One of my favorite parts of the holiday season is decorating the tree. Now that I’m married I’m lucky to get to decorate two Christmas trees, one at my house and one at my dad’s house. When Morgan and I got married last year we had a peacock theme for our wedding with jewel tones of blue, purple and teal. When I began planning the holiday decorating last year, our first married Christmas, I found lots of lovely ornaments in these same colors. My husband joked that he didn’t realize when we chose that theme for our wedding that it would then follow us forever.
Aside from the peacock-themed ornaments, our tree also has many special ornaments that represent all sorts of things. My godmother Connie began a tradition years ago of giving us special ornaments each year for Christmas. I have so many favorites that it’s hard to name them all. A blown-glass Old World style ornament in the shape of a wine bottle, a crystal butterfly, a fairy lady with an apple for a body, a lavender shoe topped with Carolina blue feathers, and a tiny glass replica of the great stage at Radio City Music Hall are just a few. Some newer favorites in my collection include a star made from shells that we got while on our honeymoon in Key West and a giant peacock complete with large feather tail that was a gift from my friend Susan.
My dad’s tree, too, is full of special ornaments. We have a few very special ornaments that belonged to Mamma when she was growing up. Most of Dad’s collection of special ornaments from Connie feature a fishing theme, as he is an avid fisherman. My favorite is one that has a fish catching a man!
I asked a few friends to tell me about some of their special ornaments. Here are their stories.
“Aidan and I have only been together for a few Christmases and haven’t had a chance to collect too many memorable ornaments along the way,” said Alicia. “But I picked an ornament during a DMZ tour when we lived in Korea (where we met) and, while it’s actually a bookmark, we like having this MP on our tree. Though he does a terrible job of protecting it from our cats! PS: His helmet says heon byeong, which means military police.”
Katherine said, “I can’t pick just one. Liv, my daughter, and I have a tradition where we each add a new ornament to our collection. We’ve added some special ones over the years. This year we both picked ornaments during our day at Disney and they are perfect additions!”
“Ornaments are one of my favorite things,” said Jerri. “I have so many favorites from when I was little and from places I have been. But if I am forced to pick (and I am still cheating with two and not one) my two favorites are my talking Linus who says the Christmas story from ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’ (which is one of my family favorites) and also the ornaments my Grandma crocheted. They are pretty but also capture so many things about her that make me happy.”
My friend Judy told me about two special ornaments of hers which she said speak to her of beloved friends and sisters in her heart.
“My two ladies ornament was given to me by Pam and says, ‘If we live to be 103, best friends we still will be.’ She passed away four years ago and I miss my friend every day. Another favorite ornament of mine represents a wonderful group of high school friends who started a cookbook project but found so much more. Old friendships were renewed and strengthened, acquaintances became dear friends, and 10 very different women became a sisterhood, a tribe. When our cookbook was published, all 10 of us received an ornament with our name on it to commemorate our coming together and creating something so much greater than a book — a family.”
With Christmas only a few days away, the sad time will soon come when we must undertake the task of putting away all these special treasures. But they will be there waiting to greet us again and remind us of special times and treasured friends and family in just the blink of an eye.
Kitsey Burns Harrison is a reporter for The Yadkin Ripple, here she shares her musings on food, life and love. She can be reached at 336-518-3049 or on Twitter and Instagram @RippleReporterK.