The time has finally come! Today was the day we finally decorated our Christmas tree! We don’t normally do this so late but December was very busy so far. Now, In our house, we have three trees. We have our main big tree, a medium size tree in the dining room, and a mini tree upstairs between the kids’ rooms. I want to share some of my favorite ornaments from our trees with you.
In my family, our trees are full of memories. While some people try and do themed trees that are elegant but simple, we are all about putting our lives on display for our guests during the holidays.
The Big Tree
This tree is full of all of our favorite ornaments. Some of them are from vacations we’ve taken, others are about special moments from our lives. Others are just interesting ornaments that we’ve collected over the years.
This year’s tree is a little on the smaller side but that just means that the best of the best ornaments are the only ones that are going to make it on. Here are a few of my favorites.
First up, we have the whale. I’m not sure what the full story is behind this ornament is but we’ve had it forever. Literally, it is older than me. Actually, that ornament may be older than my parents. We do have a few ornaments on our tree that were my grandparents so they’re from the 1940s and 1950s. A few of them are a little creepy, I will say.
Next we have the Statue of Liberty and King Tut. These two ornaments are representing two big city trips we took over the years. For my 10th birthday, we spent a weekend in New York City. We went to the Statue of Liberty. We went on the giant ferris wheel at Toys R Us. We explored Time Square. We did it all. It wasn’t our first or last time in the City. In fact, although not all together, we’ve all gone quite a few times without the others. Living in Connecticut, it is pretty easy to get to NYC. The King Tut ornament is all about our trip to Philadelphia for the King Tut exhibit that was going on. We had waited a very long time to see that exhibit and traveled for hours by train to get there. It was awesome!
These next ornaments are very sentimental. When my brother was born, I was already three turning four. I was in dance classes and he was already proving to be a little joker. My parents bought these ornaments for us and matching toy versions that we could play with too. Plus it helps that these ornaments are plush so that they can’t break if small children or big dogs are running near the tree. These two are some of my actual favorites. It’ll be sad to split them up when my brother and I move out.
So my parents are big Beatles fans. When I was growing up, all I listened to was the Beatles. I didn’t hear my first NSYNC or Britney Spears song until I was in second or third grade. This was shocking for many of my friends. This growing up with the Beatles lead to a life long love this the band and the musicians in it. With that, my dad plays guitar. He was an incredible player, I think, until he got some nerve damage in in his hand that he needs to be able to play. This ornament looks a bit like my dad and Paul McCartney, not that the two look anything alike. This is a special ornament for us and one that all four of us love quite a bit.
Finally, we have this ornament to commemorate our trip to Myrtle Beach a few years ago. We drove from Connecticut down to the beach to stay with family, stopping in Washington D.C. on the way down. We picked up this ornament, made from seashells from Litchfield Beach where we were staying. We love getting ornaments like this that show our travels. We have some from all of our New Hampshire trips, some from Canada, some from the south west (which you’ll see below). We love collecting ornaments on our travels.
The Pop Culture Tree
This tree in our dining room as been dubbed the Pop Culture tree due to the amount of pop culture references in its branches. While it has memories and vacation ornaments as well, it is mainly full of references to movies and television.
Homer from The Simpsons is a classic for our family. This was one of the first “grown up” shows that my parents would let my brother and I watch when we were younger. They felt that, unlike Family Guy or South Park, The Simpsons always had a good, positive message at the end of most episodes. No matter what stupid thing Homer in the family got into, family was always the most important thing for them at the end of the day. We often joke that my dad is the real life version of Homer thus why we have this ornament in our collection.
Gandalf from Lord of the Rings is our next big pop culture icon decking out this tree. Again, this ornament is my dad’s. Gandalf is one of his favorite literary and cinematic characters. There is just something really bad ass about this wizard. Oh yeah, because Gandalf is a bad ass. Although this ornament always leads to the famous, “why doesn’t Gandalf use magic more often?” debate. Damn eagles always saving the day! After that we usually get a spirited rendition of a song from the Rankin/Bass version of The Hobbit before my brother and I debate watching the entirety of the Lord of the Rings extended cuts.
Another pop culture ornament on our tree is this massive Doctor Who ornament from the 50th anniversary a few years ago. My mom and I are massive Whovians, although we haven’t watched the show in a while (we both thing the story went down hill and the writing got pretty bad after Matt Smith left). We do always watch the Christmas special every Christmas Eve though. We even get my dad and brother into it to! Plus it is always a guarantee that the next day we’ll be talking about what happened in the special with my uncle during the family dinner.
Along with the pop culture ornaments, we have a few from vacations that we’ve taken as a family. Two of them are from our trip to the Grand Canyon in 2008. We visited both the North and South rim of the canyon and made sure to pick up ornaments for both. I love how these ornaments really capture the location and culture of the south west. The images don’t do justice to the vibrant colors of these two ornaments.
These two ornaments are joined by a bauble from my alma mater, University of New Hampshire. Now, if you aren’t a wildcat, you won’t get the joke behind having this bauble next to a squirrel ornament. Long story short, squirrels are our unofficial mascot and the UNH squirrels have everything from their own instagram account to a massive fan following around campus. No one knows where this joke came from but it has been going on for three or four years now.
The Kids’ Tree
This tree is our smallest but the most sentimental. It is chock full of all of the ornaments that are mine and my brothers. There are Barbies, Disney collectibles, sports ornaments and more. It may be little bit it is big on memories!
This ornament was to memorialize our childhood nursery/bedroom. We lived in a two family home when we were growing up so my brother and I shared a room until we were 13 and 9 respectively. Our room was Mother Goose themed and beautiful. Honestly it was the kind of room that any kid would love to have. The border paper in it was images and the poem “The Cow Jumped Over the Moon”, just like this ornament. To go with it, even the light switch plate for the room matched the ornament. I actually still have it in my room now as an adult.
Growing up, I was really into Barbie. What little girl wasn’t though? I had a bunch of the collectible Barbies on display in our dining room. One of them I also have the ornament for: Millennium Barbie. This was the Barbie that Mattel put out to celebrate the year 2000. The actual doll was gorgeous but over the years has gone missing, especially since we’ve moved over the years. At least I still have the ornament! Joining Millennium Barbie is Christmas Barbie from 1994, the year I was born. They are both gorgeous additions to our little tree.
Finally, we have the 101 Dalmatians ornament from 1996. I LOVED this movie growing up. I was obsessed with 101 Dalmatians. I had 101 dalmatian dog toys. I had all of the figurines. I had bedding and a sleeping bag. I had everything 101 Dalmatians. It was always between this movie and Hercules for me. Ever since we first got this ornament, it has made an appearance on the tree for the last twenty one years. It later got joined by another 101 Dalmatian puppy because my parents knew they were my favorite. Plus they’re super cute and different from the other ornaments on the tree.
What ornaments are on your tree? Share in the comments! Do you do trees full of memories or themed trees?