December 2, 2008

These are a few of my favorite things…

We started putting up our tree tonight, and my absolute favorite part of that whole process is unearthing the mounds of bubble wrap in our red & green rubbermaid bin to reveal a lifetime of happiness underneath. From the very first Christmas that Justin & I were together we started our ornament collection. Each one has its own story to tell, each a reminder of belly laughs and smushed down toboggan hair and hot cocoa that burns the taste buds right off of your tongue. It makes me all warm & fuzzy inside, and I just wanted to share a little bit of that with you guys.

And now it’s YOUR turn to share with us!! Leave a note in the comments box about what your favorite ornament of all time is and we’re going to pick one (uber) lucky winner to receive your very own Starbucks “Black” Card ($25 value) with an additional $25 gift card added on to it. Ummm…yea it’s a pretty good deal! :) So get to commenting!!

  1. Tira J

    Oh wow! I love all of your ornaments. My favorite ornament of all time is one that I received when I was in elementary school, probably the 2nd grade. We were at the Lutheran church on Christmas Eve and the pastor handed out an ornament to each child that came up to hear a special message. This ornament is made from an olive branch and has a little baby Jesus/Angel in the center. I still have it after all these years. Okay, lots of years. Probably more than you wanted to know, but I LOVE Christmas ornaments, and the significance and memories each of them brings. :)

  2. René Tate

    That’s 10% off nearly every Starbucks purchase, kids! I’d enter, but I already have one. It’s hella cool. :)

  3. ali

    yay…i LOVE Christmas! My favorite ornament is the one that I made my husband (at the time he was my ex-fiance). It is a little frame that I painted pink with rudimentary purple flowers and vines..I know…the most masculine theme ever right? Our engagement picture that we were supposed to put in the paper is behind clouded glass…on the front I painted "Friends Forever" it actually looks really cheesy. But what makes this tacky ornament so special is the inscription on the back…I wrote, "No matter what direction the Lord may lead us…I will still be your friend. I love you…" It’s a sweet reminder to me of the struggles and victories my husband and I have shared and together overcome…

  4. ohana photographers- david & kimi

    it’s beginning to look a lot like christmas!!
    i love the starbucks ornament!! these are way cute!

  5. beth

    I love this post! I have to say that my favorite(s) are my childhood ornaments. My mother would not let me have them for my own until I got married! It was bittersweet receiving the box of ornaments from my parents when the big day came. They mean even more to me now that I am soooo far away from them! Oh – and what a joy it was to see a little comment love from you guys today! Thanks for the smile! :) Lovin’ your recent work!!

  6. john waire

    if i had any favorite ornaments…they’ve all been blown out of the water by your very cool collection.

    not only do you take great photos…but your decorations rock as well.

  7. nikki nicole

    my favorite ornament is the one rob and i have form england. it is a tradition to go over every year and seeing the ornament come out of the box reminds me of all the good times and our 2nd home of engalnd

  8. Sarah McCoy

    Ornaments might be my favorite material thing about Christmas. I love uncovering memories that I had previously forgotten about. By FAR my favorite one is one my mom made me. When I was a kid my mom always tucked me in at night. When I was in elementary or middle school (I don’t remember which) I found out that the other kids had grown out of this. I told my mom that I, too, was past this phase even though she knew I loved it. That Christmas she made me an ornament of a stuffed mouse tucked into a half of a walnut shell with a little blanket on top of him. I think of being tucked in every time I see the ornament and it reminds me how lucky I am to have the BEST mom. Thanks for sharing some of your favorite ornaments. We wish you guys a Merry, Merry Christmas.

  9. Dennis Bullock

    We have a collection of ornaments that we have grown over the years by picking one up on each of our vacations. Although I would have to say that my favorite is 30 years old this Christmas. It is a pink dog made of yarn that a dear friend of my parents made for me when I was 5. I called her Grandma although she wasn’t really my grandma (but at 5 anyone with grey hair is grandma right?). She was such a sweet lady and would always feed me candy and cookies when we would visit. I always think of those times when we pull that little dog out.

    BTW, of your collection I think the heart with your picture in it is really cool!

