Friday, December 11, 2009

Memory Tree

It's definitely not Christmas around these parts until the tree is decorated. And, oh, I love my ornaments. They're hokey and sentimental and fun and every year I can't wait to pull them out of their boxes and take a trip down memory lane.

My husband and I started collecting even before we were married, when his parents gave me an ornament for Christmas. It's one of the first that goes on the tree every year. Then there's the little wooden mailbox with the address of our first home together. Love that too. As the kids grew, we often chose ornaments that reflected what their hobbies were, or what they loved that year--which usually turned out to be movie related. We have a Lion King ornament, a Sleeping Beauty, a Pokémon. Last year during my daughter's Phantom of the Opera phase (which hasn't been so much a phase as a permanent habit) I found a musical Phantom ornament at Hallmark. Perfect. And so fun when I pulled that out of the box this year, hit the button, and Phantom music filled the living room (she's getting tickets to the Broadway tour as a present this year from her grandparents; shhh, don't tell her). Then there are the sports ornaments like Big Papi, who represents the Red Sox 2007 World Series win.

The other day while shopping, I happened to find a little washing machine ornament that lights up shows the clothes inside spinning. I had to bring it home in honor of my husband, who does all the laundry (how lucky can I get?).

I adore our mechanical ornaments. The ones that play music or make sound or light up. We have a Wizard of Oz ornament (another of my daughter's phases) that booms in the Wizard's voice several bits of the wizard's dialogue. Then there's Santa's answering machine: "I can't take your call right now, I'm out patching my sleigh.Ho ho ho. Leave your message at the jingle bells. " And we have a Homer Simpson ornament that says "D'Oh". And one of our oldest, a bunny sitting atop a popcorn popper that pops every second (it can get annoying, but does have an off switch). We always try to put it in front of a yellow light on the tree--buttered popcorn! See? Hokey and fun and sentimental to us.

(As an aside, I went to find a pic of the bunny popper, officially call the Hop 'N Pop -- and holy smokes! It goes for $100 [mint condition!]. I wonder how many of my hokey ornaments are collectibles?)

Do you have a favorite ornament? And are you hokey and fun or more traditional with bulbs and ribbon? Or a mix of both?