Christmas Past – Part 4

Our Christmas tree is so full of memories.  Whenever we travel we try to find something reminiscent of our trip that can be added to our collection.  Sometimes we actually find ornaments.  Other times we opt for a souvenir key chain or other item that can be hung on our tree.

When each of my children were born, I started ornament collections for both of them.  They both have small trees for their rooms.  In addition to items they may have collected from special events in their lives through out the year, each Christmas I have made or purchased a special ornament.  When it comes time for them to leave the nest, they will have a nice collection of their own ornaments for their new homes.

There were lots of ornaments to choose from and I could have posted a blog that might have taken hours to read.  Instead, I chose to share just a few special ornaments from what I like to call our new traditions.

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My husband purchased this group of ornaments in Germany and Holland when he was in Europe on military duty.  We also have 2 nutcrackers and some Christmas chimes from that same trip.  It was our first Christmas as a family and each one of the ornaments has significance in the country from which it was purchased.

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I have read that a pickle ornament is a tradition in German families.  Although I am of strong German descent, my mother doesn’t recall ever hearing anything about this nor having a pickle ornament on any of the trees in her family.  The story goes that the ornament is hidden in the tree and the first child to find it receives an extra present.  It’s one of my daughter’s favorite ornaments.  Not because we’ve done the extra present thing but more likely because she and I torture her dad and brother with our love for pickles.  We can sit down with a jar of baby kosher dills and devour the entire thing all the while the men are complaining about the pickle smell!

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This ornament is a replica of an ornament that was very popular many years ago.  It was from our trip to St. Augustine.  When the ornament is placed over one of the Christmas tree lights, the heat from the light causes the air to rise and spin the blade inside.  I remember my paternal grandmother had an actual original of this type of ornament but I don’t know whatever happened to it.

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