  10. Kellan

    My favorite ornament is probably not as nice looking as yours, but it is still pretty amazing. I believe it was 1995 and my brothers and I were trying to add some ornaments to the tree. Being the baseball fan that I am I decided it was a great idea to add a baseball card. Not just any baseball card either! No! No! It was a 1986 Pete Rose, Daryl Strawberry, Steve Sax Sportflix card. The kind that looks like this if you hold it up just right. It was the perfect choice seeing as the card was useless dues to Pete Rose’s gambling habit, Daryl Strawberry’s Drug use, and Steve Sax’s inability to throw. Nothing says Christmas cheer like rehab and mental anguish! Btw, my parents still hang it up every year.

  11. Rebekah

    My favorite ornament is one given to me by my Grandma. It is a wooden reindeer with a bell around its neck. I’m not sure how it moved into my favorite spot, but I do know that after my Grandma’s death anything I had from her became more special and meaningful.

  12. Kellan

    I meant that it looks like this

  13. Meaghan

    My favorite ornament is a 5" ceramic plate (type-thing) that has little cartoon characters that represent my husband & I and our wedding party – what a great memory from a great day!

  14. Adrienne

    It is SO cool that each one of your ornaments has a special meaning to the two of you as a couple! When I think of my favorite ornament, I am overwhelmed by how many I have and how many of them I absolutely love! My beloved ornaments are from my childhood, as every year both my mom and my grandma would gift a new ornament to me. The ones that stand out to me the most are all of my angels. Each one of them is uniquely different, and incredibly beautiful! What makes them most special to me is that my grandmother always told me growing up, "guardian angels are watching over you". She truly believes in angels and because of that, has given so much magic and meaning to Christmas. All of my angels remind me of my real-life angel, my grandma :).

  15. Samantha Jones

    I have two favorite ornaments but they go together. When my mom was growing up, her family was very poor. (Like no running water until she was in high school poor.) And she loved Christmas. When she got married, her mother gave her 2 glass Christmas ornaments (one a dark pink and one gold) that she always put up. The first Christmas I spent away from home when I lived in Texas was so traumatic, and my mom sent me those ornaments for my tree. They are not the prettiest ornaments on my tree by far (they are cracked and have seen better days.) But they are prominently displayed because they remind me of how far my mom has come and how much she loves me!

  16. Amanda

    My story ends in tragedy. :( It seems like every year I accidently break one ornament. It is just bound to happen. Either I drop it, the dog knocks it over with his tail or one of my kiddos gets too excited and that’s the end of the ornament.
    Anyhoo… my favorite ornament was the victim last year. It wasn’t anything real special to look at but it has a fun memory. It is a large red ball with "Prancer" LaPorte, Indiana on it and a picture of a reindeer. This kind of cheesy but classic Christmas movie was made in my hometown and a lot of our family and friends are in it. My mom, sister and I are all in one shot. (You would have to pause the movie and search for us. But we are there!) I was in 4th grade at the time. I got paid $40 for the day of work and I got Sam Elliot’s autograph. :) This was my favorite ornament. I am still searching for an old original of it.
    Hope you have fun decorating your tree. I know my little boy and are going to today.
    Merry Christmas!

  17. Kim Kean

    My favorite ornament is one that a friends mother made for my parents. It is very simple. A picture of me at the age of 9 or so going down a slide at a park- just pasted on half of a foam ball with some glitter-I’m many years older now and my mother still puts it on her tree every year…

  18. Mary Marantz

    These are awesome guys, keep em coming!!!

  19. Molly

    As odd as it sounds for a 26 year old, but my Hallmark Barbie Holiday Gown ornaments are my favorite and, now, most treasured. When they first came out I was very young and my grandmother got them for me every year. Now that this will be my first Xmas without her, I am going to continue getting them for myself in memory of my Mammie.

  20. april

    My most favorite ornament was made by my great Aunt. For as long as I remember she has made ornaments out of eggs. Beautiful, intricate designs. Growing up we would go to her house each year to choose our new Christmas egg. The year that my husband & I got our 1st puppy we sent out photocards for Xmas. She took the photo of our pup & incorporated it into a Christmas egg for us saying "Chloe’s First Christmas". It was so sweet & thoughtful that I love hanging that ornament every year!

