Thursday, December 13, 2012

Hanging On By a Thread

My memories are hanging on by a thread ... all over my Christmas tree. Today, this ornament will be making its way via U.S. Postal Service toward a Topeka Christmas tree. Each Christmas, my parents picked out a special ornament for each of their seven grandchildren. This year, it's my turn to continue the tradition with Kinley.

As the grandchildren got older, the ornaments reflected their interests. Jill's later ornaments included a shopping bag and a phone. Brent got a pickup ornament the year he bought his own pickup, and he had several Chiefs ornaments. A K-State cheerleader and a K-State football player were nestled in tissue paper one year, then hung proudly on the Christmas tree.

My parents gifted the ornaments until each grandchild graduated from high school. The Christmas after Jill was at Vanderbilt completing her dietetics internship, I packaged all her ornaments in a plastic tub. It made me a little sad to segregate the bear sledding on the Crayon box and all the other decorations that had hung from our family tree for so long. But it also gave her a great foundation of ornaments to begin decorating her own Christmas tree.

I've always collected my own Christmas ornaments, too. As I looked at Kinley's first photo ornament, I compared it to the one that shows her Mommy's debut Christmas, when she was only 3 months old. (Of course, I bought my own ornament so that I could have one of Kinley's first Christmas hanging on my tree, too.)
Jill - 1985 - 1st photo ornament
Now that Brent is done with school, I'll box up his ornaments from Grandma and Grandpa. But, for this year, I'm enjoying them one last time.

This was Brent's first ornament from Grandma and Grandpa.

And here's mine, showing Brent's 6-month photo on his very first Christmas in 1988. Each year, when I took Jill and Brent to Sears for their photos, I purchased a Christmas ornament along with the 5 X 7s and the 8 X 10s. And, as I decorate my Christmas tree each year, I believe it was money well spent. They are some of my favorite ornaments because they are like a scrapbook of my kids' lives - only better, since I was not so great at scrapbooking.

2009 - Randy's & Jill's Father-Daughter dance at her wedding - another all-time favorite
Interspersed with those Sears ornaments are photo ornaments from other life events - Jill and Brent on a spring break trip to Denver or Jill laughing and dancing with her Dad at her wedding.
The oldest ornament on my tree is one my Grandma Leonard made when I was a little girl. This little choir boy has lost his hanger thread, but I always nestle him among the branches in a prominent place so I can see him and remember.
Yes, my memories are hanging on by a thread ... and that's a very good thing.


  1. Kim,
    Growing up we made a lot of ornaments. I think it was a great way for Mom to keeper her little girls occupied on wintery days.

    Styrofoam balls, glue, paint, toothpicks, lids and lots of glitter!

    1. We have some of those from the kids' Sunday School days. Yes, there are some of those hanging on my Christmas tree each year, too!

  2. Your Christmas tree is absolutely beautiful and I love the pictures of the ornaments. We have those, too, of my daughter from birth up and they are so fun to look at and we are amazed at how quickly those 19 years went by. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thanks! I love it, too. I realize I'm not in vogue with a perfectly color-coordinated tree. But, to me, my conglomeration of mismatched ornaments is the perfect combination. Sounds like your tree is like that, too! Thanks for taking time to comment. Merry Christmas!

  3. I love your tree too. Larry and I began collecting ornaments when we particular theme other than the colors of red and gold. When we restored the farm house I started a Victorian tree, beginning with a few of the angels from the "old" tree. You and I had the same idea for our blog this week. I hope you enjoy my blog post about our tree too.

    1. One of the souvenirs I get on trips is a Christmas ornament. So, besides the photos and special ornaments that remind me of the kids, I get to remember special trips we've taken as I unpack the Christmas ornaments. I just read your blog, and I love your beautiful and meaningful tree!