Ornaments of Christmas Past and Future

Through a series of events which remain hotly contested, pitting my sister and I against our mother, the ornaments of my childhood are in the possession of Jamie and me. They were divided between us using a system about as advanced Rock, Paper, Scissors. We both remain convinced the other got some particular ornament through trickery, deception or outright theft.

It’s surreal to unwrap the old ones each year mixed in with the ones Baby Daddy and I have collected since we got married. Every year, I’m surprised to see something appear out of the tissue in which Baby Daddy so carefully wrapped it the previous year. “I forgot I had that!” is like another Christmas carol in this house.

reindeer ornament

Blitzen has served my Christmas trees in 3 states at countless addresses. (I'm pretty sure his name is spelled wrong.)


I got this at the Arts & Crafts Fair in obviously 1981. My sister has a matching one, except hers has "Jamie" painted on it.

ashtray ornament

My sister would be happy if this would disappear. I.love.it. Why yes, that is a Hardee's ashtray converted into an ornament. Every children's Sunday School teacher on the planet was just a little sad when restaurants went non-smoking because they lost their craft supplies.

Unfortunately, not all of the old ornaments have successfully made the journey with me. Some have served faithfully and well, but just weren’t designed for more than three decades of travel and moving.

broken ornament

The Norman Rockwell ornament actually started crumbling years ago. I've been holding it together with Scotch tape. It's finally just done.

Raggedy Ann ornament

Raggedy Ann still has her girlish smile.

Raggedy Ann ornament

Unfortunately, at 35 years old, her looks are literally hanging on by a thread and a paper clip up top.

Frosty and Santa ornaments

Santa lost his eye and Frosty lost his hat. Both have been re-glued multiple times. It no longer sticks. They were given their gold watches for retirement this Christmas.

I was a little melancholy about the ornament retirements until I started looking at the fully covered tree. It’s bursting with Christmas cheer that might be new, without decades of memories. But they are equally sentimental.

bear ornament

A teacher from Monkey Boy's first daycare made this for his first Christmas.

sock monkey ornament

Of course, we couldn't possibly have a tree for Monkey Boy without a proper sock monkey ornament.

No matter what ornaments decorate your tree, may they bring you joy!



Filed under The view from here

4 responses to “Ornaments of Christmas Past and Future

  1. So, um. We have that very same Blitzen ornament. And the hairy Raggedy Anne one. Weird.
    My tree is one big glitzy, kitchy, hot mess of old and new ornaments. I “obtained” many of them the Christmas that I was pregnant with The Boy. Many more are from Jeremy’s childhood, and the 6 years of our own Christmases together.
    I hope my kids will “obtain” some of these ornaments when they’re grown and think, “Man. My mother was a nut. But she was a good one.”

  2. Pam C. Pruett

    Awww, I loved looking at the ornaments..I wish my parents had given me one every year so I could look back at them like you’ve shared with us šŸ™‚ Merry Christmas to you, Baby Daddy and Monkey Boy….

  3. Armin Reitz

    I was intrigued seeing that Hardee’s ashtray converted into a Christmas ornament. I’m trying to date these. Any idea when this was acquired? I know that these are labeled “Hardee’s Charbroil Burgers (R)” and that HARDEE’S discontinued the Charbroil burger in 1985, but they were apparently reinstituted in 1997. The disposable nature of this ashtray makes me believe that it was 1990s vintage, because I recall the 1980s featured more solid, non-disposable items. A more positive dating mechanism would be to know when Hardee’s went smokeless. Anyone out there know?

  4. The Hardees ornament is priceless, really. My Sunday school teacher missed this boat as I never made one craft out of an old ashtray. Dang! Love the Santa and Snowman-they look like they belong on the island of misfit toys.