  21. Mary Marantz

    @ Molly: I TOTALLY had those growing up too, as well as the dolls themselves. I’ve already bought my 2008 doll. Is that sad???

  22. Paige Green

    Those are very sweet! (both modern and home-y)
    anywho, my favorite christmas ornament is one that my mother in law made for my husband and I our first christmas together. Its a gingerbread house with our names and the year on it. we had been moving around a lot! (and are still semi doing so) so it was very touching when we read what else she had put on the gingerbread house: "as long as we are together, we are home."

  23. Christa

    My fav ornament is an ivory porcelain angel holding a crystal drop. It’s elegant and timeless :)

  24. daniel overbey

    My favorite is one I haven’t bought/made yet. My wife and I are adding an ornament to the tree this year for our son. We have one for each of us (mine with a flying WV on it), one for the dog, and one for the cat. Now Alan Jameson needs one for his first christmas.

  25. Julia

    We have a ridiculous sparkly flying pig ornament (some may call it ugly) but I smile just thinking about it. I absolutely love it, mainly because it was the silliest thing in Target our first Christmas together and Mike let me buy it. :) The ornament is a total symbol of how he humors me and how much I love him for it!

  26. Christine

    My favorite is one that I just recently got from my Mom & Dad and I can’t wait to put it up!! It’s the rear of a car with a "just married" sign on it – it even has little cans dragging behind it! They got our names put on it too. Since it’s our first "married Christmas" – I might just steal your ornament collecting idea & do it as a yearly thing ;)

  27. erica sergio

    oh my gosh i’m so glad you asked! we just decorated our tree last night … i freakin love christmas so much! my favorite ornament of all time is a little plastic apple & here’s why: when my parents first got married they were super poor & the only ornaments they could afford their first christmas were these little cheesy plastic apples. when i got married & moved out i took one with me & i hang it on the perfect branch front & center every christmas to remind me where i came from & what really matters – family, friends, & little plastic apples :)

  28. Lori Moss

    My favorite ornament, the one shimmery ornament I based my entire childhood happiness on, is also the one ornament I held dearly as my own for so many sweet holiday memories only to discover it was a lie! A charade! A ruse if you will. Oh Care Bear! Shiny, silvery, abused, Care Bear. I long to hold you; yet you were never mine to hold. For 10 long years I thought I’d made you, only to find out in one cold, aloof comment from Mother, that you belonged to Sister. And now that many years have passed, I’ve put aside my anger and can think back on our last moment together as I slung you over the railing and into the brook where if I couldn’t have you, no one could, with nothing but glowing love and admiration. I still love thee! (ok I made up that last Kathy Bates moment).

  29. Jackie L.

    The ornaments are soo pretty! My favorite ornament is the one I made back in grade school. It was an atrocious thing too big to fit on the tree with my second grade picture on it. A classic picture too, I was missing my two front teeth, and my hair was crimped, lol. The glitter was everywhere and my penmanship needed improvement. But it was a fun project nonetheless and my mother still has it. I love Christmas :)

  30. Lesley

    Those are so cute!

    My favorite ornament isn’t exactly an ornament. The first Christmas my Fiance and I celebrated together we decorated a tree in his apartment and ran around department stores after department stores looking for things to decorate the tree with. I wanted to purchase a star or an angel to go on top of the tree but he insisted that I make it instead of buying it.

    I was completely confused why he wanted me to make one, but I granted his request. I sat down one night with pipe cleaner, hot glue, pom poms, and an idea and got to work. When I showed him my star he was completely surprised by it – he was expecting something that wasn’t so ‘involved’ – more like a craft paper star with glitter.

