Thursday, December 11, 2008

My Christmas ornament obsession

My parents and I take the holidays very seriously, especially when it comes to our Christmas ornaments. I collect new ones each year and am generally obsessed with them.

I consider mine to be as valuable as my photo albums or even my paper mache rabbit/cat Bubbles. I don't mess around.

As kids, my brother and I would receive a new ornament each Thanksgiving that was "themed" for each year. So when I played the clarinet and violin, I got a glass musical note ornament and when I was into cheerleading (bad idea), they gave me a cheerleader ornament to hang on the tree. My brother and I are very possessive about our ornaments and fought over tree space for our items. I could easily fill one giant tree just with my own ornaments.

Looking back now at all the ornaments I've collected, they tell a story of me as a kid, starting with "Baby's First Christmas" to my braces (yes I turned them into an ornament) to my childhood obsession with unicorns. I seriously have five unicorn ornaments. What can I say? They're magical.

Unfortunately, we don't do the Thanksgiving tradition anymore, but I always end up picking up a few new ornament each year to add to my little Chicago tree, which is now getting full. Time for another plastic bin.

Here are some pictures of my favorite Chicago-tree ornaments. They're not the really valuable ones, but they sure make the tree look pretty!

Top: Marshall Fields clock
Bottom: Special-edition Cinderella Christmas ornament


What are some of your own holiday traditions or obsessions? Do you have one thing around the holidays that you obsess over too?

Well tonight is our company Christmas party and this weekend I have a ton of pre-holiday "ladyscaping" appointments so I look good when I head home next weekend. Anyone else have big weekend plans?

36 comments:

CC said...

such a fun tradition! i love holiday traditions! i'm dying to see what the braces ornament turned out like.

Deutlich said...

We always open presents on the 24th. And have dinner before hand. And I love it.

Rachel said...

Dan and I have to kiss when we hang our ornament, which is the first one on the tree. We then hang all our first X-mas ornaments. Next are our personal ones that "represent" us. Then the rest of the ornaments that fill up the tree.

...love Maegan said...

We open one present on Christmas Eve and the rest have to wait until the morning.

The Modern Gal said...

I too have all personal ornaments, and my mom often gives me a new one each year. Even my boring ornaments are personal in that they were my mom's first ones when she was my age. My tree is so delightfully and tackily mismatched and I wouldn't have it any other way. That's tradition.

I definitely have to finish my Christmas cards and shopping this weekend.

Erin said...

The tree is going up this weekend come hell or high water!

My tree is themed. All my ornaments are suns, moons, or stars and my tree topper is a gold sun.

Me, my siblings, and all our spouses get a new ornament from my mom each year. She doesn't always give me an ornament that matches my tree theme, though, and it tends to irk me a little bit.

LBluca77 said...

I love all the Christmas movies that are on all through the month. Watching them always makes me happy.

S. said...

I can't think of any cute traditions in my family. We drink. We eat. We drink some more and we laugh and talk a lot.

Mandy said...

I loved your tweet, you know any tweet that has "I am so drunk right now" is going to be good. :-)

I love the idea of getting a new ornament every year. We didnt do that but over the years my brother and I both have ornaments that we have special memories tied to. We're like that with our other decorations too.

Can we have a picture of the braces ornament?

dolcechic said...

I love these ornaments, they're beautiful. My mom, grandma and I make tamales every Christmas eve.

Maki said...

Look at those pretty ornaments!!

I love Christmas!!!

Since we moved to FL and being close to JT's mom, our tradition has been the Christmas Eve Party at her house where people enjoy food and drinks. Funny thing is that JT's stepdad who is usually not a huge drinker does drink on Eve's until he can't talk. He gets hammered. It's pretty funny.

Then we go home and get up early, drive back to Mom's to have breakfast on Christmas morning. I love our tradition.

Ginger said...

I love Christmas, so we have lots of traditions. We get one new ornament every year that symbolize something from that year. We pick one night to go look at Christmas decorations, be they houses covered in lights, Rockefeller Center (back when we lived in NY), or at the San Diego zoo. On Christmas morning (when all gifts must be opened), I play Santa for everyone, complete with Santa hat.
And since getting married, we try to add something sweet every so often, so that our traditions grow.

Maxie said...

We have a Dept 56 Snow Village that I'm obsessed with. It's the one called North Pole and it's just about hte only thing that can put me in the Christmas spirit.

liz said...

My mom gives me an ornament EVERY year, still. She is obsessed with Christmas shops, decorations and the holiday in general.

Every year she tells me that I will inherit the collection of ornaments...exciting....

I do have a few meaningful favorites though.

wontletlifedefineme said...

