Archive for December, 2010

Ornaments: Travels

I think I mentioned somewhere that Mr. Cookie and I have a tradition of buying ornaments whenever we travel somewhere new.  It’s one of my favorite family traditions and one of the few that is ours completely.  It’s not something that was passed down by our families or anything like that.  No, this is one that we came up with early(ish) on in our relationship.  I adore it.  Each year when we decorate our tree, we get to see the ornaments and relive all the places we’ve been.  We save the new ornaments for nearly last and then solemnly decide where these new baubles will go on our tree.  Read on to discover some of the places we’ve been!

Now, let’s see if I can remember what order these trips went in (I’m sure once Mr. Cookie sees this he will make me change many dates.  His memory works better).


The first trip we ever went on was to the Berkshires, the summer of 2002.  Our favorite memory came from Tanglewood, where we went one evening for a concert by the BSO.  We have two ornaments because this is where Mr. Cookie later proposed in July of 2007 (we don’t normally double dip on ornaments from one place, but this seemed fitting).

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Ornaments: Accomplishments

This is the third in a series of four posts on the ornaments adorning our tree this year.  The first and second ones can be found at the links.

Every year, there is a good chance that some student will buy me an ornament.  It’s an easy thing to get a teacher and often cheap for families who want to do something but don’t have a lot to spend.  Something tells me that by the time I’m retired I’ll have a tree covered in apples.

Mr. Cookie’s accomplishments, thankfully, are better documented on our tree and do not take the form of fruit.  For example, there is the ornament commemorating the years he rode in the Pan-Mass Challenge.  He wasn’t able to do it this year, but had done it faithfully for several years prior.

In addition for Mr. Cookie is his legal eagle ornament.  This, of course, is a symbol of the huge accomplishment of completing law school (so much cooler than apples!).

And finally, the ornament that perhaps holds to most weight because it is an accomplishment for both of us, is this Texas ornament with “13.1” cut out in the center.

Now, before you get your panties in a bunch saying “hey, shouldn’t that go into the travels post??” let me remind you that it was in Texas that I completed my first half marathon and Mr. Cookie completed his… what?  Fourth?  Something like that.  You can read about it all here.  It was absolutely my biggest accomplishment of the year (well, that and packing away about two thousand cookies over the course of the holiday season).

Next up, travels!  The longest post yet!!

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Ornaments: Adult History

This is the second is a four part series on Christmas ornaments that we have on our tree.  For the first part, click here.

When Mr. Cookie and I moved in together, we didn’t have a lot of many things.  Not a lot of money.  Not a lot of shared traditions.  Not a lot of holiday decorations.  No car.  So, when Christmas came around that first year, we settled on the cheapest fake tree we could find (Mr. Cookie was and continues to be- to a lesser extent- negatively affected by large plants).  I still remember.  It was a $20 tree from the Walgreens half a mile from our house.  I spotted the special in that week’s newspaper circular and would give Mr. Cookie no rest until it was in our living room.  We bought that tree and then proceeded to buy a variety of the cheapest ornaments we could find at the same store.  I remember lugging that things back through the snow with Mr. Cookie and setting it up in our apartment.  The patriotically colored balls were hung carefully on the short, sad, barren tree.

We had no topper.  The lights were also multi-colored and we made sure to buy a couple strands even though the tree wasn’t even as tall as me just so we could wrap them as compactly as possible.  Still, that tree represented our first Christmas living together and as such, was incredibly special.  Mom, hearing my description of our sad little tree, sent us the first in a long line of yearly ornaments commemorating a year together.  Each year to this day she continues the tradition.  As such, this was one of the first Christmas traditions Mr. Cookie and I shared.

I know, I know.  They have our names on them.  At least they can’t be googled.  It wouldn’t be until a couple years later that we had ornaments that were not of the cheap drug store variety (this was the first year we didn’t even use them) or the mom-purchased variety.  Stay tuned Wednesday for the next installment:  Accomplishments.

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Ornaments: Childhood History

Growing up, Christmastime was looked towards with excitement.  Every year, Sister Cookie and I would unpackage the ornaments, laying them out on the table while our parents strung the lights around the tree.  This year, I was going through the ritual on my own and decided that our ornaments were worthy of their own posts.  I will break it down into four categories:  Childhood History, Adult History, Accomplishments, and Travels.


That brings us to the first installment, Childhood History.  Now, these ornaments come from my childhood.  Mr. Cookie’s mom still has his childhood ornaments.  No worries, mine are FASCINATING (to me, at least)!


First up, this is one I always loved taking out every year.  Sister Cookie was not allowed to touch this one.  It was MINE.  I took it out of the box.  I hung it on the tree.  I pointed it out to visitors.  This was the first ornament ever solely related to me.  The ornament celebrating my first Christmas:


When we were small, my dad was stationed in Germany.  My first memories are from Germany.  One of my favorite times of year in Germany was Christmas.  In Germany, Christmas meant the Kristkindl Markt (Christ Child Market).  And, the Kristkindl Markt meant stollen, streudel, potato pancakes, gingerbread, and hand crafted treasures.  I remember one year getting to pick out ornaments with my sister for our tree.  Here are some ornaments I chose:

They may be old and flaking, but they bring back a lot of sensory memories of the Kristkindl Markt.

This next one came from Alaska which you may think ought to be in our travel section, but in fact, it was a gift sent from the Alaskan branch of our family when we were little.


Next up is a set of three ornaments from a dear high school friend.  I adored Pooh and all things Pooh related so she got me these ornaments one year to commemorate this adoration:


And finally, I have an ornament I made as part of a group of presents when I was in middle school.  We didn’t have a great deal of money that year and for some reason I got it into my head that I needed to give presents to my friends and teachers.  So, I made ornaments.  Now, I’m REALLY not artistic.  As you can tell by this leftover ornament:


So, there you have it.  These are some of the ornaments that represented my childhood.  Tune in next Wednesday for ornaments related to Our History.


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