Ornaments and Memories

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It seems I have said this to so many people lately but Christmas is such an emotional time for me. Maybe it is you too. While there is some sadness in the midst of the memories, there is far more joy and smiles as I look upon our Christmas tree.

As the ornaments are taking their positions on the tree, we talk about them. Our boys ask questions and we go back…waaaaay back! The memories that come back to me are so vivid! It’s as though they happened just hours before. I am amazed that an ornament can do that to my heart!

I look at the very first ornament Paul and I had as a married couple. It takes me back to that Christmas in 1998. Then, there is also that “Expecting” ornament we purchased that same Christmas since we just weeks pregnant. All in our very first Christmas.

Christmas Ornament

I see Caleb’s little face staring back at me in between the glisten of the bulb. His day care made that ornament for us when he was just 11 months old. That was a tough year for us as we were transitioning to a new city, I had a new job, and we were struggling with my dad’s hospitalization and not having him home for Christmas. Little did we know that was his very last.

Then, to mourn dad’s passing, the following year I bought myself the “Comfort” Willow Tree ornament.

Christmas ornament 2

Of course, we had a lot of celebrating to do with Andon’s first Christmas. After he faced his health ordeal, he was fully recovered from his kidney surgery just months before. That, indeed was an ornament no one in our family will never forget.

We also do the annual ornament as a family with all of our names. It is so weird too but I can almost describe the day we purchased each one. I know that may sound crazy, but that is the memory I have when I look up at each ornament.

My fondest holiday memories are the ones that are shown on the tree. Each ornament means something to us – they tell the story of our family, our joys and tears. They are our memories all wrapped up in the glitter and glass of a tiny decoration.

Target is the sponsor of this post. The thoughts and memories are all ME! For lots of fun festive stuff – including a gift finder gizmo and the chance to win a $500 Target gift card – check out Happy Holiday Help on DivineCaroline.

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Please leave me a comment and tell me about one of your ornaments. Why is it so special to you? Your comment will enter you in for a chance to win a $50 Target Gift Card!

I will close the entries for the giveaway on Saturday @ Noon. I will contact the winner directly and update the Giveaway Page with the winners name. Please visit Mommy Snacks.net to leave a comment for an entry.

by Savings Lifestyle: Andrea on December 16, 2009

43 Comments

  • Chelle - December 16, 2009 @ 8:22 am
    1

    the ornaments that are most special to me are the ones my children have hand made since preschool. my parents still hang ornaments that my siblings and I made when we were that age. :) I still love seeing them almost 30 yrs later! lol :)

  • Emily - December 16, 2009 @ 8:47 am
    2

    Growing up my mom always had fancy bulb-style ornaments on our tree to signify each of her babies’ first Christmases. Now that I have children I have tried to continue this tradition, but they are so hard to find! I have managed to find them at Macys for my two children but I hope I can find one next Christmas for our third child. I know it doesn’t seem like a big deal, but they’re ornaments each of us treasure to this day and I want to do the same for my kids as well.

  • Kaycee - December 16, 2009 @ 9:03 am
    3

    My parents gave me an ornament every year growing up (my brothers too) that was something special we did that year, our favorite thing of the year, etc. I treasure all of them and am doing the same for my daughter. I think my current favorite is the one my husband and I bought the year we were expecting our daughter – just a sweet little family one that reminds me of that time of wonder and excitement. :)

  • Kelly Perry - December 16, 2009 @ 9:13 am
    4

    i love the oldies the best-the handmade ones from when we were in grad school and had no money for decorations-jinglebells tied with a red ribbon, etc.

  • Esther - December 16, 2009 @ 9:18 am
    5

    My husband and I inherited some old ornaments from my grandmother’s Christmas tree. One that I especially love is a glass ornament with a tiny sailboat inside. My grandfather used to own a sail boat, so it brings back happy memories of sailing with him on Lake Monroe as a young girl.

  • dianna - December 16, 2009 @ 9:25 am
    6

    I have an ornament on my tree that represents good and bad memories. My mother-to-be ornament. I had several miscarriages prior to my first son Drew being born. I wasn’t sure I could have children. I was so excited to be able to put a mother-to-be ornament on my tree in 1999 and he was born the weekend before Mothers day in 2000. I love how my Christmas tree is full of so many wonderful memories!

  • Jayme - December 16, 2009 @ 10:05 am
    7

    My favorite ornament is one with all of our names on it. It is from the first Christmas that we celebrated with my husband’s son. Long story short is that after he was born his mother refused to let my husband see his son for 5 years until child services showed up at our door saying that he had been taken into the state’s custody because his mother was physically abusive to him. We got full custody of him in November and it was the most memorable Christmas ever!

