When the Fashion Mister and I first got together, one from the Northern Hemisphere and one from the Southern Hemisphere, we decided we would start our own Christmas Traditions. At first it was largely due to my distinct lack of Christmas Spirit on my first Christmas in Australia, but it has grown into traditions that celebrate the season and who we are together.
One of my favourites is built around our love of travel and the fact that I have some Christmas Tree decorations and ornaments from my very first Christmas on my own at 18, as well as many that family and friends have made, or given, me over the years.
The Fashion Mister came to our relationship with ONE ornament. And that was one that I had sent him while I was still living in the US!
So we decided to build up a collection of ornaments that came with memories…our memories…ones we could share. On our first trip to the US together we stopped at the Christmas Shoppe in the town I grew up in and purchased some ornaments that represented our trip, Snowmen. You don’t see many snowmen in Australia, so they were a little different to the options we had back home. After a few trips back we now have a wide range of snowmen. But that is not where this tradition stopped.
Hong Kong: We actually have two of these beautiful reticulated fish. This yellow one and a deep purple one. We found them at one of the art shops where you can buy local made products. They came in a beautiful satin lined red box, which I usually stick under the tree once the ornaments are up.
Ireland: On our honeymoon we went to Ireland. The Fashion Mister’s great-grandfather had immigrated from there, my family history can be traced back there and one of my dearest friends lives there. Interesting that all of us can trace our family lines to within about 20 kilometers! We have a few of these beautiful white porcelain ornaments with their charming green shamrocks on our tree.
Egypt: You may know that there is a fair-sized community of Coptic Christians who live in Egypt, which may be why we were able to find these hand-blown and painted coloured glass balls while in the market in Egypt. I was really glad to see them make it back to Australia. They have been gracing our tree for about 5 years now.
Jordan: So this one took a little more imagination. While visiting Petra in Jordan, I bought a small bag of frankincense and myrrh. I thought it was pretty cool as they were two of the gifts the wise men brought with them. The trick was going to be how to do something with it so we could include it on the tree every year. Problem solved when I found this little silver box with the gold bow that actually opens up! Now the frankincense and myrrh are inside the box with the gold bow. Gold, frankincense and myrrh…kind of clever, hey?!
Back in the USA: Our last joint trip to the US was the Fashion Mister’s first ever white Christmas. We spent a couple of days before Christmas at Yosemite and attended their big Christmas dinner/play. In honour of the snow we brought back a few of these copper snowflakes. Also on that trip we had driven to Arizona to catch up with some friends and while wandering through a shop in Tuscon we found some lovely copper cacti ornaments. Both of these copper ornaments really remind us of our trip.
Spain: I was really surprised how difficult it was to find something different in the Christmas tree ornament category while in Spain. Everything looked like ornaments we could get back home. But with a little creativity (I’ll show and tell more tomorrow), we ended up with these cool ornaments as mementos of our trip to Spain.
The Fashion Mister and I put the tree up and decorate it together. Each of the special memory ornaments usually scores a kiss and in my mind, our Christmas tradition, is a great one!
- Tutorial: Memory Glass Ornaments (marjiekemper.typepad.com)
- Handmade Ornaments (gallantandjonesblog.com)
- Christmas Ornament Craft: Recycled Snowman (inspiredbyfamilymag.com)
- Oh Christmas tree… (mistymidnite.wordpress.com)
- Christmas Traditions (myblogexactly.wordpress.com)