Last year was our first Christmas as a married couple. It was only a few months into our marriage (and a couple months into pregnancy!) and we weren't even in our Ann Arbor apartment on Christmas Day...so what I'm really getting at is that we didn't really do much in the way of decorations. We had a nice fireplace in that apartment so I meticulously placed all of the Christmas cards we received out on display which gave the living room a happy, festive feel. But we certainly didn't procure a Christmas tree.
This year we are still living simply when it comes to the decorations - but we did manage to find a small, table top tree (Target: $12) to (at least) display our collection of ornaments.
Did I mention that I love our growing, little collection of Christmas ornaments? Probably not, but that's actually the main reason I'm writing this post.
When we started going on adventures and taking weekend trips we were in search of some kind of souvenir that we could find almost anywhere we traveled. For example, I remembered that Kelley and her husband collect napkin rings (did I remember that right, Kelley?) and two of my college friends buy a new piece of artwork wherever they travel. I loved both of those ideas but we needed something that suited us (and was conducive to our current lifestyle of potentially packing up and moving around in the next few years). So what did we decide to collect? You guessed it - Christmas ornaments!
Ornaments are quite common in gift shops...although they were surprisingly difficult to find on some of our trips. However, we have managed to find something to commemorate all but two of the trips we took this past year.
|About half of these were ornaments I acquired back when we were dating or|
engaged or were gifts to us last year - the other half are from
our adventures together :)
Words cannot express how grateful I am that we decided to do this! Decking our little Christmas tree is officially a tradition that will grant us a happy trip down memory lane just as I could see it has always been for my family growing up. Don't get me wrong - I love those pretty, matchy matchy ornaments that follow a particular color scheme...but I also love an assorted collection of ornaments that have their own unique stories behind them. And one year later, for our second married Christmas, we have begun a humble collection of such shared memories. :)
What kinds of Advent or Christmas traditions do you follow in your family? How and when do you decorate your tree (if you decorate one at all)? This year we happened to decorate our tree just in time for Gaudete Sunday (which happened to fall on my birthday this year!) - but I'm not certain when we will decorate in the future.
"O Tannenbaum, o Tannenbaum!
Du kannst mir sehr gefallen!
Wie oft hat nicht zur Weihnachtszeit
Ein Baum von dir mich hoch erfreut!
O Tannenbaum, o Tannenbaum!
Du kannst mir sehr gefallen!"
-from "O Tannenbaum"