Friday, December 2, 2011

Favorite Christmas Ornaments

I got out our Christmas decorations earlier this week and Mike set up the Christmas tree.  This is the first time ever (ever!) I've used an artificial Christmas tree, and I find it pretty upsetting in a first-world-problem-way-bigger-issues-to-worry about kind of way.  It's a lovely tree that was given to us by my uncle, but ever since I was a little girl we have always gone up into the mountains and cut a New Mexico Piñon Pine for our Christmas tree.  In the past few years, we've done that and brought it back, but five hundred miles with a tree on the car is less than ideal for anyone so we thought we'd skip it this year.  We did go hunt for a tree for my parents, so that tradition was preserved at least, and I was very happy.  It snowed on us while we were traipsing around up in the mountains, so it felt very Christmassy, but as the snow was unexpected we were all quite cold.

Anyway,  that's kind of off-topic from the crafty goodness I wanted to share today, and that's ornaments!  I could ramble nostalgically about almost every single ornament I have (and most of my mom's) but then you would get very bored (just ask Mike).  Suffice it to say that most of our ornaments are handmade "projects" or purchased from artists or commemorate an event and all of them fill me with happy yummy memories.  Here are a small selection of favorites, shown either because I really love them, or because I haven't seen to many like them around the internet.

My mom made these two fun styrofoam and glitter ornaments about 30 years ago.  She was ready to throw them out but I love them so snatched them away!

As with many of my ornaments, the second one has been a little dog-eaten.  And speaking of dogs, here are two dog-angel ornaments I made for my pups a few years back.  Alas, my Angel dog is no longer with us.  In the bottom picture on the left you can also see a fun crocheted glass-ball-coozy.  My mom and I made several of those some Christmases ago.  I  think that's the only one I have left.

The last couple of years I've made Mike (who is not interested in Christmas decorations at all) an ornament reflecting his interests.  In 2009, I made him this double-sided one after he got all excited and yelled, "They have wi-fi!" after seeing the amphitheater/ranger talk symbol at a state park.  

Last year I made him this felt one in honor of his favorite iPhone app, Evernote

Here are a couple crafty ones from when I was a kid.  The angel is entirely made out of different types of pasta.  The next one the simplest version of the infinitely variable styrofoam-ball-crafted-ornament, but I love the sparkly sequins.   The third one is a corn-husk doll ornament that we made back in the late 1980s at a Little House on the Prairie themed Girl Scout Day Camp (I also remember making sunbonnets).  I've always loved her although she's a bit worse for wear.

These two balls were made last year for Mike and me by a good friend of my dad.  In addition to glitter in the stripes, they're also coated in seed beads which give them a really fun texture, and was something I'd never thought of!

I made this one a few years ago out of an old piece of x-ray film and a silver paint pen.  It was for the top of my tree back before I crocheted the angel, but I still love to hang it even though it's now been displaced from the premier spot.

When we were growing up, my Mom used to give my sister and I an ornament every year.  Sometimes it was from an artist with our name/date and sometimes it was a unique ornament from someplace we visited.  One Christmas we went to Mexico, and my mom picked out these little matchbox nativity ornaments.  Sadly, the dog ate mine a couple of years later.  By chance, my sister mentioned this to her mother-in-law Mary Alyce who happened to have a similar matchbox nativity ornament.  I was so stunned when Mary Alyce just sent it to me out of the blue, and now every Christmas I have happy thoughts about her while decorating the tree.  You can also see a cute cross-stitch goose that my mom made.

Here are a few more from when I was a kid.  We made the little pearl-on-wire angels when I was younger, and in the background you can see several of the "yearly" clay ornaments.  At the bottom is an old New Mexico ornament which is one of my current favorites.

Finally, one store-bought ornament to close with. I just have to show you Darth Vader's TIE fighter in case there are any other Star Wars geeks out there.  It plugs into the light string so you can see the little illuminated Darth Vader in there.  This was actually my brother-in-law's but he gave it to me and I love it!

Sorry for the super-long post!  I edited out as many ornaments as I could, but I couldn't resist showing some of them.  I hope you are all enjoying advent and your own holiday preparations!  Any favorite ornament memories or stories out there you'd like to share?