Tree Tour

Inspired by Nicole over at Girl in a Boy House, who recently toured us through her delightful tree, I wanted to share a few of our own decorations.

When Sir Monkeypants and I were first married, we inherited a white artificial tree from my grandparents, but only had a couple of decorations, so we were starting from scratch. In a (VERY RARE) fit of decorating passion I decided that all our decorations would be red and white/silver, and that we’d create a tree worthy of the cover of the Canadian Tire winter catalogue.

That lasted fairly well until we had kids, in which case I had to pack away all the breakable red and silver balls I had accumulated, and make way for lots of handmade crafts and a mixed bag of Stuff the Kids Found Cute. About five years ago I decided to just say The Hell With It, and began investing heavily in cartoon character and Disney ornaments and now we have a real smorgasbord of ornaments. I also allow the kids to hang them any old place they want, resulting in weird clumps and combinations, but in the spirit of doing less at the holidays, it’s ALL GOOD.

One thing I started doing a while ago is buying at least one Christmas ornament on each of our big trips, so every Christmas we can remember where we’ve been. I absolutely love this. Here is the ornament I bought at Kennedy Space Centre this past spring, matched perfectly with a NASA one my sister gave us years ago:

We got this Anne of Green Gables when we were in PEI. Someone seems to be trying to hook her up with Superman. You could do worse, Anne.

And this cool lion, made from a Coke can, came from the Calgary Zoo.

I love these giant red jingle bells I got at Canadian Tire quite a few years ago. This was during a phase when I was frantically trying to replace all the breakable red and silver ornaments with new, unbreakable red and silver ornaments. These ones I love either way, though.

Anna and Elsa are new to our tree this year. My sister FameThrowa bought these for me in secret when we were at Disney together back in the spring. They basically combine everything I love in an ornament – bells, princesses, winter theme, Disney, trip reminder, and sisterly bonding. WIN.

This Santa is my favourite Santa ornament (we have several). I think it came from Upper Canada Village.

My friend Vivian made me this slice of blueberry pie and I love, love, love it. She also made me a handmade ornament of the Sweet Smart Design logo because she is the bomb.

This year was the first year that my oldest tried to actually create vignettes on certain branches. We only own two of these crystal snowmen (don’t worry, they’re plastic – the only theme we stick to on the tree is “unbreakable”), but for some reason he wanted them to be together. Guess they are buddies.

Here’s a branch that reflects our family: Great Wolf Lodge ornament, Indian elephant, red sparkly styrofoam star. Yup.

Santa on TV is from Tinseltown, a year-round Christmas store here in Ottawa. I bought this one for my screen-obsessed middle daughter a couple of years ago. If you want something very specific in an ornament, they’ve got it. Warnings: do NOT bring small children to this store and don’t even THINK of trying to get a stroller inside.

There’s a bit of a glut of ornaments on the most easily accessible side, right at the height of Little Miss Sunshine. Pure coincidence, I’m sure. Featured in this busy area – my husband’s Kermit the Frog, and the Hogwarts Express from Universal Studios.

Lastly, this cheap styrofoam star is probably the most beloved ornament in our family and everyone fights over it every year. It’s different from the other five in this set because when Gal Smiley was perhaps two or three years old, she took a bite out of one of the points. She also ate a green crayon that year. These days her entire diet is pretty much sandwiches and Oreo cookies, but at least it’s not red glitter styrofoam and wax.

What’s on your tree?

7 thoughts on “Tree Tour

  1. I could spend all day just exploring other people’s trees and their ornaments. Then to top little stories off with the ornaments, well that’s just pure entertainment to me. Love this post and your family history on ornaments. Right now we have three trees in our home. One is a small candy tree, filled with chocolate bar ornaments and candy canes. Another tree has all our vintage and handmade ornaments. The third tree is filled with my crazy collection of old wooden ornaments. Thanks for sharing your beautiful tree with us all.

  2. I love the pie! From what I know about you that seems rather appropriate! 🙂

    You have a lovely tree. I have so many antique, inherited ornaments from Switzerland I’d have to spend hours cataloguing them…

  3. nicoleboyhouse

    Oh oh oh! I love this all so much! Every photo I’d think “oooh, this is the one I’m going to comment on” but then the next photo would be equally comment-worthy and now I’m just overwhelmed. I love all your ornaments and it makes my heart so happy that you have a memory-ornament tree too! I like the vignettes and the star with the bite and…all of it. The pie is SO YOU. I’d love a Kermit one too – maybe next year!

  4. Nice! Can I lend you Mark for an evening? He keeps on complaining we don’t have a tree or lights outside! I’m ashamed to say I’m too lazy to make a tree, although since he does ask for it, we may do it next year. Meanwhile, he drew decorations on paper and taped them all over the house 😆

  5. smothermother

    love this! we have a mish mash of everything on our tree too. I love unpacking the ornaments every year and remembering the stories behind them all. we have started collecting ornaments from our family trips and I try and remember to bring some from my travels. so far I’ve only remembered from China but I think that’s a good one to remember.

  6. bibliomama2

    “You could do worse, Anne” LOVE THIS! Trust Nicole. (Well, the trunk-sected Anna and Elsa are a little creepy, but you do you.)

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