Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Favorite Christmas Ornaments

There was no money for a Christmas tree and very little money for any decorations the first coupld of years AD and I were married. AD's Great Aunt Gladys, the one who started us on the Gumdrop Tree tradition, was very generous and let us borrow a white artificial tree that she had and some of her beautiful antique ornaments. The only stipulation was that we be very careful with the ornaments and return them to her right after Christmas.

Those old ornaments were so beautiful and delicate. We were always very careful with them and appreciated Aunt Gladys' generosity.

I crafted a few very primitive ornaments those first years and we gradually added a few purchased ornaments of our own each year. When Son was born several friends and relatives gave him his own first ornaments.

Each year we would buy Son and Daughter a new ornament of their very own. It was my intention that when they married they would at least have a few ornaments for their own trees.

Their ornaments were passed on to them even though I still miss having them on our tree. They hold so many memories.

Each of the ornaments that are on our tree now are special to me in one way or the other. These are just a few.

The tree top angel was made for me by the sister of a girl I worked with years ago. Our angel has held up well and although she may look new she is at least 27 years old, if she's a day.

That little red '57 corvette there - it was the first in a series of Hallmark ornaments. I bought it at a Hallmark sidewalk sale years ago because AD always dreamed of owning a 'vette. Being curious today I checked ebay and found the ornament going for anywhere between $10 and $100. I know I didn't pay more than a dollar or two for ours.

See the little spider with the golden legs hanging on the tree? A lovely lady that I knew years ago made it for me and when she gave it to me it came with a typewritten version of The Legend of the Christmas Spider. That lovely lady has since passed on and I treasure the spider more and more each year.

This Barbie ornament is fairly new. The Christmas after Elliott came to live with us he decided she didn't need one of her arms. She's now known as our Venus de Milo Barbie.

In each of these photos are also acrylic icicles. They are some of my favorite decorations of all.

Back in the day people decorated their trees with thin aluminum (?) icicles that generated a lot of static electricity. My mom would make us put them on our tree one icicle at a time and there were a LOT of them! After Christmas we had to take them down again, one at a time, and place them back over the piece of cardboard they came on. I did NOT like those icicles at all!

Up until a couple of years ago we had season passes to Silver Dollar City. One of the perks of the season pass was that if you visited a certain number of times each year you would receive a special ornament during the Christmas festival. This is one of many that we have. It's a replica of the Silver Dollar City candy store.

When I was little we had these little elf guys. Although this one is old - from the days when my kids were little - he is much newer than the ones from my childhood.

A few years ago the elves began being marketed as The Elf on the Shelf. You can read here about how one woman's family tradition led to the re-marketing.

One year after Christmas AD and I bought two plastic snowmen for our front yard. Son thinks they are cheesy, tacky things but I love them.

The year we first put them out Son made the comment that "those snowmen are as tacky as those awful plastic pink flamingos people put in their yards." And we were off. I bought him and his wife a pair of pink plastic flamingos when they bought their first home. He retaliated by presenting me with a pink flamingo something-or-other. I can't really remember what it was because we've gone back and forth on this flamingo thing for a long time now.

I have a number of pink flamingo items from the plastic yard versions to a pair of very comfy, warm Christmas socks. One of my friends got in on the act and has given me flamingo ornaments for my tree each year. This is one of several.

Glinda and the Wicked Witch of the West (now known as Elphaba) have been on our tree for a few years because I love The Wizard of Oz movie. This year Glinda and Elphaba are even more special to me because my friend, Kristin, her husband and I went to see Wicked in Tulsa. It was one of the highlights of my year.

The last decoration is not a tree ornament at all. It is the one decoration from Son's first Christmas that I didn't pass on to him yet. Santa and Mrs Claus are made of flocked covered plastic and while you can't tell it much from this picture, the flocking is gradually coming off. I can't count the number of times I've glued the white "fur" back around Santa's hat. But we love this special decoration and the memories it holds. I wouldn't part with it even if the flocking totally disappeared.


  1. Love your ornaments and that you've made your tree match your own special style. We've done that too.

  2. Thanks for the ornament tour. I need to do that, too. I love the pink flamingo fight you've been having. Your barbie sounds like a lot of the ornaments at my house...3 kids and a puppy! :0)

  3. Isn't it great that the ornaments tell so many stories? Wonderful things that will go from generation to generation. Thanks for sharing!

  4. I have an elf similar to yours! Came from my childhood and I claimed it before my sisters or brother did when Mom was passing out her ornaments! I can't wait to get to our tree this weekend! Thank you for sharing!

  5. We have the same tradition and passed our childrens boxes full of ornaments on to them when each has married. Loved the tour of your tree. Awesome!

  6. I love the ornament tour! The Barbie with one arm-How cute is that?

  7. Your tree top angel is adorable.
    I have a wreath that I attached ornaments from mine and my husband's childhood. Including one of those elves.
    The pink flamingo story is too funny. That's how traditions start.