Every family has a few special Christmas decorations that they put out every year. I thought I would challenge myself by taking a picture of our family’s special Christmas decorations that are a tradition to have out every year, especially with this being our daughter’s first Christmas. I wish we had taken pictures of a few of ours growing up (especially after some had been broken). So let me share with you some pictures and a few little stories about them. I am sure over the years our little family will acquire a few more special decorations, but for now we will start with these.
One of my all time favorites is our German incense smoker, he’s decked out as a little wood-carver. Every time we light the pinon incense, the smell takes me back to my childhood when I used to sit in front of the wood stove letting my hair dry as I would watch the smoker. He looked like a folksy St. Nicholas with a pack of toys on his back and a small tree in his hand, and from up on the mantel the smoke would billow out in a lacy ribbon down to where I sat as the room would fill with that wonderful scent. Now that I am married we carry out that same tradition and every year we carefully pull out the wood-carver and let the sweet smells of the pinon fill our home.
Growing up we had one big snow globe…it was my father’s and it was very special. To this day I have never seen a snow globe that big or beautiful (and sadly it was broken when I was bit older). As a child though, that snow globe was one of my favorite decorations we put out every year; I loved to watch the snow fall on the small mountain village…so I hunted for some time to find a very special snow globe for my family. It is extra special because it is from the movie White Christmas (my all time favorite, and a staple of the Christmas movie countdown in my husband’s family).
Surprisingly both my husband’s family and my own have the same felt style stockings. His were made by his great-grandmother and grandmother and ours were made by my grandmother and mother. We carry on this tradition as my mother made my husband a stocking when we got married and has made our daughter one as well (they seem to get fancier with each one she makes). She has also made them for my brother’s wife and each of their children and I plan to carry on the tradition one day to make the stockings for new family members.
Our German Christmas pyramid is one of my husband’s favorite decorations, as it reminds him of the one in his favorite Christmas movie National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. It’s a new decoration tradition that we started ourselves, so maybe one day our children will want to carry it on as well.
Our last tradition is another from my family– every year my parents bought my brother and I a Hallmark keepsake ornament for our collections. He had the Frosty Friends series and I the Crayola crayon series, and every year our parents still buy us our Hallmark ornament to add to our trees. This year, along with my ornament, they bought my daughter her first official Hallmark ornament marking her first Christmas (they also bought my husband a special ornament too so he wouldn’t feel left out). There is something so special to me about having a whole collection of my own ornaments that I received as I grew up that now get to decorate our tree every year, and I can’t wait to share that tradition with our daughter and future children.
When we recall Christmas past, we usually find that the simplest things, not the great occasions , give off the greatest glow of happiness.
~ Bob Hope