Not that it's an obsession, but I need a real tree. The whole idea of a living thing in my living room that smells nice, but is most of all very real and very alive keeps me happy and relaxed during the holidays. We just bought a Nordmann fir (yes, I know the difference between different species of trees) and it's so lovely!

emily.browning said...

i'm new here,but happened upon your blog and love it!

my husband and i have been married for three years, so our traditions are few. however, it seems that much of our life revolves around the enormous illuminating rectangle in our living room..yes, the TV. DVR has calmed us down a bit, now that we've learned to trust it WILL record and we can actually WALK AWAY. But one tradition we've been religious with is the countless times we watch Christmas Vacation from November 1 to February 1. Nothing draws two lovers closer together than Cousin Eddie pulling his RV into the driveway!

thatShortChick said...

we usually gather together as a family christmas eve for dinner and (very loud) conversations and then on christmas, open presents!

i can't believe you turned your braces into an ornament!

EP said...

Fun! I'm a huge fan of ornaments, too, and my parents give my sister and I a new one every year. Since they got divorced five years ago, we've been getting two ever since. And none of them are on the little tree I have here.

I've been told that when I get older and have a family of my own, I will receive some of my special ornaments. Like yours, ours always have themes, too. And I'm putting money on me getting a dog/border collie ornament this year from at least one of my parents. Because it would be fitting...

lifeintheleftlane said...

I would love to see your ornament made out of braces. That sounds really funky, in a cool way.

Our family tradition is to watch A Christmas Carol (George C. Scott version) after eating our Christmas dinner. We do it every year.

Tough Girl 101 said...

oh wow! Those ornaments are really beautiful :-) I just wrote my christmas thing on my blog. Unfortuantely my tree is sparse on the ornaments because Duke and I haven't collected many of them... le sigh. Maybe next year?

Little Miss Obsessive said...

Those ornaments are gorgeous! =) My favorite ornament is this one shaped like a bell and then it has a picture of me on my first Christmas. I look forward to hanging it on the tree every year.

Lindsey said...

I love it when people have ornaments that mean something! Our tree is filled with a random assortment of ornaments. It's not a beautiful tree that should be in a magazine but it's got history!

Miss Grace said...

My childhood ornaments are still on my parents' tree. I'm starting this year with NOTHING.

Joy @ Big Time Fancy said...

Hahahaa, "they're magical."

My parents got me a horse ornament every year from the time I was like, 4 until very recently when I said, "Guys, my whole tree can't be covered in ponies. Potential sons-in-law will be freaked out."

Kate said...

I adore the Field's clock! Is that a collector's item yet?

Ladyscaping appointment on Tuesday! Or, you know, getting my roots done so I don't look older than necessary since I haven't been home for Christmas in four years.

stealthnerd said...

I have almost the same tradition except that we do our ornaments on Christmas Eve. Since I started dating my bf I've been picking up ornaments for us when we go to ornament-worthy places so we can have stuff for our tree!

SA said...

Aww, that first ornament is so cute. Love it.

I usually love ornaments and putting them up but I haven't put up a tree in a few years. :(

Classy in Philadelphia said...

Aw, my family has a similar tradition! We each get a new ornament every year, and they get placed in a box after Christmas, and when we move out, we get to take our box to start our own ornament collection.

Blaez said...

you just gave me and joe a great idea for when we have babies of our own.

when we bought our christmas stuff this year joe had me pick out 1 special ornament (the abominal snowman from the rudolph movie with the misfit toys) --all the rest are your generic balls. we got a siamese cat too in honor of Drake Drake.

anyways, we decided that we'd do 1 special one each year (2 this year to make up for none last year)

happy christmas!!! my thoughts are in a million directions :)

Stephanie said...

Don't lie-you secretly want Princess Unicorn from last night's Office don't you? :)

Katelin said...

what a cute tradition. i absolutely love nutcrackers, which is pretty obvious i think, haha. but i think i need to get some non-nutcracker ornaments soon.

Alexa said...

my mom always got my sister and i these had painted wood ornaments they were made just for us every year. like when i was a cheerleader it was painted in my school colors, when i played the piano, tennis etc.

when i got older it was an ornament of me drinking wine.

kidding!

Vanessa said...

I love that top ornament with the clock. We don't really have any holiday traditions, but I love to put up the stockings, even little ones for my dogs.

Erin said...

Your clock ornament is so pretty. I love seeing people's ornaments. I may have to post some of mine.

This weekend is finishing up shopping, wrapping, and Rachel's glog party. I guess I should also read for book club!

Redin said...

Am still confused regarding the ornaments for this Christmas season!

James said...

Your ornaments are so pretty! Ours are mainly home-made and 20 years old. We still hang one that's a picture of my sister when she was five, even though mold and gunk has eaten half her face off...lovely!