Wednesday, December 12, 2007

O Tannenbaum

I really like the word Tannenbaum-- it's one of those fun German words we get to throw around at Christmastime. I found some interesting tidbits about "O Tannenbaum" online, particularly the most common English translations of the song. My favorite was this one:

O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree,
Thy candles shine out brightly!
O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree,
Thy candles shine out brightly!
Each bough doth hold its tiny light,
That makes each toy to sparkle bright.
O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree,
Thy candles shine out brightly!

One of my favorite holiday traditions is getting out our ornaments to decorate the tree. We get a new ornament every year, usually one that reminds us of a fun place we visited or a cherished memory. We also buy a new ornament for each boy and they each get one from each grandmother. We have a whole bunch of ornaments that say "Thomas" on them-- and the "Gordon"s are growing! If you do the math, we get a minimum of seven new ornaments each year, and usually a couple more random ones from visiting teachers or boss's wives.

Despite our large number of ornaments, each one has a story. This year, I'm working on taking pictures of each ornament and scrapbooking the story for our Christmas scrapbook. We'll give the boys their ornaments when they have their own families, but I always want to remember when and why we got each special one.

Here are some of my favorites this year:

This sweet little Nativity Egg was purchased for me at Ten Thousand Villages by Chris for my first Mother's Day. Actually, this is not the original egg. The first egg was used as a slingshot in a moment of goofing off, and it was destroyed when it hit something hard. I was so sad to lose it, and so worried that they wouldn't have any more since their inventory changes frequently. But, lucky for me, when we went to Ten Thousand Villages in Sugarhouse one 4th of July, they had one Nativity Egg left-- and now it's mine.

This cool guitar is actually Thomas's. He picked it out at Restoration Harware from a plethora of other cool musical instrument ornaments. I remember pressuring him to get something more classical, like a piano, or at the very least, an acoustic guitar. But no, he liked this white electric guitar and now I can't imagine our tree without it.

Thomas made this adorably sweet angel in his first pre-school class. I love it because the picture is hilarious and the glitter has been applied with the most precious three-year-old care, but also because it reminds me of how much I loved his pre-school. We lived in Lake Stevens, WA at the time, and I remember clearly the day I visited the school to see if I wanted to enroll Thomas. It was absolutely the most perfect pre-school I could have imagined: guinea pigs, a bike path with different textured concrete, an entire wall made out of chalkboard, a room dedicated to art-- it was amazing. The school turned out to be every bit as wonderful as we hoped, and seeing this angel always makes me smile.

This year's ornament was purchased in a cute little shop in Kailua-Kona, HI, while Chris and I were there with his parents this year. We loved this ornament because it was handmade in Hawaii, has a bunch of cool Hawaiian pictures, but still looks Christmas-y. Our vacation was so fun and I love the memories this ornament will always bring me.

Our tree has been up and beautiful since November 30th, and I just love the Christmas cheer it brings into our home!


jILl PeTeRsEn said...

What a great Idea! My mom sends the kids one every year but we don't really have a tradition with ornaments. I love that you are going to scrapbook them. I don't think I have too much to say about ours. I love your cute stories!

Elena said...

Great ornaments! (I am an ornament girl too.) I LOVE your Hawaii one, so cute. We got an adorable pineapple and I just love it. I really like your idea of taking a picture of each ornament so that you can remember the story behind. I may have to copy that.

Holly said...

That's such a great idea! Now I wish we had bought one in Russia because they were everywhere. Dang it! I'll have to start collecting them.

Todd said...

we have the same tradition of giving the girls one every year- we need to travel more to copy your sentimental ornament tradition!! a-m

Todd said...

i just read on mom's blog that you have an analytics page- so i guess you really do know how often i check your blog! now i am feeling obsessed . . . . a-m

Emily said...

I love all the ornament stories, that is such a great idea! I may just have to "borrow" it...

Ashley said...

Elise, I finally posted a couple of our pics on my blog. It was SO GOOD to see you, honestly, I think we would be BFF's if we lived near! COME VISIT!

becky ward said...

I love your ornament collection. What a fun tradition! Wish I would have done that.