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Collecting Christmas Tree Ornaments Adds Joy to the Season

Updated on December 18, 2017
Karen Hellier profile image

Karen Hellier is a freelance writer and eBay entrepreneur. She lives happily in the mountains of North Georgia with her husband and her dog.

A Christmas tree ornament from one of our favorite local towns, with a lighthouse, one of my husband's favorite things!
A Christmas tree ornament from one of our favorite local towns, with a lighthouse, one of my husband's favorite things! | Source

Collecting Ornaments All Year Long

Christmas is a special time of year for my husband and I. We love the true meaning of Christmas...the birth of God's son, come to live on earth for man's sins in the form of a tiny baby. We love the music, the scriptures, the baking, well, actually he likes to eat what I bake! We love the excitement in the air, the decorations, the reds and greens, lights on the homes in our neighborhood, going to church together and singing Christmas hymns, etc. But one of the most special treats for us at Christmas is when we get the tree, and pull out the Christmas tree ornaments.

This is not the first marriage for either of us, but when we got together, we were determined to make the most of the experiences we can share. One way to do this was to collect Christmas tree ornaments. We love to travel so often when we travel; we make a point of purchasing an ornament from wherever we go. We also have other ornaments that we have purchased for each other that remind us of special moments.

Each year as we pull them out of the boxes, we ooooh and ah over the memories they bring back.Well, it's probably me doing most of the sound effects, but the smile on his face lets me know he enjoys our Christmas tree ornament collection as much as I do. Over the past eight years we have collected ornaments from places as far away from Connecticut as Amsterdam, Holland, Victoria, British Columbia, and the islands of Bermuda and St. Maarten in the Caribbean.

We have purchased ornaments in Arizona on our trip to the Grand Canyon, and Boston to commemorate our first Christmas as a couple when we went to hear the Boston Pops Christmas concert. We have a special ornament that I purchased for him when his aunt passed away. There is a poem on it about how she's celebrating Christmas in Heaven, and how he should not feel sad. Each year it tugs at his heart, and he will tell me a story about something cute or funny that she did. We have an ornament from our favorite bed and breakfast, "The Rabbit Hill Inn in Vermont" which we visited for the first time this past year. But it was so special and so romantic, we know we will be back. Since we love Vermont so much, we also have a miniature covered bridge that says Vermont on it, just to remind us to go back and visit. We have an ornament from one of our favorite restaurants, "The Cracker Barrel Restaurant." It is a miniature version of the outside of the restaurant itself. We have a miniature frame that holds a picture of us on a cruise with the captain of our ship on a formal night. It reminds us of all the cruises we have taken and how much we love to cruise. We even have an ornament from a Christmas shop in a neighboring seaside town in which we have spent many enjoyable hours. It's complete with a lighthouse on it because my husband loves lighthouses.

All of our experiences come flooding back to us each December when we pull these special mementos out of their boxes and wrapping paper, and place them on our tree. In this way, the Christmas tree bonds us together not only as a joint way of celebrating Christmas in our home but also reminding us of our shared life and adventures together through these special ornaments that we collect all year long.

Family Ornaments

For families, Christmas tree ornaments can bring back memories for all family members. Ornaments can be purchased from family vacations and added to the tree each year. They can accompany grown children to a new home when they get married, or to a first apartment so they can decorate their own Christmas trees and not have bare branches.

My mother started an ornament collection for my brother and me when we were children, and she added to it each year until we were well into adulthood. I grew up in the 1960s and back then we had an Elf on the Shelf on our Christmas tree every year, but we didn't call him that. I still have one today, and he is extra special because he reminds me of my childhood. We put ours on our tree though, not on a shelf! On my first Christmas in my own apartment, I was grateful to have these special ornaments my mom had so carefully collected and stored for me.

I did the same for my children, and have them put away for when they are ready to branch out on their own. My daughter will always have the Elvis Presley figurine from her Elvis days at ten years old, and her cross country runner from her days on the middle and high school cross country teams. Her sister will always have the girl on horseback ornament to remind her of her love of horses and the many hours she spent taking lessons. She will also have the flute ornament to remind her of her flute lessons in grammar school. And my son will always have the skateboard with holly on it to remind him of his days spent skateboarding with friends, as well as the Dunkin Donuts ornament to remind him of one of his favorite part-time jobs as a teen.

Ornaments for Couples

Newlyweds treasure gifts of 'Our First Christmas Together" ornaments. These make a special wedding or shower gift. They will also treasure as well those brought from home when they were growing up. On the other side of the spectrum, when grown children move away, Mom and Dad will probably still have their own special tree for their home. Collecting Christmas Tree ornaments over the years that are special between them add to their enjoyment of the holiday. They can also renew precious memories of their own interests and travels. Collecting ornaments as a couple can also make sure Mom and Dad's tree is not bare when all the kids' ornaments are passed along.

Whether a family consists of parents and children, or just an adult couple, collecting Christmas tree ornaments can add to everyone's enjoyment and memories of holidays and special experiences of the past. Start now so your family can enjoy this year's special times during this year's Christmas season!

Christmas in Heaven poem ornament
Christmas in Heaven poem ornament | Source
Our most recently purchased Christmas tree ornament from a trip to Amsterdam Holland last month!
Our most recently purchased Christmas tree ornament from a trip to Amsterdam Holland last month! | Source
Our Cracker Barrel Christmas tree ornament.
Our Cracker Barrel Christmas tree ornament. | Source
An ornament from one of our favorite cities to visit, nearby Newport, R.I.
An ornament from one of our favorite cities to visit, nearby Newport, R.I. | Source
Cowboy boot ornament from a trip to Arizona.
Cowboy boot ornament from a trip to Arizona. | Source
Vermont Covered bridge Christmas Tree ornament
Vermont Covered bridge Christmas Tree ornament | Source
A bell ornament from our first Boston Pops Christmas concert in Boston, Massacusetts
A bell ornament from our first Boston Pops Christmas concert in Boston, Massacusetts | Source

Christmas Tree Ornaments

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© 2013 Karen Hellier


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