  • Angel - December 16, 2009 @ 10:11 am
    8

    So many are so special. Each of my children’s firsts. The ones of special vacations over the years. My favorite are the ones with pictures of my children through the years.

  • Shawna Lee - December 16, 2009 @ 10:18 am
    9

    My favorite ornament is my daughter’s first Christmas ornament. There is a spot for a photo. It was 11pm on Christmas day before we remembered to take a photo to put in the ornament, after bringing her home from the hospital, dealing with latch issues, and being all alone with a newborn. I will never forget rushing my husband to take our first Christmas picture of our sweet little present.

  • Mandy - December 16, 2009 @ 10:26 am
    10

    I think probably the most treasured ornament on my tree each year is the one that says “First Christmas Together 2002.” You see, we were married in 1996, and divorced shortly thereafter. We remarried in 2002. Seeing that ornament each year reminds me of just how blessed we are to have been given a second chance to get this right! I am so thankful for that every day, and this ornament represents our miraculous reunion!

  • Melissa Nesdahl - December 16, 2009 @ 10:36 am
    11

    I have many special ornaments because my grandma has had a tradition since I was a baby to get me an ornament each year that fits something special about our year. And, when we added kids more special ones came. But, one that struck me this year was a Hallmark House from 2002. That was the year my husband and I bought our first home. It was, outside of marriage, our first big transition. This year the significance of that major event really struck me as it went from a home to be filled to one that now houses two rampbunction kids that fill it with their things. Life is interesting llike that.

  • natalyn - December 16, 2009 @ 11:02 am
    12

    I made ornaments for the first time this year, working with materials I had never used before. I made a mixed-media collaged cross, and I love it!

  • Chrisitna - December 16, 2009 @ 11:17 am
    13

    My favorite ornament is the paper stocking ornament that my son made in preschool this year. It seems so silly but it’s his first “made all by himself” ornament. It shows me how much he’s grown, so fast! And I just look at it and can’t wait to see our tree filled with his ornaments from school! I’m so proud of him! :)

  • Monica Brown - December 16, 2009 @ 12:53 pm
    14

    My favorite ornament is one that I received from Mercy Hospital with my daughters newborn picture on it. She was one of the first babies born there and they had a big celebration where we received the ornaments. It is so special to me because I was young and didn’t have any money for newborn pictures, so that is the only one I have and it means so much to me!

  • Whitney - December 16, 2009 @ 12:59 pm
    15

    Our home burned in November of 2002. Like you, we always bought an new ornament every year. I had already bought that years ornament and it was sitting on our kitchen counter waiting for the tree to go up. There were two things in our kitchen to survive that fire- my mother’s iron skillets and that ornament. I have no idea how the ornament made it through, but I will say that I know Someone was watching over us.

    What did the ornament say? It says “2002 Christmas is Love” and I will forever cherish it.

  • Tanya - December 16, 2009 @ 1:55 pm
    16

    One of my favorite (I have many) is a clay ornament my mom got for me 5 years ago. She had been begging for a grandchild for years. September 2004 I was so excited to tell her I was pregnant. In October she went out and bought this clay ornament of a pregnant lady. Sadly, I had a miscarriage November 12 at 10 weeks. Mom put off giving it to me until the next Christmas. I was 34 weeks pregnant that Christmas. I know it’s not necessarily a good memory, but it has made me the mom I am today. Every time I begin to feel overwhelmed with all the stress that comes along with the holidays I see that ornament and it reminds me that it is my family that is important to me. I cherish every single one of them, ones that are here with me and ones that have moved on.

  • Stephanie S - December 16, 2009 @ 2:16 pm
    17

    My favorite ornament would be the “two peas in a pod” given by my future sis-in-law for an engagement gift. That was our first ornament together. Now 18 years and 3 kids later our tree runneth over with keepsake ornaments :)

  • Dawn - December 16, 2009 @ 2:17 pm
    18

    My favorite probably isn’t really an ornament. It’s our tree topper. In 2nd or 3rd grade, my husband made an angel tree topper with his school picture for the face and a great big star behind silver-glittered wings. His family used it for years and we inherited it several years ago. I love it!

  • shelly - December 16, 2009 @ 2:45 pm
    19

    My favorite ornament is reminds me of my grandmother. It has my birthstone in it and she was always buying be things related.

