Growing up, my family bought ornaments throughout the year– one for every vacation we took, for every friend or family member who passed away, and other momentous events. Sam and I have been continuing this tradition, which is why our two years of marriage only fills up a two-foot tree!
But I love that each ornament is special:
Funny story about the Coca Cola ornament that I just have to share: for our first married Thanksgiving, in 2009, Sam and I visited my Mom’s side of the family. The whole family was getting together to play Dirty Santa, so everyone had to bring a unisex gift to contribute. I didn’t know what to get, so at the last minute I bought a huge popcorn tin with the Coca-Cola Santa on it, in a gift set that included two ornaments. As soon as I got the tin home, I realized it was a mistake–it barely fit in my suitcase, especially in addition to everything else we had to pack. I complained about that popcorn tin all the way to New Jersey, saying over and over again how glad I would be to get rid of it.
Well, can you guess what’s coming? We start playing Dirty Santa, and Sam is hungry. So what gift does he trade to get his hands on? That’s right, the gigantic tin of popcorn. He’s so hungry that he starts diving into the popcorn right away, but doesn’t finish it that night… and since we were in a beach house rental, we couldn’t leave it behind. So I have to pack the tin AGAIN in my bulging luggage and fly it all the way back to Mississippi. But now the generic Coca Cola ornaments have a funny story!
Another memory: my senior year of college, I was exhausted from classes and student teaching by the time Winter Break rolled around. I set out to get in the Christmas spirit to the best of my college-budget ability: a net of lights meant for a bush was hung on the wall in the living– we liked it so much, we left it up for the rest of the school year, and lit it at parties for a festive glow. The two-foot fake tree we still have today was bought for $12. I pulled out my craft supplies to inhabit the tree with ornaments– as an Elementary Education major, craft supplies were the one thing I had in abundance! From pipe cleaners, we made candy canes and snowflakes (as seen in the next picture below). I went through old magazines and tore out scraps of all the colors of the rainbow, and collaged them into ornaments… trees and holly and penguins and stars. My roommate Zach put a picture of Lil Wayne on the star, and our tree was complete (somehow, that star didn’t survive). I love my low-budget ornaments from college!
We’ve yet to pick out a new ornament for 2011… I imagine it will be San Francisco-themed! I’ll be sure to share it when I find it 🙂