Souvenirs for the Tree 2015

I’ve always collected a few Christmas ornaments now and then on my travels, but last year I decided to start making a point of finding a meaningful Christmas souvenir from each place we visit throughout the year. We don’t have a lot of room in our house to store souvenirs from each of our trips, but I do want to have a little something from each place. By collecting Christmas ornaments I can get things that are small and easy to bring home, and they don’t get shoved up on a dusty shelf and forgotten. Each year we can take them out, put them on the tree and remember past trips.

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This was our 2015 collection, with ornaments from Hawaii, New York City, Siena, Venice, Dubrovnik and Turkey. We had a lot of fun collecting them and putting them on the tree this year gave us many chances to talk about or past trips and remember the places where they were purchased. This year we haven’t gone overseas yet, so our collection has a little less variety, but I’m still very happy with it.

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We bought our first ornament on New Year’s Day in the Bahamas, one of the stops on our awesome New Year’s Disney cruise. It’s made from a very pretty and delicate white shell. The Mickey ornament was purchased on the same trip at Disney World in Orlando. This purchase was almost too easy since there’s an entire Christmas ornament store in Downtown Disney. The hardest part was dragging my son out of the nearby Lego Store long enough to make the purchase.

The stained glass butterfly was our only purchase from our Spring Break California trip in March. I had hoped to find something unique in San Diego but didn’t really see anything until our second last day when we visited the lovely Old Town area. There was a great market there with many hand made items and that’s where we found a collection of lovely glass ornaments. We chose the hummingbird because we had seen several of them during the trip, enjoying the lush flowers near our hotel. It wasn’t meant to be a Christmas ornament, but I think it works really well.

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The other three are from our Summer of Mini Trips. The globe is from the quick last minute trip my husband and I made to Universal Orlando in July when the grandparents offered to take the kids for a week while we got away for a short break. The blue and green globe featured on Universal’s logo makes a great addition to our tree. The next addition was the cable car from San Francisco. We loved riding the cable cars there and it seemed like a fun option for the tree.

And last but not least was New Orleans. I love the unique architecture in the city and this ornament has a neat collection of some of the most famous city facades. It does look a wee bit too souvenir-ish for my taste, but when it’s hung up with the writing towards the back it looks quite nice on the tree.

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And that’s our collection for the year. While it will never be featured on a Pinterest board, I really like our slightly scruffy tree with it’s mix of souvenir ornaments from around the world, home made preschool treasures and the favourites from past years.

And for next year? Well, I have the feeling that the collection will continue to grow, especially with our European Christmas trip coming up in a few weeks. We plan to visit several traditional Christmas markets in Germany, Austria and France and it will be hard to resist all the lovely things they have for sale there. It may be hard to see the tree under all the ornaments next year!

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