  • Katie @ Frugal Femina - December 16, 2009 @ 3:23 pm
    20

    I actually don’t have any ornaments! We travel for holidays all the time, so I don’t usually do much at home. But your post reminded me that since I have a kiddo now, I need to start building our own traditions here. Want to make it extra special for him and Him. :-)

  • Carrie - December 16, 2009 @ 3:30 pm
    21

    My favorite ornament is the one I haven’t found yet. I’m looking for my baby’s first ornament. She’s 10 months old and I haven’t found the right one yet. Mom made/bought an ornament for us every year and when we got married, she gave them to us for our Christmas tree. I want to do the same for Liv.

  • jennifer - December 16, 2009 @ 3:42 pm
    22

    My favorite ornament is one my great grandmother gave me before she passed away. She actually made it– carved out of wood! It is Jesus in a manger, actually very beautiful, and it means so much to me because she made it and every year when we hang it up, we remember her!

  • Denise Wilson - December 16, 2009 @ 4:07 pm
    23

    I love my son’s Baby’s First Christmas ornament. It is the cutest giraffe I have ever seen. And I have a huge giraffe collection that was passed down from my Grandma.

  • Jeaneane - December 16, 2009 @ 4:18 pm
    24

    I love the ones my kids have made as well as our glass pickle…Santa hides it on Christmas Eve and the first kid to find it gets to open the first present of the morning.

  • Cara Corbolotti - December 16, 2009 @ 4:30 pm
    25

    My parents gave me an ornament each year when I was growing up. When I decorate my tree I love to look at each ornament and reminisce about the particular year it was from. However, my favorite ornament is a pair of angel wings I had purchased in ’06 to give to my dear friend. I was never able to do so because she died of cancer that year. Each year when I place them on my tree I think of what a blessing she was in my life.

  • Hilary - December 16, 2009 @ 4:42 pm
    26

    my favorite ornament is the angel that sits above our tree. it is always the very last ornament to go up and represents to our family the very essence of the season.

  • Nicole McDonald - December 16, 2009 @ 5:04 pm
    27

    The first ornament my daughter picked out is so sweet. She was so proud of her ornament she picked and it was a special time for us.

  • Jessica Turner - December 16, 2009 @ 5:53 pm
    28

    I have a hallmark ornament of a rattle from the year I was born. It will always be my favorite. I will be blogging some of my fave ornaments soon I think – or at least putting them in my Dec Daily album! xo

  • Jlyne Hanback - December 16, 2009 @ 6:48 pm
    29

    One of my favorite ornaments is the one that is entitled: “Our New House 2005″. After losing our home in Biloxi in Hurricane Katrina, we moved to Frisco, TX and started anew. We were able to buy a home before Christmas, and found a special “new home” ornament with the year, so we always hang it at the very top of our tree as a reminder to us all that as a family, we are strong and will overcome difficulties, just as we did when losing our home. It will be forever special!

  • Mary Whitt - December 16, 2009 @ 8:10 pm
    30

    I was blessed to inherit my grandmother’s antique christmas ornaments. They are just ordinary glass ornaments, but so prescious to me. Every year as I decorate my tree with her ornaments, I think about my grandmother and all the memories we got to share before she died. I also use it as a time to reflect on life and if I’m going in a direction that would make her happy. She loved Christmas and I feel a part of her lives on every year as her ornaments shine from our Christmas tree.

  • Connie R. - December 16, 2009 @ 8:33 pm
    31

    Each Christmas we received an ornament as a table place setting for our Christmas meal. My favorite is a native American girl ornament. It was always such fun as a kid to place the ornaments from each year on the tree.

  • Mommy Daisy - December 16, 2009 @ 8:57 pm
    32

    My husband started a neat tradition each year when my son was a baby. He gets me a new “Mom” ornament from Hallmark and puts it in my stocking. It’s always fun to see what he got, and I love pulling out the old ornaments each Christmas.

  • Kristie - December 17, 2009 @ 7:02 am
    33

    I just read the story about your father’s passing. It’s way too early for me to cry 6:46 am! It’s very touching because it reminds me of my mother’s sudden passing in Nov 2007. I got to hold my mother’s hand as she went to be with the Lord. She had a kink in her bowels that lead to the bowel obstruction that they didn’t catch in time. In the hospital after 3 days the doctor told me Jesus Christ would have to walk in for her to be healed. I believe that the Lord can do ANYTHING! My husband said to me you need to ask your mom now about her salvation. I was like you, why me? I said to the nurse, I shouldn’t leave tonight should I and she said no. My mom hadn’t opened her eyes in probably a day or so and her organs where all failing. My dad went in and moved all the cords away and said Mary, I tried everything and I can’t help this time. She opened her eyes wide and shook her head yes, as to let him know it was okay. I asked her Mom, Do you believe Jesus died for our sins and accept him as your personal savior? She looked at me with her eyes just as big as shook her head yes. She closed her eyes and with in a few hours she was gone. My peace is knowing that she’s with the Lord.

