12 Days of Christmas Ornaments: A Tradition of Memories — Day 8

IMG_3854On the eighth day of Christmas my true love gave to me –

8 family trips

7 Bruins beating Trojans (38-28!), 6 Asian Orbs, 5 manger scenes! 4 major awards, 3 dancing pigs, 2 handmade bells, and a portrait to put on the tree.

Seven years ago, our family visited the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. When I was 10, all I wanted to be was an astronaut, so the visit was truly thrilling for me, especially. So to remember our trip, I was so pleased to have found an ornament to help us relive our experience. Every time I bring out our golden space shuttle ornament, memories about a family trip and a youthful dream reemerge.

Though our son remembers one thing about that vacation (the Mickey pool on the Disney Cruise), I recall several more. At the space center I remember seeing the space suits, the mission control room, the size of the rocket boosters, and the shuttle mover over gravel. It was all awesome!IMG_4025

Yesterday I was a chaperone on my 5th grader’s field trip to the California ScienCenter, the new home of the retired space shuttle Endeavour. Again, to see the shuttle up close was amazing and the 3D IMAX movie, breathtaking and humbling. Our trip yesterday, our trip to Florida, and a little girl’s dream are all wrapped up in my tiny fragile ornament. It represents to me: God giving man the  ability to reach great heights, figuratively and literally!

On the flip side there’s God’s natural wonders, supernatural “great heights,” if you will. This last summer we visited Yellowstone, the first National Park in our country. There, we saw another kind of amazing. So what did I do? Well, I bought a bison ornament, naturally, since we saw about 100 of them.

Again, it’s my way of assuring that we remember the great moments in our lives, each time we bring it out in December.

On the ninth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me – visit here tomorrow to see.

12 Days of Christmas Ornaments: A Tradition of Memories – Day 2

kid-made ornament
kid-made ornament

On the second day of Christmas my true love gave to me —

2 handmade bells

and a portrait to put on the tree.

So I must have looked at the mystery object so many years ago and wondered, “What in the world could that be?”

Son: “It’s a bell, mommy!”

Mom: “Well, of course it is!”

To tell you the truth, I’m not sure if it was made years ago by the now 10-year-old or the 5-year-old? But I do remember thinking early on, “Maybe I should throw this one away?” As parents, we have to pick and choose, of course, lest we lose our families in a sea of creativity.

I’m so glad I didn’t throw the bell ornament away. This year it was hung low near my 10-year-old’s Converse and I couldn’t help but think, “The boy who now wears size 4.5 shoes, made this?”

I love these personal ornaments. And when my boys start wearing men’s size 9 shoes, I’ll love it even more.

Even ornaments from my own childhood make the cut for our tree. (Thank you for saving them, mom!)

One is an angel I made in my sewing class in 8th grade. I still sew today, so to see stitching from one of my first projects helps me be thankful for the teachers who shared their wisdom with me so I can pass on the blessings.

So on this second day of Christmas, remember to include handmade ornaments from you, your kids and your own childhood. Don’t throw them all out! Each creative masterpiece can take on new meaning through the years.

On the third day of Christmas, my true love gave to me – visit here tomorrow to see.

Ann's 8th-grade angel
Ann’s 8th-grade angel
make me a blessing
make me a blessing
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