I’ve seen Christmas trees decorated in all types of themes – Country, all Santas, all animals, etc. I have a friend whose tree is all one color such as blue ornaments, blue candy canes, and blue gift wrap under the tree, and she changes the color each year. I know another woman who coordinates all the decorations in the house and even wraps over presents that are received so that they too match. Our tree appears to be a hodge podge of decorations until you look closely at the ornaments and ask about them.
We started out decorating our tree according to our budge – popcorn and cranberry strings, painted wooden ornaments, and doilies with Christmas Card pictures pasted on them. Even now, we don’t have plain colored balls, but instead we purchase a new ornament at each new place we visit so that each year as we put the ornaments on the tree, we can look back and remember our vacations from years past. I have always been addicted to travel and adventure, so working for an airline made it easy to expose my kids to many different places.
There is a tiny replica of the Alamo – do you guys remember our trip to San Antonio? There’s an Oscar The Grouch in a trash can – Sesame Street in Pennsylvania was a fun water amusement park that Andrew at five years old really enjoyed. We also did Hershey Amusement park (the tiny can of cocoa with two tiny mice) on the same trip. There’s a Roadrunner to remember our trip to Tucson where the only thing you boys enjoyed because of the heat was the fancy swim pool at the hotel.
The roller Coaster with the year 2000 printed on it is so you’ll remember the year of the Six Flags Season Pass. Since the pass is good at all Six Flags Parks. We decided to try it out at Atlanta, Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles, and Chicago, What a summer that was! Of course there are also ornaments from Disneyland and Disney World.
There are several lighthouses from the many trips my friend and I took – Cape May, New Hereford, Point Loma, Peggy’s Cove, and Little Point Sable. The cable car is from San Francisco and the clear plastic ball half filled with sand and a tiny bucket and shovel is from San Diego. The stained glass alligator will remind you of the swamp tour on an air boat that we took in New Orleans just three months before Hurricane Katrina hit.
Up on the tree is a little wooden nutcracker soldier. That one was from your first trip to Germany which you probably don’t remember since you were only two years old. There is also a little train from the miniature train land in Hamburg. That was the most amazing model train set up ever! Of course you remember that one from only three years ago. When we went to Hawaii, we brought back a turtle for Matthew because he had seen some sea turtles up close when snorkeling. You got the flamingo carrying a surfboard to commemorate your first try at surfing.
We have ornaments from cruises – remember the Disney cruise ship, how the other ships blew their horns with one loud Hoooot and our ship hooted out the tune of “When you wish upon a star”. We watched Corvettes being built in Bowling Green, Kentucky and brought back a tiny car for the tree. There’s a sail boat from the trip to Mystic Seaport, Connecticut, and a felt moose from Anchorage, Alaska. Yellowstone Park, Holland, Santa Fe, New Mexico, the Grand Canyon, Williamsburg, VA, the Space Needle in Seattle, Jamaica, and the Smithsonian in Washington, DC are all represented. There’s a penguin from the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo and a skiing snowman from Steamboat Springs here in Colorado.
Some of the more traditional ornaments include those we’ve picked up to show events in your lives, like the soccer ball, the cross country runner, the wrestler, and the Santa climbing a rock wall. You each have a bear, a rocking horse, and a Boeing airplane (from the Boeing museum) with your names on them. We got a pilot for when your dad became a first officer and a soldier bear wearing his desert khakis from when his guard group went to Iraq.
Our tree may not be color coordinated or organized by theme, but every ornament has a story to tell and a memory to refresh each December when we get out the Christmas decoration boxes again.