Memories on Branches

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This year we bought a second Christmas tree for our family room to display our every growing ornament collection. Not only was our living room tree starting to look a bit crowded, but I just didn’t have the heart to store some of these tiny treasures away without seeing them every year. Unwrapping each of those ornaments each year is a Christmas tradition both the hubby and I treasure. It’s the story behind each of those ornaments that mean the most.

Both the hubby and I have parents who started a similar tradition with us from birth by collecting an ornament from each year. We have a host of tiny soldiers, singing angels, jolly Santas, snowmen and many more that all line the branches and sparkle from within the twinkling lights of the tree.

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The second tree was also in anticipation of inheriting some of the hubby’s family felt ornaments. Until my in-laws arrived a few days ago for the Christmas holiday, I hadn’t ever seen these ornaments that the hubby has talked so fondly of throughout the years. The majority of the felt ornaments were made by KJ’s great grandmother in the 1960s, with a few handcrafted Disney treasures made by his grandma and mother. Let me tell you, these felt ornaments are not just your typical pieces of felt with beady eyes glued in place a ribbon trim. These babies are works of art!

Perfectly positioned sequins garnish each of these ornaments from the Partridge in the Pear Trees to the Ragged Ann and Andy dolls. Intricate cut out felt pieces embellish each ornament as pipping finishes them off.

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And talk about variety! We’ve got purple cows, red birds, panda bears, dancing gingerbread men, sassy turtles, mice, reindeer, snowmen, giraffes and more.

The hubby’s favorite include all the handcrafted Disney ornaments made by his grandma and mother. We’ve got the entire collection with Mickey and Minnie, Donald, Goofy, Dumbo, Bambi and the Lion King.

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The new ornaments and our new tree are finished off with a homemade tree skirt featuring Donald Duck and the boys. Now we just need to find that perfect tree topper!

We’re so excited to now have these treasures be a part of our collection that will live on for years to come and continue to share those stories from the branches on which they hang.

Merry Christmas from The Ritters!

O Christmas Tree

Christmas is my favorite time of the year. And even though I itch to get those decorations out as soon as I start to see jingle bells pop up in the stores, I patiently wait until the day after Thanksgiving to start the transformation. Early in the morning I lug the containers up from the basement (which have grown to quite a few throughout the years!) and carefully unpack the treasures that I neatly stowed the year before. With Christmas music filling the air, I can’t help but smile as I unwrap each item and reflect on its past.

Every item among my collection has a story to tell, from the ceramic figurines I made as a teenager to the Cowboy Santa that travelled with my husband from his home state of Texas. The Christmas treasures all have their own places in the house, with angels singing from the top of the piano to sledding snowmen on the coffee table.

With every decoration in its spot, the tree becomes my focus. Not only is it my most favorite Christmas treasure, but it offers a story in every ornament that hangs from its branches.

When I was only a year old, my mother started an annual tradition of getting us kids a new ornament each year to build a collection that would travel with us throughout our lives. Missing only one from the year I was born (and one that shattered a few year back), my collection offers 31 tiny treasures that twinkle from the lights around them. Some are round balls with colorful characters, while others are angels made from nuts and snowmen made of bells.

Throughout the years, I’ve added to my own collection with ornaments I’ve found or received as gifts. Even the hubby has added his own signature ornaments with skiing bears and, of course, ornaments with a little Texas style.

It’s a joy to reflect on all the items that bring us happiness this season. For me it’s the tiny treasures that make me think of family and friends who have graced my life. Merry Christmas!


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Welcome to my journey! I'm a wife, dog lover, gardener, outdoor enthusiast and cook, but I keep busy during the day as a communications, marketing and social media professional.
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