Nic and I picked up our first Christmas tree from Michael's when they had a 50% off sale on all trees. It's a bit taller than a meter, so a great size for a small apartment. We also got it pre-lit with white bulbs. It was about $25, which is great since it'll last us through until we get a house and can have a full-size tree. (And let's be honest, I'll still decorate the smaller tree!)
Since the tree is so small, we had to be selective about which ornaments went up. For the gold baubles, Mom had given me all her gold and red ones when she changed her own decorating scheme for Christmas. I used a mix of "brushed" and shiny ones.
Next, I had brought some of my favourite ornaments from home. There's a good mix of childish ones, keepsakes, and vintage.
In high school I started one of my favourite traditions, inspired by my Mom. Whenever Mom goes on a trip, she buys an ornament to remember it by. So of course on our honeymoon, Nic and I had to get an ornament. We chose this lobster trap from Cheticamp, which is the town right outside the Cape Breton Highlands Park where we camped.
This angel is from the Esterhazy Palace in Hungary. In grade 12 my music department toured Austria and Hungary. This was my first purchase for my keepsake ornaments. I think she's adorable, and it makes me happy every time I look at her.
The palace was owned by the Austrian royal family, and is gorgeous.
We had a ridiculous time getting to the palace from Budapest: of the 3 tour buses, ours caught on fire... Wait, what? There was smoke coming out of the engine, so we had to get off, (all of the instruments got taken off!) and wait for one of the other two buses to double back and get us.
Reading Week of first year university my residence sent about 40 of us on a Mennonite Disaster Service trip to Mississippi and Louisiana to help rebuild after Hurricane Katrina. My group worked in Pass Christian, Mississippi for the week. The depressing thing we learned while there was that even though most of the press focused on New Orleans, the most damage was around Pass Christian.
I learned how to put down laminate flooring and ceramic tiles.
We got to do some touristy things in New Orleans, (loved the French Quarter) so I got this Santa Claus riding a gator. One of the days I went on a short hike through a swamp, where you could see some baby gators a meter away, and big ones further away from us.
The hummingbird is one of my favourite ornaments. I got it from my great-grandmother who passed away when I was 5 or 6. I only met her a couple times since she was in Manitoba, but I've treasured it. I have always loved hummingbirds (second favourite bird after Canadian loons) and it's so delicate and beautiful.
I do usually have larger ornaments (it seems like 50% of my ornaments are ballerinas or ballet-related, but they're all too big for the scale of this tree) so someday we'll put them up on a big tree.
Of course, I can't forget this ornament that I cross-stitched for our first Christmas together!
What ornaments do you have on your tree? What stories go with them?