Christmas Ornament Fever

My name is Crystal, and I’m an ornament-a-holic.

There, I’ve said it.

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Although this may be news to most of you, it will come as no surprise to my family, and to the friends that happen to live nearby. I’m actually a little amazed that they haven’t gotten together and staged an intervention for me years ago. But then, maybe they’ve been enjoying the festive ambiance of my ornament fever??? ;-)

christmastreestarThis “fever” began right after I got married. I had always loved Christmas but that year, as a new bride, I was decorating a tree in my very own home for the first time! It was so much fun to shop for colorful strings of lights and boxes of glass and satin ornaments (satin was so “in” then). And during that time, I remember reading an article in a women’s magazine that recommended buying one very special ornament every year so that eventually your tree would look amazing. I absolutely fell in love with that idea! From then on, each summer, we’d begin to look for that year’s “special ornament”.

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After our daughters were born, we began collecting an ornament per year for each of them, too. Our thought was that they’d each have a fairly sizable collection by the time they were out of the nest with trees of their own! I should mention that when that time eventually came, Mama Bear was very surprised how hard it was to say goodbye to those ornaments! After all, they had been on our family tree for so long, they were old favorites! I remember when the girls wanted to take the ornaments to their college dorms and I said “Ohhh, well, yeah, ummmmm, but don’t you want to wait until you have your own apartment?” LOL They were sweet enough to humor me for a few more years . . . but I digress.

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So all of this ornament collecting sent us in many directions. We bought some breathtaking glass ornaments. We received special ornaments as gifts occasionally. We’d always hit the after-Christmas sales for our favorite Hallmark ornaments. However, the ornaments I cherish most are the handmade ones. We found a few at craft fairs, but my daughters and I made most of them! (Click here and scroll down the page.) The girls began making simpler styles when they were quite young, but as they grew a little bit older, they were stitching tiny treasures that would melt your heart.

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After a while, there was no way that all of the ornaments would fit on our tree, so we began to have a different theme each year. One year it would be all glass ornaments; the next it was just the Hallmarks; the year after that – all handmade. Then there were the times we would just do a blend of all the styles we had, but only our very favorites from each style.

christmastreestarYou’d probably think that by now, the novelty of buying new ornaments would have worn off, but I still love to find a new ornament for the girls when I can. I also buy a new one – or three – for their father and me. (I have to make up for all the ones the kids finally did take, ya know!) And I still enjoy making ornaments, so I usually try to add a couple of those each year, as well.

By the way, have you noticed that the Christmas ornaments are on display in the Hallmark stores now? If anyone is looking for me, check there first! ;-)

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Christmas Ornaments Part 3

Here’s the 3rd part of my handmade ornament series.

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“Fabric & Ribbons”

These little characters feature fabrics and embellishments with a Christmas theme! They were whipped up fairly quickly on the sewing machine. Only the little slipper is sewn by hand (It can also be glued . . . click here for the pattern).

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In the photo above, in the bottom right corner, there’s a tiny cat wearing a dress. One year when I was making lots of different items for a craft show, I asked my husband if he could cut some cat shapes out of tin for me to dress as ornaments. He kindly obliged and they were a real hit at the show. I’m so glad that I kept one aside for us, though. Now, when we decorate the tree with all of the “handcrafted” ornaments that my daughters and I have made over the years, there’s one that was made by “Papa Bear” too!

Three’s Company . . .

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Which one in this category is my favorite, you ask? Well, I guess it would have to be “Humpty”. Love his bow tie, and look at that protective arm he has wrapped around the little angel! Awww . . .

Stay tuned for Part 4: “Mixed Media Ornaments”

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