    We’re proud to put it on top of our tree every year cause it symbolizes what our relationship is about, encouraging and listening. :)

  31. Lydia

    My favorite ornament is one my sisters, mom, and I made when we were really young. We cut pink hearts out of clay dough and baked them in the oven. The hearts were wrapped in cloth doilies and tied with a tiny string of pearls. Even though it was years and years ago, I still remember the joy we had in making them. Looking at them today I can’t believe we actually made them. They really look like something from a boutique store! I know my sisters and I will be fighting over them when we all move out and have our own families. ;-)

  32. Tira J

    I already submitted my ornament story last night, but then I woke up today and thought more about the ornaments I have and their meaning. One more really quick one. I do still have an ornament I made when I was in preschool if you can believe that, it is a juice can lid with a hole punched in it, yarn through the hole and glitter on both sides. It is pretty special. And, my hubby and I have purchased Hallmark ornaments with the year on them since we got married in 2000, so every year I make my way down to our local Hallmark store to purchase a new memory. Thanks Mary for allowing us to share our special memories. :)

  33. Mary Marantz

    pshhht…are you kidding?!? Thank YOU guys for sharing them with us….these are AMAZING!!!

  34. Tiffany

    What adorable ornaments! You should post a picture of your whole tree! MY favorite holiday ornament is a very simple glass star that has gold ribbon to hang it from the tree. Engraved on the star is the date and the name of the hospital my son was born at. You see my First born (Jack) was born Christmas morning at 8:01am via C-section. Now most people balk at the thought of having ones birthday on Christmas but there was really nothing we could do to avoid it and I’ll tell you…that Christmas morning was the best most special Christmas I will ever have. I was given the most beautiful & precious gift, my son. He was born happy and healthy and every year when I hang that ornament I see his adorable plump baby face all over again.

  35. Feuza

    Adorable~ I love this kind of stuff in American Tradition, when I was enganged I told my fiance now husband that we should buy a special ornament each year and the first one is always special, it was a moon and star ornament and today I got three for us to decorate the tree tomorrow.

  36. Robin Dini

    such a cute post guys! Super creative. My favorite ornament is this little elf in a slipper that I have. It’s green and white strips with red accents. So 1970’s but so stinking cute! My parents let us "adopt it" from their tree when we were married. Second would be the "1st Xmas" ornament that my mother in law got us the first year we were dating. circa 1996. It’s really special to have that on our tree now :)

  37. Jasmine Marie

    My husband of five months of I just bought our first ornament together and it meant so much to me. I loved looking at your collection and can only hope that God will provide Adam and I with one just like it with lots of stories of blessings each year. So for me, so far… my fave ornament is our first one (it’s the back of a car that says "our 1st xmas" and has a christmas tree on the roof of the car). Wishing your family a blessed holiday season!

  38. carla Ten Eyck

    my favorite is my barbie shoe xmas tree ornament…it ROCKS

  39. Mary Marantz

    barbie shoe….is it like the smallest ornament EVER?! :) so glad I got some C10 time in last night!!

  40. DawnB

    I have a Santa that my oldest son made out of toliet paper in elementary school (he’s 25 now). I have no idea how he made it, but that puppy gets wrapped very carefully when we pack up the ornaments!

  41. Stef

    My favorite ornament was given to me as a baby from my Uncle Joe. It’s a handmade sewn mailbox with "Steffa’s First Christmas" embroidered on the side. It looks like those handmade ornaments you get at school bazaars. It even has a little flap that opens in the front. "Santa" would put a tiny gift in there every year for me which I couldn’t wait for. Tiny babies dolls, fancy notes, little lipsticks, etc. I later went on to have over 6 penpals in different countries at one time – my absolute favorite thing is to receive and send mail -even in this crazy age of email-there still nothing like receiving a handwritten letter. I would be the one running to the mailbox everyday to check to see if I received anything!

  42. Christopher

    This will sound sappy, but there is one that my son made when he was 3 (he is now 12), that I just love. It brings back such good memories.

  43. Mary Marantz

    not sappy at all!! I think that’s awesome!

  44. juls

    I would say my favorite ornament would be the glass ones my daughters and I painted, glittered, and added ribbon to. My daughters were four and ten at the time and they are now a college freshman and a seventh grader! What… where does the time go? We still have those ornaments and they bring back such beautiful memories. We will be decorating our tree this weekend. Thanks for bringing back the memory of that time spent painting/decorating with my daughters all those years ago!

