Monday, December 13, 2010

The Memory box... and a giveaway

On Saturday as my Munchkin (5) and I decorated our tree, he asked me why we had so many "things" to put on the tree.

I told him that they were not "things"... they were "memories" and that the box we keep them in is the "memory box."

I showed him the ornaments we got when Daddy and I were first married - and how seeing them reminds me of that time.

I showed him the ornaments we got when he was a little baby - and told him stories about his first Christmas.

I showed him ornaments that my Mom and the University women's group made when I was in high school and talked about how we looked forward to each new ornament each year.

I showed him ornaments from when I lived in Japan, ornaments that I had given to his Daddy because of a special event or hobby or interest, ornaments that people had given to me as gifts, ornaments that we had purchased on vacations or special trips, a teeny teeny tiny bear that my sister made that is not really an ornament but sits on an upper branch, and on and on. Needless to say decorating the tree around here takes a LONG time - and we are not done yet!!

We also talked about the ornaments that he made with Daddy at school on Friday... and that when he sees these each year as we decorate the tree, he is not just going to remember the beads and sticks and glue that put them together, but that it was a fun day with Daddy making something special.

One of my childhood memories was of the candy cane horse ornaments my mother used to make. I always liked filling the horses each year with a fresh stash of candy canes, and "discovering" uneaten candy canes when we undecorated the tree. These were also fun little gifties that I remember Mom making for friends and teachers - and each horse seemed to have its own personality.

I did not have a candy cane horse in my ornament box as I moved out on my own, but always thought of them every time I decorated a tree. Last year I finally made good on my efforts to figure out the pattern, and made some for the Munchkin's preschool class (photo above), and these are the same pattern that was mentioned in the Candlestick Horses post.

As part of Sew,Mama,Sew! Giveaway Day, I will be giving away a set of 4 "candlestick horses" (though they will probably be the ones cut out by electrical light and not by candle light) - colors may vary. I will also include the template and instructions so you can make your own.

To enter - please post a comment telling me about YOUR favorite ornament memory. One entry per person, please. (And if you don't celebrate Christmas, please share a special "object related" memory of your own)

Please be sure to include some way to contact you in your message - or be sure your profile is not set as "no-reply" (if I don't have a way to contact you, you won't be able to win!!). This giveaway will be open until Midnight on December 17th and is open to everyone - including international (I am in the US). I can't guarantee delivery before Christmas, but I WILL ship by the 20th, and after that it is up to the postal service.

So - what's in YOUR memory box?

(comments now closed -I will draw a winner later this morning. Thanks everyone for sharing such great memories!)

59 comments:

Marlena said...

Our Christmas tree is very similar... there is an ornament for each year that my husband and I have been together including the year we were married, the year we bought our house, and the year we were expecting our first baby, as well as many handmade ornaments from my mom and close friends. I teared up listening to my husband show our 4 1/2 month old our Christmas tree this weekend... he was pointing out different ornaments and said, "Well, the tree is basically the story of us"... Which it is!

Higgins Design Studio said...

I have the pattern and have made many of the candy cane horses over the years as well. But my memory is those special ornaments that Mom used to put on the tree. The ones with the delicate wire wrapping and beautiful golden accents that she would buy one during the Gallery's after Christmas sale... they always had a special place near the top of the tree, and I have always looked for unique ornaments to continue that tradition (though it is harder to find them these days).
Love you sis!
Give my entry to DragonBen, please!
Cindy

Christine M said...

I love the ornaments my 3 boys have made, either at play group, kindergarten or school. I remember helping them at play group, watching their faces as they concentrated on their task at hand.

jill said...

I dont need to win, I dug mine out and got them on the tree saturday. I am SO GLAD you got yours madE. YEAH

sarah in the woods said...

Cute! When i was a kid we had a little golden spider ornament that had a story that went along with it. it was one of my favorites.

Kristy said...

i made little cookie people for my mom to replace the ones I made when I was a kid that somehow were destroyed during a move - I know they're not the same, about 20 years apart, but it was fun!

needlegrrl at gmail

Heather said...

