Virtual Advent Tour – A Trip Down Memory Lane

It’s strange to say, but at 32, I am just about the last member of my family left.  I have an aunt and uncle, and of course my kiddos and hubby, but the core family unit I grew up with isn’t around any more.  My parents are gone, as are the grandparents who raised me.  This time of year can be, well, depressing for me.  Yet every year, when the tree goes up and those old, handmade decorations come out of the attic , I feel my family with me in ways I don’t feel them the rest of the year.  For they are here, in my favorite ornaments, the nativity scene that was made by my aunt and put up every year (this will not be pictured as it is not out this year. I do have a very adventurous three year old!), with loving care on top of the piano by my grandmother  and the feelings in the air.  They are still here, which is a part of what makes this such a wonderful time of year for me.

My grandmother gave me an ornament every year.  This would have been when I was 1.  She continued this tradition for many years.  I think I got most of them after she died.  There were a few lost to breakages, of course, and I can’t remember how long she did it.  I still have 1981 though!

Then, there are the ornaments I made over the years.  I think Mama kept all of them.  I didn’t put many up this year, again because of that rambunctious three year old, but I did put this one up.  It’s one of my favorites. I made a TON of these about 12 years ago.  It’s a clear ball with paint in it.  You let the paint drain out into a paper cup and when it dries, it looks like this!

And then, there are the new memories we’re making.  All the Disney ornaments I have from my time working at the Disney Store…

All the ornaments my kids are making…

And all the new ornaments we’re buying because of love….

and the hope that if one falls (see crazy child) it won’t break because it’s cheap and from Walmart.  It may not have value now, but if it’s still around in 10-20, it will then.  It will be a survivor!

So, I hope you have enjoyed this brief tour of memories.  I hope if you are missing someone you find comfort and that the memories you make with those still here are a blessing.  Just remember to pay attention.  Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, have a Wonderful Winter!

23 thoughts on “Virtual Advent Tour – A Trip Down Memory Lane

  1. Oh, Heather, what a lovely post. And truly one of the joys of the holiday season is ironically the bittersweet parts — wonderful memories and missing those who aren't here.

  2. I keep the ornaments my kids made hanging from cabinet door handles (book cabinets, not kitchen cabinets). That's probably weird, but not unexpected in a person who listens to Christmas music year-round, I suppose. I love this post! Love your snow photo, too, Heather!

  3. Thank you for sharing your story, Heather. I didn't realize you'd lost all your family. Christmas is hard here too, as it is only the 2nd Christmas without my father and my mother is taking it harder this year than last. It doesn't help Christmas is also her birthday. Sigh. But I love that you have those ornaments to remind you of your loved ones. My dad loved Christmas but I can't think of anything specific that we have to remind us of him, except memories. And I hope to share memories with my sisters and mother this Christmas. It's scary how quickly memories can fade. I hope that you have a lovely Christmas remembering your loved ones.

  4. I, too, love putting up the ornaments that remind me most of those who are gone or who are far away. It really does make you feel a little more surrounded, doesn't it?

  5. Thank you for your post. I loved to read that your children are now making ornaments to add to the collection. You must get comfort from telling the children stories about their grandparents and the decorations that go along with the memories. Lovely that you send comfort out to others – you are so right when you talk about the new memories we are all making with those still here. Happy Christmas.

  6. Awesome post, Heatheroo. We're getting ready to put up our tree, and I'm ready to take a walk-through of those memories myself.

    By the way, LOVE the owl. 🙂

  7. What a lovely post, Heather! I love Christmas ornaments, so get them for gifts quite often. When we decorate our tree each year, I always think of the meaning/person behind each ornament. The cost of the ornament doesn't matter – the most precious ones are the ones that are handmade.

  8. I'm so sorry that Christmas brings sadness as well as joy to you. Your memories connected to your ornaments are a great way of remembering and honoring your family. Thanks for sharing.

  9. thanks so much for sharing this tour of your tree with us – I love christmas trees so very, very much. I have ornaments similar to yours from my grandparents and they mean so much to me! This time of year is definitley bittersweet but I think that is what makes it so special, in a way – hugs to you and I hope you have a merry christmas!

  10. *hugs my very sweet friend* This was so beautiful, Heather. So very bittersweet. And a very good reminder to appreciate the moments we do have with those we love. *more hugs*

  11. What a great post, thank you! My parents had the same tradition of getting us each an ornament every year. I am hoping to carry on the same tradition with my kids.

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