    P.S. Thanks for leaving me a comment on my blog even though I have not updated in ages! I’m glad you did cause now I have more eye candy to look at…love all the beautiful photos and stories.

  45. Annie

    Thanks for the comment about the guy watching me try on coats! ;)

    One of my favorite ornaments of all time is a crown of thorns with a verse in the middle…I love it because it’s what Christmas is all about. Jesus loved us so incredibly much that He was willing to come as a man to this earth…and in the end give up His very life.

  46. elizabeth

    My favorite ordament are these handmade crocheted snowflakes that my grandmother made

  47. Katherine Bowman

    Hum… now I’m thirsty for Starbucks!! :) My favorite ornament would be this old metal bell. When my brother and I were little we always hung it on a bottom brach under tree, so we would know when Santa delivered the presents of course! :) I just put it on our tree the other day in the same spot and it brought back memories of my brother and I when we were little!

  48. Maggie

    The first Christmas we were married I fell in love with an exquisite ornament in a little shop. I went back three times before I splurged on this purchase. It was a clear glass ball intermittently wrapped with strands of thin golden filigree interlaced with gold beads and sequins. It hung from a golden thread. I wrote my husband a poem about how this crystal ball was like our love. As these 36 years have passed I have written three subsequent poems as the ball has lost some of it’s luster, the thread has become thin and tattered, and many of the filigree bands have broken losing the delicate beads and detail. Our life has endured the same changes, losses and heartaches but the inner circle remains the same; steadfast and true.It is no longer the prettiest ornament on the tree but it is the most beautiful.

  49. Mary Marantz

    Omigosh, Maggie!! That’s an AMAZING story!!!

  50. Michelle

    My favorite ornament are crotched angels my grandmother made .

  51. corey matthews

    My favorite ornament is the one that we all made in class with a little aluminum pan yarn and your photograph inside the base of the pan with red and green glitter around the pan sides. my mom has it put away!!

  52. Annie H.

    My favorite ornament would have to be a snowman family of four with our names on it, because our family is now complete.

  53. Julia

    OK, so as I said above, I’m uber-behind on all your fabulous entries. But I HAVE to post to this one. My favorite ornament is HIDEOUS. It’s an orange/copperish ball, covered in silky fabric with gaudy (sp?) sparkly bits, gold threading, and pearls. Totally 70s and totally hideous. Could be draperies for all I know.

    As a kid, my mother HATED this ornament, but my father had given it to her as a gift one of their first Christmases together, so she felt obligated to hang it. But she hung it in the back, deep in by the trunk. She claimed "Something has to go back there, why not that?"

    Of course, I was pain in the rear, so every year, I found that darn ornament and moved it prominently to the front… until my mother would see it and move it back. And the vicious cycle would continue. =)

    I confiscated it a few years ago for myself because I realized it was still being relegated tot he back, and I wasn’t there to rescue it and relocated it back into the spotlight. =) It will hang proudly on *my* trees for many years to come.

    Love all of yours!

  54. Mary Marantz

    LOL Julia I love this story!!

  55. Jaclyn Marie

    My favorite ornament of all time is hideous. I was really into crafting when I was little, and my sister and I thought it would be a great idea to get a craft book full of ideas for homemade ornaments.
    We ended up making an angel tree-topper out of a dixie cup, a Styrofoam ball, and some of that fake hair they have at Hobby Lobby. We dressed her up real pretty-like, but she’s still the ugliest thing ever. My parents put her on top of their tree to this day!
    My sister was killed in a car accident a couple years ago, so the angel means more to me now than I could have ever imagined!

  56. J*Grace

    My favorite as a kid was always this one that had Garfield the cat looking out of the window with Christmas lights all around. I don’t even know what it was my favorite… I think just all the happy colors!

    My mom has since moved to putting only *pretty* things on the tree, but I still always make her put the Garfield one up– even though it always get relegated to the back of the tree– you know… where the uglies go :)

  57. Catie R

    My favorite ornament of all time is one that I must have made in Kindergarten. It’s a green pipe cleaner with a styrofoam ball painted red, on top of a cupcake liner, with a little jingle bell. It’s so ugly, but my mom has kept it all these years and puts it on the tree every year. It means a lot :)

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