I will always remember makingmy mom a ornament in kindergarten class out of a walnut shell! She still puts it on her tree, and it means the world that she has kept it all these 30 years!
Thanks for the great giveaway!
h_freund@hotmail.com

momma rae said...

these are adorable!! i have never seen anything like them. what a clever idea.

we unpacked our ornaments yesterday. it was fun going through them with the children and talking about when and who made each ornament. we are making more memories to hang on the tree today!

lee said...

Ah lovely give away! My favorite ornament memory is sitting with my grandmother in a ceramics class, painting a ball and having it fired...I still have it from 35 years ago!

kerrykatiecakeskeb43 said...

My Christmas tree is the same... full of memories! My favourite is a paper star scattered with glitter my daughter made when she was teensy-tiny!
Hugs,
Kerry
kerrykatiecakeskeb43@gmail.com

Skooks said...

I just posted a bunch about this recently! My mom used to make each of my sisters and I an ornament every year for Christmas. I started the tradition for my own kids a few years ago and just recently finished this year's ornaments. :)

java diva said...

those are adorable! my daughter will love those, I have never seen those before. My favorite ornament is my daughter's ornament as she will not be spending any Christmas with us after she left us at birth in Oct. Her name means pearl, and the ornament looks like a pearl. :)

A Plain Path said...

These are cute! My daughter would love them. She is an avid horse lover, 4-H'er, rider, etc.

My favorite ornament is actually one my mom gave me just a couple years ago. I have it posted in the header on my blog. She made a snowman bulb ornament and instead is some white sand from the beach at Destin, FL. It's my Florida Snow ornament and I love it. A little piece of home to hang on my tree...being a military wife, a little touch of home is much needed!

Merry Christmas!

Ammie said...

Very cute. I'd love to have this cute pattern.

My favorite ornament memory is decorating the tree one year and sorting through the ornaments. My mom wanted to throw away many of our old and broken ornaments, and we did throw out some, but we kept others, like precious little "Squeeze my cheeks Santas" who held Hershey's kisses inside. My grandma had made those. :D

ammieloris at hotmail dot com

Homemaker Honey said...

These are too cute! My favorite ornaments memory...my grandmother's bubble lights on her christmas tree. She also had some ornaments that set into motion with the heat from the lights activating them.

I'm participating in the Sew, Mama, Sew Giveaway Day! I hope you have time to stop over and enter my giveaway at homemakerhoney.com

Merry Christmas!

Deborah
Homemaker Honey
homemakerhoney @gmail .com

Robyn said...

My grandma had this little red and white crocheted box with brown pom-pom bear inside, kind of like a jack in the box. I would alway try to take it home with me when I would go visit at Christmas. The Christmas before she passed away, she wrapped up the ornament and gave it to me. It was the best gift I have ever received.

Thanks for the giveaway! Robyn (dot) Geddes (at) gmail (dot) com

allysonadeney said...

My tree is full of memories too.
I have 4 girls and each year I give them an angel each. I hope that when they leave our house they will take those memories with them as angels and start their own memory trees too.
Thanks for the lovely giveaway.
Ally <'v'>

B @ Sweet Limes said...

Oh wow, that is awesome! My favourite ornaments are the glitter covered stars my kids made this year. They are only just getting old enough to make crafts and it was such a fun and sparkly afternoon making them.

limes.sweet(at)gmail(dot)com

Susan said...

Very cute ornaments!! Neither my husband or I celebrated Christmas as kids. We just started 3 years ago when my son was born and have started collecting ornaments and things for our tree. My favorite so far are the ones we have made ourselves. I love looking at the tree and seeing the things that we have created on our own. Anyhoo, thanks for sharing! Loved seeing your stuff.
Susan

susansisney@hotmail.com

Morgan said...

I loved making dough ornaments as a child. We didn't make them every year, but sometimes. And although many would break over the years, some would last and last. The funniest were during our teenage years. Thanks for the lovely giveaway!

