Saturday, December 11, 2010

15 Years of Ornaments

With the help of my fingers, because math ain't my thang, I just counted and realized that this is the 15th Christmas Craig and I will spend as a married couple.  Fifteen. Years.  Sheesh, that makes me feel so old.

Even though, for one reason or another, we didn't have a Christmas tree the first couple years of our marriage, I still had the foresight to select an ornament to represent something that happened each year.  Among the traditional stars, bells, snowflakes and tree shaped ornaments, we have several that tell a story; ornaments that represent our travels, our lifestyle and my one time fascination with snowmen.

Here are the fifteen I consider our 'yearly' ornaments.  The fifteen which represent the fifteen years we've spent together.

1.  This one is pretty self explanatory.

2.  The year we lived in the wilderness.  Actually, it was Ft. Leonard Wood, Missouri (also referred to as 'Fort Lost in the Woods').  It may not have been the actual wilderness, but for a girl who spent most of her years in California and Florida, it sure felt like it.

3.  I think I chose this one because in 1998, I began a years long love affair with all things snowmen.  I'm over that now; I still like them, but I'm not all fan girly over them any longer.

4.  Guess where we lived in 1999?  Yep, Hawaii.  Glorious, sunny Hawaii.

5.  More Hawaii love.  This poor hula snowgirl lost one of her hands, but I still love her.  We had very hard flooring in our base housing in Georgia; unfortunately many an ornament lost a part or two when they slipped from my hands as I decorated our tree.

6.  This one is pretty self explanatory, as well.  Just a month later, while we lived in southern Arizona, I gave birth to baby Caroline. 

7.  Every Army brat deserves an Army themed 'Baby's First Christmas' ornament.

8.  2003 was our first year in Maryland; it was also our first cold Christmas in which mittens or gloves were actually needed.

9.  In 2004, Caroline and I spent most of the fall and winter separated from Craig, who was attending Warrant Officer School in Alabama, followed by another 16 weeks (I think) of school at Ft. Huachuca, AZ.  He was able to come home to Ft. Meade, MD for Christmas, before returning to Arizona to finish up his schooling.

10.  Our first Christmas in Georgia was in 2005.  This is also the year Caroline started preschool. 


11.  Craig spent Christmas 2006 with the camels.  Caroline and I stayed home in Augusta, GA.

12.  2007 was our third and final Christmas in Georgia.  I wanted something to commerate our time spent on Ft. Gordon.

13.  Christmas 2008 was spent in our new house, a non military housing house, here in Virginia.

14.  2009's ornament was given to my by my mom when we vacationed together in Hershey, PA.

15.  2010's ornament was bought by Craig in Ireland on his way over to Afghanistan this past February.  I've taught him well; he now knows to get an ornament whenever he winds up in a new place.  We could all use a little good luck, right?

I hope you enjoyed  my walk down Christmas memory lane.


Sarah said...

Great ornaments with great stories! I do the same thing...make sure I get a special ornament every year. It is fun to look back at them when you decorate the tree. Have been doing it since I came into the Marine Corps in 2000. My favorite is the drill instructor Santa Claus ornament (complete with campaign cover!) that represented one of the Christmases I spent stationed at Parris Island, SC.

Alison said...

Thanks, Sarah.
I think ornaments are the perfect souviniers (sp?) from your travels because they don't take up much space or create a lot of clutter.
It is fun to look back each year and remember where/when you got a certain ornament.

Sissy said...

I love all the stories. I collect an ornament for every year, but I never thought about actually writing the year on them! That would be smart.

Alison said...

I actually learned that from my mom; she would either get one with the date on it or write it on herself. I'm pretty sure this is our only family holiday tradition, because we Kennedys are pathetic like that.

To be honest, we actually had a different 2003 ornament. It was three individual snowmen with our names on them. We still have them, but having three ornaments for one year bugged me for some reason, so the next year I found the mitten, wrote 2003 on it and the rest is history. I guess I kind of fudged that on a bit. Can't help it if I'm so fickle. :)