I’m joining up with Kendra, the Domestic Princess in Training for her Christmas Decor Obsession Party.
I don’t really get obsessed about many things but once I got to thinking about it, I realized there was one thing I am particularly obsessive about…my keepsake ornaments. Being a history major/teacher, I’m weird about things being in chronological order and not having gaps in my timelines.
Since I went with a theme tree this year, I bought an ornament tree to put all of my beloved keepsake ornaments on display. The ornament tree sits on the dividing wall between the living room and dining room so it’s visible from pretty much anywhere downstairs.
These two ornaments are some of my first keepsakes that I bought myself in 1995 when I was a freshman in college, at Texas A&M. The angel has a poem on it about blessing me during finals and then taking her home and putting her on my tree. She’s gone on every family tree since 1995. Luckily, since Ryan and I are both Class of ’99 at A&M, the “First Aggie Christmas” ornament works for both of us.
I didn’t really start my collection in earnest until 2003, when Ryan and I got married. The ornament on the left is from Ryan’s grandmother who always gives me an ornament every year, with a photo of us taken during our first dance as husband and wife. The ornament on the right celebrates our First Christmas Together in 2003.
In 2004, we found out we were going to be parents, so I had to have this ornament from Hallmark, commemorating the event. I remember that Christmas because Aidan, not even born yet, got more presents than anyone!
2005, of course, brought Miss Thing herself, so I have 2 ornaments for that. The ornament on the right is “Baby’s First Christmas 2005” that I bought. It opens up and has space for small keepsakes. The ornament on the left is one that Ryan’s grandmother (Aidan’s great-grandmother) gave me. It says “A child’s first sense of home is found in a Mother’s loving arms” and it opens to a photo of me holding Aidan when she was 7 weeks old at her baptism.
Ryan joined the Army and we moved to Ft. Benning, Georgia in 2006. This is an example of me not liking to have holes in my timeline. I didn’t have an ornament for 2006 for a couple of years. This irked me to no end. Finally, in 2008, I found this cute little house that looks like some of the housing at Benning. This ornament took its place in the timeline in the 2006 slot.
“Christmas in the Desert: 2007” In 2007 Ryan spent his Christmas in Iraq and we missed him like crazy. It was one of the hardest days of my life (next to celebrating Aidan’s first birthday without him…he was at Army Basic Training). Luckily I had the love of our families to keep us company and to keep my mind off things.
In 2008 I lost the greatest man I’ve ever known, my beloved Granddaddy. When I found this ornament at Hallmark I knew I had to get it to honor him and fill the slot for 2008. The back says”The true testament of a life well-lived is the love we leave behind.” Behind it on the same branch is also an ornament that honors Ryan’s grandfather whom we lost in early 2005.
The last annual ornament is the one for this year and our new house. I still really want to find something that commemorates living in the Alamo City but we’ve got a few years!
Last but not least are these ornaments from our childhoods. Ryan’s grandmother had small picture frame ornaments of all her grandchildren. She gave Ryan and me the set of him and his three siblings. My mom had brass ornaments with our names engraved on them for our family. She gave me the set of me (the bell), her (the star) and my brother (the football player). Mine says 1979 (maybe that was the year she got it? It’s not the year I was born.)
I love how our family’s history can be revealed through our ornaments. Sure it’s nerdy of me but someday when my grandkids are at my house I can pull them out and show them each one and tell them the story of their Grandpa and Mama and me.