Thursday, December 9, 2010

"Oh Christmas lights, keep shining on." (Coldplay)

Christmas ornaments are a big deal in my family. We have so many at home that my mom doesn't even hang them all up because it would take her all day and they probably wouldn't all fit on the tree. In addition to what we call "family" ornaments my siblings and I each have our own  set. Each one designated by our initial on the back marked by mom. And all stored in our own separate boxes, first cardboard and then increasingly larger Rubbermaid tubs.

I think it started that we would get two ornaments a year. One miscellaneous one and then one of whatever figure we collected. (Angels for Melissa, Santas for Joey, and snowmen for me.) But that two-a-year thing is long since out the window. There are just too many options and too many branches on the tree to fill. (Especially when Cracker Barrel has a 50% off sale on their already cheap decorations the day before Thanksgiving.)

Mine remained on the tree throughout college and then I took them when I moved to D.C. And now they grace my own tree. Though there are dozens and dozens of them they still don't come close to filling my tree so I've had to buy lots of "filler" ornaments that come in sets super cheap the day after Christmas. Aka, those which have no sentimental value.

It's the sentimental aspect that to me is the whole point. A Christmas ornament should express a sentiment. I can pick out any (non-filler) ornament on my tree and tell you approximately where it's from, who bought it, how old I was or what I was doing in my life, and what it means to me. But since I don't imagine anyone stopping by anytime soon to quiz me on Ornament History, I'll just feature a few here instead.

First, my tree:

One of about four "Baby's First Christmas" ornaments. She used to have a loose halo on her head I managed to keep up until just a few years ago. I'll try not to read too much into that.

One of my absolute favorites that I've had since I was 4, maybe longer. He might need a little surgery, though, as his forehead is peeling.

My mom gave me this in Kindergarten after I was in "The Nutcracker" at school. I was asked to be Clara out of all the little girls, but was too shy and was a dancing flower instead. I still stand by that decision. Not sure where his arm is.

Crafty birds from 1993.

Treasure chest.

One of about a dozen Barbies.

Since finding a tabletop Nativity after lots of searching, I've decided to collect Nativity ornaments.

Last year's White House ornament.

Love this one, though the sister and brother have ones that declare each of them the favorite, too.

Just a few of the many, many snow(wo)men. Made from a light bulb.

A sassy one.

Bringing the Tar Heel love, of course.

Another of the many UNC-related ones. She's from '99, making it one of the last UNC things I let someone buy me before I instituted my "no UNC apparel lest we jinx my future acceptance" rule.

I like to get an ornament from all my trips. Double decker bus from London.

Castanets from Spain and the Eiffel Tower from Paris:

But, of course, there's no place like home.
Center Street at Christmas in my hometown, a favorite sight of mine.

Just a few of my favorites. And I only knocked down six other ornaments in the process of photographing these. Not too shabby.

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