  • liz - December 17, 2009 @ 8:31 am
    34

    My favorite ornament is of a little front door. It was given to my family when we were finally able to buy our first home. It always reminds me of how far we have come.

  • LaRona - December 17, 2009 @ 10:05 am
    35

    My favorite ornamet is a picture of my daughter when she was 4 years old. She is dressed as Mary, and one of her friends dress as Joseph. The photo is in a manger ornament. It is precious, and reminds me of Christmas when seh was little.

  • Linda S - December 17, 2009 @ 10:22 am
    36

    My favorite ornament is a pewter dove of peace that I received the first Christmas after my daddy passed away. We went to a memorial service that was sponsored by the Funeral Home who handled daddy’s service. After the candlelight service all families were invited to stop by the Funeral Home and remove our loved one’s ornament from the tree. I always lay that ornament aside when decorating the tree and after all of the hustle and bustle of decorating the tree is over I will silently and quietly place it on the tree then stand back and take a moment to reflect on the past year and on my daddy

  • Michelle - December 17, 2009 @ 1:31 pm
    37

    I have so many ornaments that mean so much. Our boys get a new one every time we go on vacation and I date them and they receive a new one every year that represents something that they were “into” that year…Thomas, Power Rangers, Buzz, etc. By the time they leave home, they will have quite the collection and it should be fun for them to look back at their childhood. However, I think the one that means the most to me is quite a goofy looking ornament. My mother and father-in-law both had open heart surgeries in 2003. My FIL’s was a week after my oldest was born in August and my MIL’s was two weeks before Christmas that year. She bought us wooden heart ornaments and wrote “From Our Hearts to Yours, Don’t By-Pass the Holidays” on the front and signed the back “We love you with all our HEARTS”. She was poking fun at the seriousness of it all but I think it was the only way we all made it through that 4 months. It is a dorky looking ornament but I am reminded every year that I hang that ornament how lucky we truly are and how much family means to us. I stop and say a brief prayer thanking God for all the gifts I have in my life and for giving us another Christmas together.

  • Esther L. - December 17, 2009 @ 8:07 pm
    38

    I have two very special ornaments. The first one is a Swarovski crystal star from the year we bought our house. It was such an extravagant purchase, but it’s wonderful to look at it each year and reminisce. The second is a hand carved wooden Nativity ornament. We always hang this on the front of the tree to help us remember the importance of the Christmas season. It’s always so enjoyable to unwrap the ornaments each year and take a walk down memory lane.

  • Ginny - December 18, 2009 @ 1:13 am
    39

    My Grandparents made me an ornament every year. Now that they’re no longer with us, they mean so much more.

  • Su - December 18, 2009 @ 2:32 pm
    40

    My favorite ornament is a real sand dollar that has a picture of a mouse wearing clothes and my name on it. My grandmother gave one to both my sister and me many years ago. It was to remind us of when we were little and my grandparents would rent a house at the beach and invite all their children and grandchildren to come for a vacation during the summer. Since we lived far from our cousins and even farther from the beach, this was the highlight of each year – two weeks to spend in paradise with the whole extended family. This ornament is so fragile – and I am so scared each year that it will break! At least I know that I will always remember the memories that the ornament represents.

  • Veronica - December 18, 2009 @ 2:56 pm
    41

    My favorite ornament is a homemade sock monkey ornament that I recieved from my mother. I love this ornament and since then I have gathered a collection of sock monkey merchandise. Recently, I have also become attached to the disney ornament I bought on my first trip to disney two years ago as it reminds me of a wonderful “magical” vacation.

  • DG - December 18, 2009 @ 11:17 pm
    42

    one of my favorite ornaments is this tiny porcelain ballerina in a velvet costume –it was the first ornament I ever hung up and she’s still beautiful many years later :)

  • Kimberli - December 19, 2009 @ 12:38 am
    43

    We do the same as you, a special ornament to mark special events that happened during the year – one for us as a family as well as one for our son.

    Buying the first one last year to symbolize being a family of 3 instead of just my husband and I is up there as my favorite, as well as the kidney ornament that my husband and I bought after I gave him a kidney in Nov of 2006. We had been married only 7 months -due to complications he had following surgery, we spent almost a month together living in the hospital, celebrating our first thanksgiving as a married couple there, as we both recovered from surgery! Just being able to finally go home and celebrate that Christmas together and hang that ornament on our first tree as a married couple, meant so much- we were home and on the way to being healthy!

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