Today, we traveled to one of the biggest Christmas ornament stores I have ever seen. For the past four years, we make a special trip to the mall just to go to this store. They have such a wide variety of different themes to choose from. The ornaments are either made with plastic, glass, wood or ceramic. Each year, I don’t ever have an idea of what type of ornament that I want. I just kind of browse through and pick the one that makes me feel like I can’t leave without it. This year, I already had some ideas in mind.

If you haven’t read my recent blog called, A day with the trees. I had explained a little bit about our little tree and how it became our “Tradition” tree:

With my OCD, I like the big tree to be color coordinated. I have light blue, navy, silver and light green bulbs and ornaments. I also have silver and light blue garland to accompany the clear lights. To top it off, I have a color changing Star that changes from blue to green. All of these items match, which is very OCD satisfying. However, my son’s paternal grandmother has a tradition of giving a new ornament to each grandchild each year for Christmas. It’s a lovely idea, but where does a snowman with white, red and orange come in on this tree?!…So, that’s when I decided to purchase a little tree. Later, I decided to make it our “tradition” tree. Now every December, my son and I purchase a new ornament to represent that year or something about us.

  • “A day with the trees” by J. Marie

This year we ended up with five ornaments. A very expensive, but worthy tradition. Each one truly represents something special to us and about our year. I am proud of our 2016 collection.


I wanted to make sure that I got an ornament to represent my niece, because I mistakenly didn’t get an ornament for her last year. She was born last year, so I felt awful that I never got one to symbolize that. So, I walked around the store a couple times trying to find an ornament that reminded me of her. I first picked up some cowgirl boots, but I wasn’t quite sold on it. So, I kept looking. Then, my son found a cell phone. Perfect! Sweet girl is 18 months old now and she loves to call her Aunt J. in the mornings. Her tiny voice repeatedly saying, “Hi!”. It always makes my day.  So, the cell phone was the perfect representation of her.

Then, we passed by the rack of pet ornaments. Naturally, my son wanted an ornament for our silly cat, Layla. It was a hard search to find one that looked like our Siamese mix. Finally, we found one! It was the last one on the hook. I tried to find a way to incorporate her into this year, since we have had her for 3 years now. Then, I remembered that she had just turned 10 years old this year, so that was perfect to have personalized onto it.

My son and I had trouble trying to find ornaments that represented each of us. I figured that my son would just pick a general cartoon character ornament like he usually does. After a couple laps around the store, he settled on an Angry Birds ornament. I kept asking him if he was certain that he wanted that particular one. I explained that he was able to switch if he wanted to, but he was settled on that. I liked his choice.

For me, I ended up settling on two ornaments for two completely different reasons. I kept trying to find something that represented my accident that happened January 2nd of this year. It had a huge impact on our lives this year. We may have lost our home due to it, but we gained a great support system. I have gained an even closer relationship with my father, an over showering love from friends, compassion from my son’s school, and a generous fund from customers and employees. My son was very patient with me while I indecisively walked around the store. I saw boots, but I wasn’t sold on the idea, so I continued my search. Then, I saw it! A peace symbol! Not exactly sure why this one, but I was attached to it. Once I got home, I wrote on the back of it with a permanent marker, “1-2-2016 Broken Ankle * Help By Many“.

As for my second ornament, I never planned on this one. We passed by this To-Go Coffee cup ornament several times. My son kept pointing it out every time we passed it. We both seemed to be drawn by it. Then, it dawned on me what it could represent. I put it in my basket and said, “This will represent our blog site, because I love going to the coffee shop to write them”. My son smiled, “I love it!”. When we got home, I wrote “PIPBLOGS 2016” on the back of it. It was perfect.


I love watching our tree expand each year with more and more memories. Each bulb, each ornament and hanging artwork tells a story. We get to read those stories every year through our little tree. As I watched my son place our new collection on our little Tradition Tree, I started thinking, “Soon, we’ll have to get a bigger tree or start putting them on the big tree we already have”.

Part II. to be published tomorrow, December 14th at 11:00am Est.


Written by J. Marie

Mom of three boys. Assistant Manager - Meris Gardens Bed & Breakfast . Blogger . Photographer . Marketing Director . Custom Art . Part-Time Student . Pursuing career in Mental Health Services

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