CHRISTMAS ORNAMENT COLLECTIONS: Oh, the stories they tell!

December 1


Are you in countdown mode?


It’s hard for me to believe that, for the second year in a row, there will be precious little Christmas decorating going on at our house. One year ago today we sold the big ol’ house we restored in town and began a year of fifth wheel living at the farm . . . waiting to build our Finally Farmhouse. We’re still waiting—but we *think* we’ll be able to move forward in January.


Can you believe Renaissance Man asked me the other day how may trees I want to put up for our open house next Christmas? 🙂 Seriously? We don’t even have a house! How can I possibly think about having an OPEN house?


But in this season of missing my pretties, I had a special treat. If you follow My Place to Yours on Instagram, you already know we spent Thanksgiving with Daughter the Older in Denver . . .


It’s Five Minute Friday, where I sometimes write for five minutes from a word prompt. Here it is… I’ll tell you a quick story.





She moved to England just before her 20th birthday—and lived there for seven years. Her Christmas ornaments stayed with me.



She moved back to the States, but a long-term home wasn’t in the picture until a couple of years ago, so her childhood treasures stayed with me.



Last year, as we prepared to sell our house, she bought her own home. It was time for me to pull out her box of ornaments, pack them more securely, and take them cross country to Denver.


And so we did.


But before I could pack them, I had to relive a few memories and take pictures of my favorites.



I didn’t know if or when I’d ever be near them again. My favorites would likely not be hers, and she might not put them out.



But we were together at Thanksgiving, and she pulled out that box I’d packed so carefully. Together we looked at her treasures as I told her their stories and shared my memories of receiving so many of those ornaments.



And then we went and bought a Christmas tree—her first full-size Christmas tree—and we decorated it together.


The collection of childhood ornaments mixed with new purchases (she’s my peppermint girl!) . . . and long-ago memories hung warmly amidst new ones as we placed one ornament after another on her tree.





It was a beautiful Before and After.



Next weekend we’ll have an early Christmas with Daughter the Younger and her family. I’ll relive the memories of her childhood ornaments, too—and take new ornaments to Little Man and Little Sir. Every year, something new.


I wonder if someday I’ll get to see those ornaments hanging on their adult-home Christmas trees . . .


Do you have ornaments from your childhood? Did your children have a collection that left your house and went to theirs? Do you give anyone (or yourself!) an annual ornament?


  1. lovely to hear how you are being intentional with your memory making! i am a few years behind you and hoping to do that as well.

  2. It’s my favorite part of decorating – the memories. My mom and mother-in-law both contributed ornaments to our trees over the years and with them now gone, these “trinkets” are treasures. What a sweet story you shared.

  3. These ornaments are charming. Thank you for sharing their sentiment!

  4. Thank you so much for sharing this; it kind of brought a lump to my throat, because I don’t have any of that, any memories like that.

    I do remember one Christmas, spent under a poncho in a ditch in a country I’d rather not revisit. My spotter was a bit downcast, as his family was still captive in that place once run by a bearded megalomaniac with a fondness for cigars, so I found a twig, tied a bullet to it with a bit of paracord, and handed it to him.

    He was mystified, and asked, “Brother, what IS this?”

    “A cartridge in a bare tree.”

    Even though English wasn’t his first language, he got it, and his smile was the light that topped our little tree.

    • Andrew, now I’M the one with a lump in my throat… yet a grin on my face. “A cartridge in a bare tree.” PERFECT!

      Thank you for your service. Thank you for sharing your Christmas memory. Thank you for being an encourager to your downcast spotter. I pray someone will be an encourager to you today.

  5. What sweet memories – old and brand new!!