Christmas Countdown #14 = Ornaments, part II

Yes, we are here for part II of the Christmas Ornament Extravaganza!  Today’s ornaments were (mostly) chosen by Quinland, with a few additions from moi.  The photos are terrible, I will tell you up front. With the flash on, they were overexposed; without it, they could not focus properly.  I think the tree lights messed up the focus/lighting.  I need either a better camera (probably) or better photography skills (most definitely), because I could not figure out how to fix it.  Suggestions welcomed!

Since this is Quinland’s day, we should start with a couple of her faves.  The Ninja Rhino (an after-Christmas score) is her very favorite, followed very closely by the pickle.  According to “legend,” the pickle is hidden and the child who finds it gets a special gift.  The legend is unsubstantiated and probably originated with pickle-ornament makers.


We got these felt ornaments in Budapest back in 1990.  The mischievous devil boy is called the Krampusz; he travels with St. Nicholas and gives switches of dried twigs to the children who have been bad.  Quinland loves these little guys.  My friend Linda – who was traveling with us – has matching ornaments, and I always make sure I am the one to hang them at her tree trimming party each year. (Which is being held right now… and I am not there because Q and I are not feeling well.  So sad.)


Next, Q picked out some ornaments from friends: a felt mushroom from Nancy; the lovely ornament my little Hannah handcrafted for my birthday last year; and a piggy bank from Little Ina (with a real pre-Euro German pfennig in it!).


A few more:  the “creepy angel head,” St. Nick, and a Santa head handmade by one of my fifth-grade students.  (Thank you, Ana!)


Here’s one from my childhood.  Gina and I sewed and stuffed quite a few of these guys one year.  (This gingerbread man is the only one I have.)  The camel is from David’s family, from when he was little.   The hobby-horse is another Q favorite, one that I got at the Christmas store in college.


Some more travel ornaments!  A bone china bell from Dublin, where I studied in 1988; and the Cafe du Monde in New Orleans, where I went with Grammelie Groo and five-month-old Quinland back in 1999. Tree ornaments make excellent souvenirs.  They are small enough to store easily; you get them out and look at them regularly; and you have a specific place to display them when you do.


That’s Part II of our Christmas Ornament Extravaganza!  My little Junior Girl Scout says, “Until next time!”

Daily Check-In:

  • I’m grateful! that I didn’t feel as sick as yesterday.  (It was pretty much just slept away.)
  • I’m lighter! I helped David with the main floor, which is looking pretty good.  Took the IKEA snowflakes off the tree (the visible cords were bugging me) and hung them in the “fake window” between our family room and hallway.  Much better, I think.

Christmas Countdown #15 = Ornaments, part I

Oh, how I love Christmas ornaments! We started to unpack them and decorate the tree tonight. We don’t have one-tenth of them out yet – as Quinland says, this will probably be a three-part series, because we must give the ornaments their rightful airtime – so this is just a brief peek.

Let’s start with some childhood ornaments made by David and me. His is made from a yogurt lid and mine from felt:

Here are a few I bought in college, when I worked at a Christmas store at Washington Square. The skier is hilarious; it was missing one ski pole when I bought it, so it was marked way down and I just pretended he had dropped it. Over the years, that entire arm fell off. Can’t really explain that one away as easily.


I love crocheted-lace ornaments. In addition to a gazillion snowflakes, I have collected some special ones over the years. The bells represent the year we got married; the little angel is for our first baby, who we lost in a second-trimester miscarriage; the baby shoes, my little baby Quinland’s first Christmas.


These all remind me of tiny Quinland.  Glenda, my principal at St. Agatha, gave Quinland the little girl ornament for her first Christmas. The paper plate ornament was made by Quinland at our friend Judy’s when she was taking care of Q. The curled-paper one was given to Quinland by Ian, one of her first classmates at Tualatin Valley Preschool.

Here are a couple that remind me of my extended family. My cousin Penny made the egg ornament from a real egg, Ukrainian-style, 20+ years ago. My nephew Cullen made the little stocking ornament when he was three.


Last, but by no means least, we have what may be the most famous ornament on our tree: the Sheep Head On A Stick. We do not ask what it symbolizes; we just accept its sheer awesomeness.

More ornament goodness will follow tomorrow!

Daily Check-In:

  • I’m grateful! that the line at the Post Office was so much better than I expected today.
  • I’m lighter! I had a lovely lunch out with Deb today, and for a fun night with Quinland tonight.