as you deck your halls for a holiday at home this year! Thanks for sharing it with us!

Linda @ A La Carte said...

I have always said my Christmas tree is decorated in 'memories'. I haven't used any of my old ornaments this year but hope to have a bigger tree next year with all of them on it. Looking at your old ornaments brought back memories for me too...wooden toy ornaments, cloth one's from the 80's and rocking horses I collected and gave most away also. Such memories. Thanks for sharing yours with me!

Linda

My Little Home and Garden said...

It's wonderful that small treasure can bring back happy memories of those who have been dear to us.

The Polka Dot Closet said...

OMG, unpacking all of your ornaments after 10 years must have been like Christmas (Couldn't resist lol!) What great ornaments....Yep they say "There's no place like home for the holidays"

Carol

Kathy said...

What a sweet post and there goes that magic attic of yours again!

Sarah said...

Carol, our Christmas ornaments are ones full of memories as well. I don't put them all on the tree anymore because we now put up a smaller tree. After I decorated out tree for this year, I decided to offer many of the ornaments that were left int he boxes to my nieces. All the wooden, cloth, and otherwise child friendly ornaments will be perfect for my niece with a preschool child and a baby on the way. The glass ones will possibly find a home with my other niece. It's time to let someone else begin making memories with these ornaments. I've still plenty of sweet memories hanging on the tree. '-)

Melanie said...

I loved this post...reading all your memories behind each ornament; who they were from, who made them, what the significance was. Anyone can walk into a store and buy a cute ornament, but I think the "old" ones - the ones with a history and a story - are the most beautiful of all. I especially love all your little wooden ornaments - I've always been drawn to those. I have a couple from the early 80's...pretty soon they'll be vintage!

Doreen@househoneys said...

I know exactly how you must have felt Carol. I love my old ornaments and the sweet memories they evoke. Your ornaments are lovely, and your tree is perfect!

lynn said...

i agree, carol:) while my tree changes each year, my mom's tree is loaded with all of the childhood and adult favorite ornaments that bring back special memories. very charming tree:)

Debbie Lynne Malison said...

I love that you are enjoying those memories. That's what it's all about to me, the memories of everything you take out, who you received them from, where you were when you bought or made them. It will be a wonderful Christmas for you!

Mimi Sue said...

I have the same Christmas tree! Only mine is my familie's memories. It may not be the latest thing, but I love taking out each ornament and remember. I get a little misty too. Mimi

Betty W said...

Your tree and ornaments look so pretty. I know what you mean about memories. Over the years I have had different themes. One year the tree was all white or angels or white and gold. Many years it was all handmade ornaments from the kids and friends. Those were the best trees because of all the memories attached to them.

Magali@TheLittleWhiteHouse said...

I love how each ornament is a memory!

Stacy @ Sweethearts + Sweet Tarts said...

I think old and out dated ornaments are the best. And it really adds a lot of originality to a tree.

Donna Wilkes said...

We do look at all the ornaments and what the history behind them is - at least what we remember. Sometimes there might be a disagreement, but we settle it graciously. There is a tiny Styrofoam cupcake ornament that both my brother and I claim we made in kindergarten.

Laurel Stephens said...

It takes a lifetime to build a tree like yours... so touching.