Cultivating a Life of Gratitude

I am committing myself, during 2010, to attempt to cultivate a greater awareness of how much I have to be thankful and grateful for by sharing my daily findings and musings with you. It is my hope that by blogging about gratitude, I will be more aware of what is going on around me in my life, my family, my friends' lives and our world.

December 4, 2010

Christmas Ornaments

As we started to crack open the Rubbermaid tubs of Christmas ornaments, in order to decorate our fresh, deliciously pine scented Christmas tree, nostalgia overwhelmed my senses.  I have so many favorite ornaments.  Ross is learning that I have about five to ten ornaments I alone am allowed to place on the tree each year.  Our tree is 'decked' with tradition, memories and meaningful gifts.  My parents have passed on to me all of my Christmas ornaments they loving picked out and purchased for me each year of my life. They continue to 'gift' ornaments to us each year and we have also tried to be intentional in our travels and life together, to pick up an ornament that will remind us of where we have visited or what milestones have occurred in our family.   I also often receive hand-made ornaments from piano students.  We have a full, 8 ft Fraser Fur this year and it's a good thing.  If our tree was much smaller it would probably look a little overcrowded.  I took some pictures to share with you a few of my favorites and to give you a sneak peak into why these ornaments are all such very special treasures to me.  I am very grateful for my collection of Christmas ornaments and all of the memories we get to sift through each year as we decorate the tree.  (SIDENOTE: I will confess, we are about to purchase a new camera as our gift to each other for Christmas, because our Canon Powershot has either been dropped one too many times or she's just giving up (planned obsolescence anyone?) so please do not judge me by the quality of my pictures.  Currently, everything other than the focal object appears sharp ... grr ... you'll get the idea though! :))

Jack Frost painting the windows is a Ridder Family favorite from Hallmark, 1983

Joy -I love word ornaments :), gold-ish square one - OC, NJ with Santa in a lifeguard stand from our 2009 trip to the beach/Ethan's first vacation to the ocean, and at the top of the picture a choir director of penguins, Hallmark, 1998
 Santa and his reindeer actually move and circle the house, 1986
 Real glass ornament from my Great Grandma Addleman (Mom's side)
 This place, Bethel University has impacted each person in my family in big ways!
 Chili peppers are a memory from my sister-getaway weekend to Santa Fe 2010 and the M is from my Manders in-laws!
 The Windmill is from our family missions' trip to the Netherlands in 2001 and the peach is from our trip to Atlanta, GA this summer!
 My boss and her kids gave this to me as a Keyboard Kids, Inc. memory.

I really did allow them to put on quite a few ornaments - here is proof! 

My Mom also contributed in another way to our tree.  She quilted the beautiful tree skit under our tree.  
There is so much love, thought and care represented in this one tree - it is truly a blessing for which to be thankful.  


  1. I love this post, Emily. Thanks for sharing the special meaning of the treasured ornaments. Also, it's good to see Ross smiling! I hope he is feeling lots better!

  2. Yay! I'm so glad you got a peach from GA!!! You will be happy to know that though I didn't have much extra "unnecessary" space, I deemed about 20 ornaments "necessary" to bring to Portugal, including 2 from childhood, 2 from MN, and 2 from GA... a peach included! Will be thinking of you tonight when I put up MN and GA! :)