One thing I find most special about the holidays, aside from spending quality time with friends and family, is reliving memories of days gone by.
Our Christmas tree is filled with ornaments dating back to when my husband and I were children. Each year as we hang the ornaments on the tree we talk about how we acquired the ornaments and special memories that we have attached to them.
The little angel dressed in yellow is from the late 50′s (my best guess). Its been on our family’s Christmas tree since I was a little girl. Every year for my entire life that little angel has been on our tree. When I got married and moved away my Mom let me take it with me. She’s made of felt covered wired and has seen better days. I don’t care if she’s totally falling apart and held together with tape – she’ll always be on my Christmas tree.
The white blob to the right of the photo is a feathered covered Turtle Dove. There was two of them. They too are probably from the late 50′s or early 60′s and always on my Christmas tree. Two years ago our dog (then a puppy) got a hold of one and chewed it apart.
The hand shaped ornament in the above picture my son made in first grade. The snowmen above that ornament was the last ornament my Mom gave to us the year before she passed away.
To the lower right is a small green tree. Its actually a little purse. When I was little I used to keep the coins my great-grandmother gave me inside of it for safe keeping.
The snowman in the above picture a friend of mine gave to me about four years ago as part of a “Secret Santa” exchange. The Reindeer my great-uncle Richard gave to me. We were in Pennsylvania visiting other relatives and we stopped by a holiday shop. My uncle knew that I got a new ornament each year so he let me pick out one and I chose this one. Its lost a lot of its “fur” but I still cherish it all the same. I haven’t seen my great-uncle since the mid-80′s.
The sleigh above the candy cane reads “Every time a bell rings an angel gets it’s wings“. My son got that from his teacher in Kindergarten. The yellow snowman to the left my daughter painted for my mother in law when she was a little girl. When my mother in law passed away we took that ornament back so that our daughter can have it when she grows up and moves away as a special memory of Grandma.
As you can see ornaments are VERY special and precious to our family. Each year we made sure to get our children a new ornament. Not only do we hope that they will have special memories attached to it about the Christmas they received it but its also a great way for them to build their own ornament collection so when they grow up and have their own families they will have ornaments for their own Christmas trees.
Each year we visit our local Hallmark store to let the kids pick out a new ornament. Hallmark always has such fun ornaments. My favorites are the ones that make music, sounds and/or are animated. Sadly some of the animated ones are out of our price range but they are still fun to play with in the store.
This year my kids picked out their new ornaments already. Our daughter chose a beautiful ceramic-like snowflake with a dangling crystal in the center and crystal accents. You can’t tell from the photo but at night when the tree is lit the colors of the Christmas lights dance off of the crystals. It’s stunning!
The silver charm dangling off of it came with it. It has the year engraved on it.
Our son is a HUGE fan of the online game site, Club Penguin. Its no wonder he picked out this super cute Penguin ornament. His mouth moves and he has a stick on his back, similar to a nutcracker. I think he’s suppose to be a nutcracker Penguin.
My husband and I don’t often buy ornaments for ourselves but this year my husband surprised me with a Fisher Price airplane. I LOVE Fisher Price Little People. They were my world growing up – literally! I still have my WOODEN Little People and the original airplane I played with up in my Dad’s attic.
The ornament looks EXACTLY like the toy I played with growing up. I even has a door that opens to reveal the Little People inside.
I hope that these ornaments will remind our children of Christmas 2010. That was the year that they went to NYC to see the Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center (we will be on Saturday) plus any other special things that happen this year.
A new tradition we have been enjoying, also from Hallmark, is their recordable Christmas books. Last year we received The Night Before Christmas. This year they have added Frosty the Snowman to their recordable book list.
We have the Frosty the Snowman recordable book. What I absolutely LOVE about the Frost the Snowman book is that its based upon the TV movie. I adore the story of Frosty the Snowman and look forward to the movie being aired on TV each year (we have the DVD too). Hallmark could have easily gone with a “generic” Frosty character for the book. Instead they went with the iconic Frosty that is seen on millions of TV screens around the world each year. THANK YOU HALLMARK!
If you haven’t experienced the recordable books from Hallmark yet you are missing out on an amazing gift for someone you love, or for yourself.
The recordable books allow YOU (or someone you love) to read the story as it is written in the book and record it at the same time. The special thing about these books is that when you or a child turns the page the recording plays around with it so that the voice “reads” what is written on each page. Its so easy that a small child can enjoy these books. All they have to do is turn the page to hear you, your spouse or even a grandparent read the story to them.
I WISH my Mom and Mother in law were still alive. I would ask each of them to record themselves reading one of the books that we have. That way my children would have their grandmother’s voices to remember them by. Even I would love to hear my Mom read a story. My Mom passed away 8 years ago this month. She died three days after Christmas. I wish I could hear her voice again.
The recordable books from Hallmark would also be a wonderful way for a parent serving in the military to read a story to their child every night before they go to bed. The child would just have to turn the pages to hear their Mom or Dad read the story to them.
At the moment my video camera is not functioning right (I think the battery needs to be replaced all together – its not charging) so I am unable to she you a video of the book. Sorry about that.
By the way the band across the front of the book that let’s you know its a recordable storybook comes off.
Hallmark does offer recordable story books that are not related to the holidays so your child can enjoy these special books year round. There are currently 15 titles in the Hallmark recordable storybook collection. You can view them all here (look at the lower right side of the screen), http://www.hallmark.com/online/in-stores/recordable-storybooks. There is also a brief commercial that shows you how the book works. Its a lot better then any video I could have done.
You don’t have to be a “rocket scientist” to record yourself reading the story. I’m “technologically challenged” at times and I was able to figure it out right away.
A great feature about the books is when the battery eventually dies out you WON’T lose the recording. That way you don’t have to worry about losing precious material.
The Hallmark recordable books are sold at Hallmark stores across the country. To learn more or to find a location near you please visit www.Hallmark.com.
You can save $5.00 on your total Hallmark purchase with this printable coupon. It’s valid from 12/3/2010 – 12/5/2010 only. Click this link to go to the coupon page, http://images.revtrax.com/RevTrax/couponPrePrint.jsp?viewType=viewFull&programId=10495870&merchantId=10333238&affiliateId=10059346
*I received a free sample unit of the storybook. The ornaments I purchased on my own. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own.