Merry Christmas / Happy Holidays

For the first time in seven years, I fully decorated (the inside of) my home for the holidays. I can’t believe what a difference this has made in my life! The little things really are the most important.

Hallmark 2008 UNICEF

In November 1988, eight months pregnant with my first son, we sort of whimsically started collecting Hallmark keepsake ornaments. It only happened by accident. We were stationed in Minot, North Dakota. There’s a funny story behind this. He was due on December 13. We were shopping at the BX one day, and I happened to notice a Hallmark “Baby’s First Christmas” ornament. Being a soon-to-be new mom, it instantly grabbed me: must-have! Then, of course, we added some for ourselves as well: one for the (now-ex) husband; one for me; and a couple’s ornament.

“Christmas Brings Peace” ~Helen Steiner Rice

Who would guess that, first of all, the stubborn firstborn could hold out until after Christmas? Secondly, an obstetrician would let me go that long, really? Yes. Twelve. Thirteen. Longer still. I assume not many children have two sets of “Baby’s First Christmas” ornaments, but yes, he has both 1988 and 1989, because he wasn’t born before Christmas in 1988! Not only that, one of my good friends bought the same 1988 ornament that I did — and I was in no shape to return it in a Minot blizzard. Now he has one and I have the other.

FREEDOM: Ellsworth B-1B Officers’ Wives Club

I noticed a trend on my tree: I have an affinity for peace, love, and global unity. And music. I have several UNICEF ornaments, but I missed a few.

Hallmark 2010 UNICEF

The only other thing I’ve ever collected is Norman Rockwell, most of which I lost (long story). My wonderful, sweet sister bought me the Hawthorne Village several years ago as a gift.

Hawthorne Norman Rockwell Village

What holiday traditions do you have? Share in comments please! I’d love to hear how your family celebrates.

Merry Christmas and happy holidays to everyone!