CraftyMama said...

My favorite ornament memory is a beautiful bell ornament I received from my older sister when I was about 9 yrs old. She was my hero and I felt like she'd given me the moon when she gave me that ornament! I still put it on my tree today, and that was 40 years ago!
Thank you so much for this giveaway, I have my fingers tightly crossed! =)

craftymama62[at]gmail[dot]com

arlette said...

I do have a favorite ornament memory...
My sweet grandma who went to heaven 21 years ago, she used to set a huge Nativity scene along with the Christmas tree, her Christmas decorations was just amazing for me, since I was almost a kind when she made that. She had a silver ball electrical ornament who "chirped", it was funny because it was almost the same as a bird..., she used to cover it and that way no-one could find when the noise came from. She used to put it all the Christmas I can remember..., then she passed away, and I don't know who got all her wonderful Christmas stuff, then I had the chance to go to the US, I was visiting one of my cousins aroud Christmas and then I was telling her, about the ornament of my grandma, and she had the same ornament in her house!!!!!, and she gave it to me!!!!!, yay!!!! I was really happy (and still am), well I didn't ask her if the ornament was from my grandma's, but I like to think that, it was too sweet of her, maybe she got it at the dollar store, LOL, but I'll have this ornament and the story, forever in my heart, it reminds me my grandma :)

Anjeanette said...

Regina, we have a memory box too. I write down what new ornaments we get each year and where we were living at the time. For years I thought I should drop the part about where we were living, but now that we just moved, I'm glad I kept that part!

Loved your post though. We didn't take our ornaments out this year so we didn't get to stroll down memory lane. That is one of my favorite things about Christmas each year.

Shana said...

My favorite ornament memory is buying the first ornament as a husband and wife. It is a Lenox china ornament of a bride and groom, handpainted with gold and the year 2000. I would never pay $50 for an ornament normally but this blesses me every year when I sit it out and think back to our first year as a married couple.

Alyssa said...

Our Christmas tree is like that too...there are some ornaments of my parents when they were kids, some from before they had my sister and I...now it is mostly things we have made and collected and been given. I think my favorite is a clear glass ball I made when I was about 5. You take the clear ornament, squirt some paint in and swirl it around. Simple, but it is the first ornament I remember making by myself and giving as a present to my mother.
Thanks for the giveaway!
embyrfire(at)hotmail(dot)com

Carpenters said...

These are so cute! Such a great idea and I've never seen the like before. My favorite ornament memory is the very first ornament that both of my kiddos got for the first Christmas that they were home. It was such a special time and I cherish that first Christmas together. Thanks so much for the giveaway.

ottomania said...

Thanks for a chance to win. My favourite memories are making decorations with the kids...a tradition we do every year.

Anonymous said...

some wooden ornaments from austria
ryderryder38@hotmail.com
ryderryder38(at)hotmail(dot)com

craftytammie said...

these are so fun, love the story too. (and we have four kids, perfect!) my mom always got my brothers and I each an ornament every year. That way when we moved out we'd have enough to decorate our own tree. her tree still has the pacman laminated ornament my brother made in grade school. we laugh at it every year, but secretly would be sad if it were gone.

camelama said...

Every year when my mom and I decorate her Christmas tree, we talk over each ornament and enjoy the memories! My favorite is an ornament that I *swore* I could remember buying, but I was just a twinkle in Mom's eye. It's just that my brothers talked and talked and talked about it so much, I always felt like I was there too!

gill said...

So many of our tree decorations were made by our children so are full of wonderful memories for us all

Julia said...

I'm one of 5 kids, 4 girls and 1 boy and as a child we each had our own special ornament to put on the tree. The girls all had an angel that looked something like us and my brother had a wee santa. I loved hanging up my Julia Angel. Merry Christmas to you!

baukje said...

I love your story. Lucky boy he is..... My memory is the special things that I have of my mother, she died when i was 16 years. I have and use it often her roller to roll out your pastry; I don't know that english word. I can smell the cake in the oven when I only see it......

nellana said...

ours is very much the same. we have ornaments for each year we have been married and then some for my dd who is 5. I think my favorite right now though is one I made last year with a large foam ball and large sequins.

