Sunday, January 3, 2010

Christmas Through the Ages

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.
2007 - Mickey and Minnie from a great trip to WDW with Jamie
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,

Dr. Alex


  1. I love it! That is quite an amazing collection, Dr. Alex! Thank you for sharing it with us.


  2. Hey Alex, read your collection of fun stuff. My favorites: The ice skates with paper clips - cute and remind me of my greatest joy! The Present that plays Silver Bells - I love that tune! Santa with skis - cuz it made me smile. Santa with a turtle - made me laugh out loud! Wow, you built a computer. And I always love Mickey and Minnie. ~Teresa

  3. I love our ornaments. I know the story behind the one for 1997. We bought it for you because we learned that you enjoyed baking. I'm pretty sure it was purchased before you won the brownie baking contest, but I'm not sure which year.

  4. Thanks Lacey! We're going to have to meet up one of these days and swap visiting stories from around the Puget Sound. Have you been to Tacoma yet? The Glass Museum may be the only thing worth seeing, until you catch a concert or monster truck rally at the Tacoma Dome. :-)

    I really miss ice skating as well! Too bad all the rinks close by are either indoor or close soon after the 1st of the year. :-(

    Mystery solved! Thanks Crystal, for filling in the gaps on the 1997 ornament. I do love baking and apparently so do the people at CinWeekly, as they wrote me up in 2007 for my "Brownies from Philly" article. :-)

  5. I did/plan to do something similar... like how you got an airplane to symbolize your trip to Japan..

    Having a Christmas tree with regular ornaments and each year replace a regular ornament with one that symbolizes a major event during the year. :) After awhile, the tree will be full of memories.