There has been a tradition in my family where each each year my sister and I would receive one Christmas ornament that had some sort of special meaning for the previous year. The thought being, when my sister and I moved away from home we would each have a starter collection for our own Christmas trees.
Now, I've been living alone for a few number of years and still I continue to buy myself a yearly ornament. Without further ado, (from left to right) I present Christmas Through the Ages:
The Early, Early Years.
1981 - Baby's first Christmas and a manger scene from the Lea's (our backyard Merrillville, IN neighbors.)
1982 - Picture of Santa framed in tooth pics and an Angle with symbols from the Lea's.
1983 - Frosty the Snowman and a caroler with a bell from... the Lea's.
1984 - Little boy riding a dove. (a dove?)
1985 - Wooden rocking horse and a red wooden sleigh (Rosebud).
The Christmas Tree Years.
1986 - A wooden tree with glued on stars and tinsel. I probably made this in Kindergarten.
1987 - First grade school portrait photo and a rain dear that I tried to write my name, age, and year.
1988 - Handmade drum made from the top of spray paint can, random Santa, and another Christmas tree
1989 - Skates with paper clips and a present that plays Silver Bells (and has a Christmas tree on top).
1990 - Snowman in double wooden rings and... a Christmas tree (4th grade classroom project?).
The Skiing and Water Skiing Years.
1991 - Another rocking horse? (Found one that belongs to my sister that my mom tried to pawn off on me).
1992 - A little dog with a wreath for the year when I received Muffy as a pet.
1993 - Santa Skiing and a Christmas gerbil running on his wheel (random, I know!)
1994 - Speedy Gonzales skiing... a bear dressed as Santa wind surfing.
1995 - Santa and Mrs. Clause water skiing for the year that I learned how to water ski on Lake Hanska in Minnesota.
I'm not really sure if there is a theme for these years.
1996 - I love model trains, and I love to fish!
1997 - I think my mom slipped this one in b/c I was missing a year (plus it's stamped 2008 in plastic).
1998 - Leaving for college at Penn State, a year whole before graduating from high school.
1999 - Graduating from Franklin Regional High School and routing for Penn State!
2000 - A mouse sleeping in his "new home" for when Kathy welcomed me after my dad passed away that year, plus a computer to symbolize the computer I built from scratch.
The traveling years?
2001 - I must have learned how to ski really well that year. I still like just the easy green circle slopes.
2002 - A plane to symbolize my trip to Japan with Allen, Dave, and Rob.
2003 - A lantern with a Thomas Kinkade painting (the same one hanging in Kathy's Bed and Breakfast), and a penguin with a scarf from my mom.
The Early, Adult Years.
2004 - Missing.... :-(
2005 - A blue ribbon that supports the Red Cross and the Katrina Relief project that I went to support, and a Delta Chi ornament for when I was inducted into University of Pittsburgh chapter.
2006 - Delta Chi for when I helped the University of Cincinnati's colony as their finance advisor, and a blue Santa with a graduation cap for the year I graduated from Temple University School of Medicine.
2008 - Santa on a turtle for my Caribbean Cruise, a random snowflake that I don't remember buying.
2009 - Amy's "I'm a real doctor now" ornament gift to me and a fat Santa that sings when you press his butt.
And if you ever forget why ornaments are important for children:
It's great to know that all those years and memories fit into a tiny cube!
Thanks for reading,