Crystal Hendrix said...

Thanks for the giveaway :D

Lets see for me I remember my mom making us a new ornament every Christmas, the one I remember the most is one she made of clay, a little bear. I thought it was soo cool! I wish I could sculpt like she could.

Now I bring that tradition on to my family, we get a new ornament each year.

I am having a giveaway too!! Come check it out if you like. http://hendrixville.blogspot.com/

Amanda said...

My dad does woodworking and every year he makes a different Christmas ornament that he sends to all of our family and friends. Now that I'm all grown up and on my own I love to look through all the ornaments he has made over the years, and I wait expectantly for the new one each Christmas.

sandyandcosmo said...

One year my son stuck a halo and wings on a Ronald McDonald doll and hung it on the tree. I hated that thing! So every year I kept moving it to the back of the tree and he would move it right back to the front!

djaj said...

I just remember the fragile glass balls in my mom's memory box... And how sad I was when one got broken !

BarbM said...

Oh my gosh, ornaments. Last year one of my nieces asked how long it took to decorate the tree (a couple of days). I buy new ones every year and last year bought two more "slim" trees to put by the fireplace so that I could have more. I, like you, have memories associated with them. I'm 50 now and still have the one Grandma K made when I was 7. Plenty from my Mom, plenty from hubbie's Mom. I have my Mom's angel (this was an achievement on my part - I wrangled it from 6 siblings, I have to admit I have no Candy Cane horses though!
Great giveaway, Thanks

Terri said...

My favorite ornament memory is from when I was little we had the best old fashioned large glass ornaments.
My dad would take care of them well even with 5 children. : )
espmax(at)gmail(dot)com

Sarita said...

before i finished reading this post, i started looking for a closer-up picture of the candy cane horses to make myself... and thin I figured "one thing at a time" and finished reading the giveaway post.
well, how 'bout that. *grin*
we have the same deal with ornaments on our tree... some of my favorites are ceramic baby booties from some family friends on my first christmas, a yarn mailbox that open and closes and has a bunch of miniature letters from Santa in it (from one of my Dad's coworkers when my sister and I were little), and an unbelievably intricate origami-and-cut-paper nativity ornament I made when I was in kindergarten. (I'm always surprised; I doubt I could do much better with them now! *grin*)
thanks for the opportunity to win! :)

sarita0818 at comcast dot net

Theresa said...

Favorite ornament is a replica of my wedding dress.

Pam said...

One of my oldest ornaments is a tacky green and white dog with a gold hoop earring and orange eyes. It always has a special place on my tree!

melacan at hotmail dot com

Lichtlein said...

What a wonderful idea!
Nothing better than a handmade gift!
God bless you.
Kind regards from Germany.
Claudia
frauknopf@gmx.de

The cutiest ornaments ever were the little things my children made in kindergarten, like elfs and santas hats and reindeers (which look like crumpy dogs)...I still love those...

The Humming Cat said...

We turned our candy cane's into moce this year, so cute! All I want for Christmas is the Neighbour's Cat

Jessica said...

I love adding new ornaments to my tree every year, we have lots of handmade ones up and they all have a lot of memories attached. I love this giveaway so please include me!

Emily said...

I remember ornaments like these from my childhood! :)

My favorite ornaments are on my parents' tree, the ones they've saved that my sisters and I made as children. The standout for me is red construction paper mittens from my preschool days, cut only as a toddler with safety scissors and limited skills can produce. I can't wait to add my children's ornaments to our tree (2.5 and one on the way).

Stephanie and Carlos said...

I actually have all the ornaments which my grandma gave me. They were used on the Christmas tree for her kids, then for me and my cousins and now I have them on my tree for my kids. Some are getting really tatty but I tell my kids that are are super spacial to me!!

xo Steph

littlebitty said...

My parents bought me an ornament each year growing up, and now I do that for each of my kids!

