Last year around this time I did something perfectly antithetical to my character. I didn't decorate my home for Christmas. I'm serious. Not a light, not a candle, not even a poinsettia made its way past my front door. I really don't even remember the reason why. The only plausible explanation is that I went temporarily insane. Not decorating is so...not...me. I'm the girl who showed up at 8:00 am on my then boyfriend (now husband's) doorstep with a 7 foot tree, fully ignoring his declaration of not being a big fan of holiday decorating. Sorry Brian, if you're going to date me, then you're going to date Christmas too.
I'm happy to say that this year, I'm back to my old self. I unearthed the boxes and dusted off all my decorations. Oh how I've missed this! I am positively delighted every time I walk through the door to the wonderful smell of our Christmas tree. I am gleeful when I drive up to our house at night to see our front porch all lit up with lights, garland and a wreath. Having missed out on it last year, I felt doubly sentimental when I unwrapped all of my favorite ornaments and put them on our tree. Each one is imbued with so many memories. Most of my ornaments came from my mom, who has impeccable taste and has been selecting exceptional ornaments for me each year of my life. All her choices hold special significance and represent something of importance in my life. The nutcracker below acknowledges my childhood as a ballet dancer and the many Christmases I spent as a Lemondrop in the Nutcracker. Isn't it lovely?
These days my mom buys ornaments for both myself and my husband. They usually complement each other like these beautiful birds she found on a trip to Argentina. They are made out of hollow gourds.
My knitting obsession hobby prompted the purchase of these fancy sweaters for Brian and I. Aren't they adorable?
Another of my favorite ornaments was a gift from my friend Sarah. This Lenox ornament holds a picture of my fluffy love bug, Oscar, when he was just a wee pup. Sarah was with me when I picked up Oscar and brought him home with me for the first time. She even puppy-sat him for a week when he was only about 9 weeks old.
Some of my most memorable ornaments came from my first Christmas in my own apartment. As I said before, my mom has been buying me ornaments every year of my life, but when I moved out, my ornaments...did not. She kept 'em. I guess I forgive her. Harumph. Well, my first Christmas on my own, I couldn't face a bare, pathetic tree, so I made my own ornaments. These ones have become doubly special to me because of the memories they conjure of the excitement of being on my own for the first time.
Brian's mom also bought him an ornament every Christmas as my mom did for me. She, in contrast, let Brian take his with him when he moved out. We have an entire box of lovely little ornaments marked 'Brian's Specials'. This is one that always makes it onto our tree. Brian's mitt.
Many of Brian's Specials have a charming vintage quality to them. I love this little wooden guy. (Although it is definitely not vintage. If you look closely, you can see that it says 'Millenium 2000' on the champagne bottle).
Another of Brian's favorites is this little wooden santa. He has a kind of gnome-like quality to him, pointy hat and all. He is perfectly at home amidst the woodsy greenery of our tree.
How do you guys feel about your Christmas ornaments? Which ones are your favorites?