Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Favorite Christmas Ornaments

Last night, Livie was asking me about some of the ornaments we have on our Christmas tree. So I was telling her about them, and where Andrew and I had gotten them.

After telling her the stories about my favorite ones, she asked me if I were planning on posting photos on the computer. I hadn't, but she asked me to, so she could see the photos after getting home from school today . . . so here are the photos and stories about my favorite ornaments (get settled in and cozy with a warm beverage before you start reading - it's a long one!):

This first photo shows two Chicago Blackhawks ornaments. The ball is my first and "oldest" favorite. When Andrew and I had our church wedding in Chicago in 2002, we stayed for a couple days after the wedding and took in the wonders that Chicago has to offer, including a Blackhawks game against the Dallas Stars at the United Center (where Chicago's basketball team, the Bulls, also play).

We'd gotten married on a Saturday evening, and the game was the next evening. This was Andrew's first NHL game ever, so it was a treat for him. I'd bought tickets for my brother Alex and my dad; unfortunately, Alex couldn't make it at the last minute. So it was just Andrew, my dad, and me. It was my dad's first NHL game, too, having only been to a few minor league games in Des Moines, IA. Me? Well, I'm a huge Blackhawks fanatic fan, so I'd been to plenty of games by this time (and I even have a Blackhawks tattoo - but that's a story for another time).

So when the game started, both Andrew and my dad were amazed at the speed and power of the game, which is hard to appreciate when you've only seen NHL games on TV. They also had fun at the United Center. I'd made sure to treat them to the full experience - the beer, the nachos, the screaming crazily cheering wildly for the 'Hawks. My brother, Joe, and I (and sometimes one of Joe's friends) had been to numerous 'Hawks games in the past, and we always enjoyed the combination of the Blackhawks/being in the United Center/nachos/beer/cheering, so I wanted to make sure both Andrew and my dad experienced these things, too.

Well, during one of the intermissions when Andrew and I had gone to get more treats, we'd come across some ladies selling ornaments - the ceramic ball with the hand painting on it. As you can see, they are really cool, with the Blackhawks logo, the city skyline (which goes all around the ornament), a beautiful evening-blue sky, and snow. It came in a red, satiny box (with padding on the inside), so we could safely transport it home. Since I'm such a Blackhawks fan, Andrew decided to buy one for me . . . and it would also commemorate our wedding weekend, too. (The Blackhawks player ornament - #88, Patrick Kane - was a recent addition.)


This next one was from some Christmas store around Fanueil Hall in Boston (where we were stationed for 4 years). Since I was an equestrienne for most of my life, Andrew thought this rocking horse would be a nice addition to our ornament collection (especially since they could paint my name on it), and the year would signify our first Christmas together.


The next few are from when we lived in Alamogordo, NM. Livie and I had moved from the Boston area to New Mexico when she was 4 months old. Andrew followed about 3.5 months later, after he returned from his deployment.

When he'd gotten back, he and I had spent just under 24 hours in Santa Fe, while my parents spent time with baby Livie in El Paso, TX with my grandparents. I loved Santa Fe, and would love to go back one day (and spend more than just most of one day there!).

While we were in Santa Fe, we came across a Christmas shop (Susan's Christmas Shop, if I remember correctly), so we had to go in. I figured this would be the perfect place to get some southwestern-looking ornaments for our first Christmas in New Mexico, especially since it would be Livie's first Christmas ever.

I found the best little ornaments to commemorate our time in New Mexico!

This first one is a little pot made by a Native American. As you can see on the front, it depicts an adobe pueblo so common for the area. You can click on the photo to see it a bit bigger, and maybe that'll help you get a better view of the chile ristras depicted on the ornament. On the back, it says: 2006, Feliz Navidad, Santa Fe, and the artist's signature.

Yes, it's a little blurry when you click on it, but it gives you a good idea of what it looks like.

This Native American baby is probably my favorite, because I think it's so cute. They had these in baby-boy-blue, as well. I got the pink one to signify Livie's first (New Mexican) Christmas. Livie loves how it looks like the baby is saying, "Oooh" with her round, little red mouth.

These next two are of the St. Francis of Assisi church in Rancho de Taos, NM. I love this style of church, and I'm glad I found one depicted in an ornament. The second photo shows the bottom of the ornament: it's a tiny history of the church, along with the artist's signature.

So there you have my very favorite Christmas tree ornaments, signifying various places where we've lived. However, they each make me a little homesick (for Chicago, Boston, and New Mexico, respectively), when I put them on the tree.

I know this was a long post, but I hope you enjoyed the stories.


Jill said...

It may have been long but I didn't notice since I loved it all! Ornaments hold so many cherished memories. Thanks for sharing yours.

TexWisGirl said...

i love the NM ones. the adobe pot is my favorite. :)

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

The little pot is totally my favorite, but all of them have great personality! :-)

Sandy said...

These ornaments are so neat and original. It's always nice to have a story behind them. I LOVE the adobe one. =)

Kim said...

I love how Christmas ornaments stir up memories.
Merry Christmas from the Red Farmhouse!

Randy said...

What a wonderful collection. I have one of of the church in Abiquiu.

Irredento Urbanita said...

Sonya, thank you for your comments and your visit. Merry Xmas for you and your family.



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