Genevieve P said...

I love my mom's ornaments that she got from her grandmother in Germany, who used them for years. That's 4 generations!
Thanks for the giveaway!
parknj at verizon dot net

laurawilson25 said...

I love our Newly married ornament. When you pull the star, the couple kisses. I just love how it still reminds me of us. Our daughter likes to tug on it too.
laurawilson25@hotmail.com

Jenny said...

Cute ornaments! I don't have any special ornaments on our tree, I used to have some I made when I was little but we lost them all in a fire a few years ago, my favorite were little bluebirds in a tiny nest that I made for my mom when I was in school. Thanks for the chance to win!

okiedokiemama at yahoo dot com

Macska said...

Those horses are so cute! What a neat idea - I've never seen any like that before. Thanks for sharing! :-)

My fave Christmas ornaments are a set of two elves, which are older than I am. They're part of my memories of Christmas from when I was a child, and I always look for them on my parents Christmas tree each year!

macska at gmail dot com

Simply Debbie said...

WHAT A WONDERFUL BLOG YOU HAVE AND THE MOMENT OF YOU TALKING TO YOUR SON ABOUT THE MEMORY BOX, REGINA, MADE ME CRY...WHAT A PRECIOUS PHOTOGRAPHIC MOMENT TO SHARE WITH US.
MY FAVORITE ORNAMENT IS MY BELOVED DAUGHTERS. SHE WAS BORN IN 1976 AND FOR HER FIRST CHRISTMAS I FOUND A LITTLE PLASTIC RAGGEDEY ANN COVERED IN VELVET TYPE DOLL WITH PRETTY YARN HAIR. WHEN MY DAUGHTER WAS 10 1/2 SHE BATTLED CANCER FOR THE FIRST TIME. SHE WAS TAKING CHEMO AND HAD LOST ALL OF HER HAIR...WHEN WE OPENED OUR CHRISTMAS ORNAMENT BOX HER LITTLE DOLL ORNAMENT HAD LOST ALL HER RED HAIR...SHE WAS BALD...WE LAUGHED AND HUNG HER ON THE CHRISTMAS TREE WITH HER LITTLE BALD HEAD. THE NEXT CHRISTMAS AMY'S HAIR WAS STARTING TO GROW AND WE GLUED RED YARN BACK ON HER LITTLE ORNAMENT DOLLS' HEAD. HER ORNAMENT NEVER LOST HER HAIR AGAIN. IF SOMEONE SAW THIS ORNAMENT THEY, NOT KNOWING THE STORY WOULD THINK IT WAS JUNK....BUT TO US IT IS A PRICELESS JEWEL. AMY GRADUATED TO HEAVEN IN OCT. 2009.
FOR MY ONLY SON, HIS FAVORITE ORNAMENT OF MINE IS A SANTA CLAUS PUPPET HE MADE IN FIRST GRADE. WE ALSO HANG AMY'S KINDERGARTEN BALLET SLIPPERS ON THE TREE.
I SIGNED UP TO FOLLOW YOUR LOVELY BLOG.
WISHING A MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU AND YOUR FAMILY.
HUGS
SIMPLY DEBBIE

barneyn said...

my favorite ornament is the one that has a picture of my kids when they were babies. they all have their own my fist Christmas Ornament!

nelly dot barney at yahoo dot ocm

Sarah McGrath said...

I loved the old battered cardboard-and-tinfoil star we used to have on the top of our tree and was so sad when we had to throw it out, it always made me think of happy times making things with my mum!

Maroesja said...

As a child there was a little bird in our christmastree with a lovely soft hairy tail, It was my absolute favorite.

Deb said...

My favorite ornament of all time is one that a friend crocheted (I think it's crochet) for me the first Christmas I we were married. It has Tom / Deb on it and on the back she stitched 80 for the year. It always goes at the top of our tree. Thanks for your giveaway. debgiro at wildblue dot net

Joyce said...

My favorite ornament is one my son painted when he was about 3- of a train and bear.