Christmas Tradition

I have been known to decorate my Christmas tree with only three ornaments:


That was highly unusual. I don't recall the circumstances, but it's safe to say that no one was available/willing to help me!


Most years, we're fully loaded and I usually have help.

Just at Kate's left hand in the photo above is a little "band" of ceramic bear ornaments — each of them bears one of our names and a year — and that's just the beginning of the ceramic ornaments. My Grandma Blum taught ceramics from her home studio for many years. The first dated ornament I received from her was in 1975, and it is a treasure!

One year in my young adulthood, there was an early Christmas at Grandma & Grandpa Blum's prior to their departure for Florida for the winter. She had decorated a small tree with her ceramic ornaments and we stuffed it — lights, ornaments, and all — into the back of my boyfriend's VW Van and voila! "It's Christmas now!"

I know it didn't begin at birth (none of my kids has a "My First Christmas" ornament), but at some point when Katie & Ali were preschoolers — actually, it was probably when St. Nicholas started to visit our house on the regular — I began to buy an ornament each year for St. Nick to deliver. The girls each have their own box in which to store them, along with ornaments made for them by Great Grandma and my sister Karen, and the ones they made in school.

I really need to document them better.


One-Eyed Santa was made by Kate in probably 2nd or 3rd grade. She didn't make him with only one eye, but somewhere along the line one fell off and, well… we love him!!

There's a skater made of pipe cleaners and beads, with small paperclips as the skates. One of his skates has been hanging on by just a bit of fuzz (mostly osmosis, I swear) for years…

These are the types of things we ooh and aah over and laugh about every year!

One of my most favorite tree-trimmings was a year the girls wanted a real tree. It was smaller than our artificial tree, so I decided that it would be decorated with only the ornaments that the girls had in their boxes — and only by them! I did the lights, but they did all the rest while I sat back with a glass of wine and LISTENED. It was pure heaven — the chatter, the memories, the laughter, and the tears (of laughter).


I've had this well-worn/bedraggled ornament since 1st grade, when I won it in a spelling bee. As previously established herein, I was a pretty good speller thanks to the coveted Big.Gold.Stars awarded by Mrs. Kelly on perfect spelling tests. She was one of my favorite teachers, and I love remembering her every Christmas.


Peanut!! Words cannot express our love for this little… actual peanut. Simple things.


This one of the very few ornaments I have that were my Grandma Koenig's. It's not very big, and always gets a (secure) front-row seat.


And this is a cross-stitch ornament that I made for the girls — he's backed with fabric, sealed, and jointed! I haven't actually made very many for them… hard-pressed to think of any other than this one. Heh.

The tree still hasn't happened this year, but I'm thinking Saturday's the day!

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13 thoughts on “Christmas Tradition

  1. With the first few photos I was admiring how brightly lit your trees are, and then I scrolled down to the ornaments! I love one-eyed Santa and the peanut, and your spelling bee ornament is a real treasure! I haven’t done our tree yet, but fingers crossed that it happens next week.

  2. Love your tree! We put up our tree rather late. My DH’s family put it up Christmas Eve. As kids it went up the week before Christmas, I think. Each year here it’s a matter of negotiation as to when it goes up. I’ll buy the tree this week and put it on the deck so they don’t sell out early. That has almost happened. Lol. I treasure our old ornaments in their various stages of age, decay and breakage. Makes me wistful for yesteryear when my kids were little. Love your cross-stitched Santa!

  3. What wonderful stories, ornaments, and memories! It’s always such fun to unpack the ornaments each year — remembering the stories and “family lore” behind each one. Enjoy, Vicki! XO

  4. Those ornaments that are bedraggled and well loved are the best ones of all. I have an elf that my brother made in 1956 and it’s a prized one for sure. Thanks for sharing your special ornaments!

  5. Christmas ornaments are part of families histories and lore. Even though our family ornaments were lost I remember, by reading about friends trees and ornaments, many of the unique ones we had. Thank you for the memories!

  6. Great post! One-eyed Santa and peanut are great! I’m looking forward to getting our tree up this weekend and opening our boxes of treasures with which to decorate it. Have a wonderful weekend!

  7. Love, love, love the Peanut Santa. I remember cross stitching a Santa like yours. Hmmm. I don’t know where he went. Your trees are all so lovely. I especially like the bright lights. Isn’t that what this time is all about? Life and Light. We need it now so much in this dark time. Thanks for sharing your memories.

  8. I love seeing all the ornaments and hearing the stories. Trees are my favorite part of the holiday decorations … for all the same reasons as you!

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