Do you celebrate Christmas? If so, are you one of those families/people that enjoy putting their tree up ASAP after Thanksgiving (or even before Thanksgiving), or do you prefer to wait until closer to Christmas? Do you have an artificial tree, or a real tree?
I heard on the news the other day that you should only keep a real tree for 14 days. After that, it can become a potential fire hazard. As much as I love the look and smell of real trees, stuff like that scares the heebie jeebies out of me.
As for me and my family, we have a artificial tree. We put it up the day after Thanksgiving and make it a point of hanging the ornaments together, as a family.
If you look at our Christmas tree, it does not resemble something you’d see in a department store. Our tree is overflowing with purchased ornaments, and handmade ornaments. There are ornaments on the tree that my husband and I had as children (and we’re in our 50’s), including a handmade ornament my 3rd grade teacher gave me. Also on our tree are many ornaments our kids have made us over the years, both at school and at home. Some are well thought out and planned (school ones), and others are just random things our kids chose to make at home, using whatever we had at that time (paper, glitter, gems…).
The best part of decorating our Christmas tree is reliving the moments and memories behind each and every ornament. Each one tells a story, albeit even if it’s a as brief as “I saw it and I liked it.”
Last year I did a review post about an adorable book set called Oliver the Ornament. The set included a charming book and a cute ornament. You can read that review here – Oliver the Ornament.
Oliver the Ornament is the first book in a planned series of books and ornaments that families can turn into a new holiday tradition. The second book in the series is called Oliver the Ornament Meets Belle.
In the original book, the story was about how Oliver came to be with his family.
Oliver the Ornament is a tale of one family’s cherished Christmas ornaments. The story centers on Oliver, who has been with this family since Mom and Dad’s very first date.Years later, Oliver, now injured and bullied, still has the magic of Christmas in his heart. The story follows Oliver’s excitement for Christmas, his heartbreak, and his determination to overcome all odds to save the day. Oliver, along with his friends, will warm hearts with his kindness, humility, and love for his family and friends.
In the second book, Oliver tells the kids how lonely he was being the only ornament on the tree, aside from the ornamental balls, who didn’t talk back to him. Thankfully Belle came along and he finally had a friend to talk to.
Meanwhile… up in the attic there is a mean ornament named Nellie that the other ornaments don’t like. She’s done mean things to them, such as gluing down a ladder and trying to melt another ornament in the sun coming from the window.
The ornaments want to get through to Nellie, but Nellie is not going to let them. In fact, Nellie has other plans for the ornaments and Christmas.
I have a strong feeling that the next book in the series is going to focus on Nellie (a donkey).
In Oliver Meets Belle, all of the beautiful illustrations are there, same as the ones in the first book, Oliver the Ornament. I appreciate the consistency, especially for families who plan on purchasing the new book and ornament in the series each year.
I liked the story, but I do feel like it was a bit disjointed. There is very little in the story about Belle, especially considering it should be about her. The book focused more on Nellie. Not only that, the story bounces around too much. It starts off with Oliver getting ready to tell the story about how he met Belle, then to Nellie, then a brief story about Belle, then back to Nellie again. The story just ends too, and it’s the way it ends that leaves me to believe that the next book and ornament is going to be about Nellie and why she hates Christmas.
Even though the story seemed to flow in an odd way, and it didn’t focus that much on Belle, it’s still a cute story. I’m sure most children aren’t going to be a “nit-picky” as adults are.
As for the ornament, it’s just as beautifully made as the Oliver ornament is. It’s solid and well made with great detail and bright colors. Belle looks so sweet next to our Oliver ornament, which we hung on our tree again this year.
I think having special ornaments is a fabulous way to make memories, and to relive those memories year after year.
Recently I saw something that was shared on Facebook that I found to be very true. I don’t know who originated this, so I cannot provide proper credit. If anyone knows, please shoot me an email so I can credit the image and/or quote properly.
This is all so true. Except I do remember when I was 9 years old I received a Ballerina Barbie. That was the year my mom was in the hospital for Christmas. She was in ICU and they wouldn’t let me visit her because I was a child. She called me on the phone Christmas Eve to wish me a “Merry Christmas” and to let me open up one gift while I was on the phone with her. It was Ballerina Barbie. That is why that is the one present that I will never forget.
If you are looking to start a new holiday tradition, why not pick up a new ornament for your child (or children) each year, or let them choose one. Of course, you can always pick up Oliver the Ornament and Oliver the Ornament Meets Belle (and the rest of the books/ornaments in the series as they are published each year).
For more information about Oliver the Ornament and Belle, visit OlivertheOrnament.com. You can also check them out on social media. Their links are found on the bottom of their website.
What is a holiday tradition that YOUR family has?
Do you have a special ornament? Tell me about it. I always love to hear from readers.
*I received a free sample to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.