Eons ago my daughter won the New Hampshire State Spelling Bee and competed in the Scripps National Spelling bee in Washington, DC.
It’s fairly impossible to explain how proud her father and I were of her.
Her entire extended family took a trip to Washington DC for 4 days to watch her compete. Thrilling doesn’t begin to describe it. Back then I was a frequent patron of a paint-your-own-pottery store in my home town and to commemorate the event, I made this ornament:
Every year when I put it on the tree my daughter groans. Too bad, I always tell her. This was an event so profound in her parents’ lives that it has to be remembered every year.
She still groans, but at least she lets me put it up, hee hee.
Such a happy memory, just what an ornament should be.
Professions are easy to turn into Holiday ornaments. The other day I showed you one set of the nurse/doctor ones I’ve received over the years. Today is my retirement career.
You all know I retired from my job in 2015 when I got my first writing contract with The Wild Rose Press. The day I turned in my resignation was one of the happiest – and scariest – of my life. Happy because I was finally being given an opportunity to do what I loved, full-time. Scariest because…no income. The potential for income was there, but I knew it was going to take a few years ( read: several!) before I saw any substantial cash in the royalties department. I still can’t support myself to this day on what I make as a full-time writer each year, but it’s way better than when I first started out in 2015.
That year, for Christmas, I bought myself this ornament as a testament to my new career:
It’s perfect in so many ways, but mostly because it’s a. a typewriter, and b. pink.
I wish I had my own pink typewriter in real life. I have a writing friend who actually does. I’ll need to save up to get myself one, one of these days.
So in a previous blog post I told you all that I have over 120 pairs of shoes.
Don’t judge. I’ve worn each and every one of them at least once. Many have had to be re-soled I’ve worn them so much. And despite what hubster thinks, I am not channeling Imelda Marcos. I truly love shoes and wear different pairs all the time.
I remind you of this because of today’s ornament. Several years ago I went shopping with a friend to buy shoes for a wedding. I would up with three pair that day because I couldn’t make up my mind which would go best with the dress. I fully intended to return the two that didn’t.
I found two other outfits in my closet they went perfectly with them, so…
Again – no judging.
For Christmas that year she gifted me this ornament:
Do you believe in angels? I do and have since I was a child.
There’s something magical about believing in a being who is looking out for you from a distance. Everyone who knows me knows I love these celestial beings. And, because they also know I’m obsessed with tree ornaments, most of my friends have gifted me angel ornaments over the years. Here are just a few on the tree this year.
This one is made of glass and I wrap it in six sheets of paper each year when I store it because I don’t want anything to happen to it.
And of course, the Anna Lee angel that tops my tree that I’ve had for almost 30 years:
And that isn’t even all of them, kids.
Angels: they’re a good thing to have on your holiday tree.
It’s no secret if you know me you know I simply adore my daughter. She represents everything good I ever tried to do in my life and makes each day I wake up on this earth a joyous one for me.
Today, I actually have 2 favorite ornaments to share and they both concern that darling girl.
The first comes from 1994 and my daughter made it her first year in school for me as a mother’s Christmas present. Her teacher had all the children make one for their moms. Love that sososo much!
Because she is a major “star” in my life story, she is also a featured star – literally!- on my tree each year.
The second ornament is from last year. After delaying their wedding for a year due to Covid, and then realizing they might have to do so again for another year, they decided to just simply take the plunge. It was a glorious day in September when they pledged themselves together for life, and were surrounded by family – all masked – in her hubby’s home church.
Every time I look at this ornament I smile, remembering that wonderful day.
You can’t beat family for making great ornament themes, peeps!
Books are, without a doubt, a big factor in my life. Before I ever wrote them, I read them.
A lot of them.
I started reading on my own younger than most kids. My mother tells the story that by the time I went to kindergarten at the age of 5 I was already reading on a second-grade level and the teachers were impressed. My daughter was the same way.
One of the first books I ever remember reading and LOVING is today’s ornament.
This is a replica of Watty Piper’s famous and wonderful book THE LITTLE ENGINE THAT COULD. I think it was originally published about 90 years ago but its simple self motivating message still resounds to this day.
I remember being a kid and reading it and then an adult and reading it to my daughter and I felt the same sense of empowerment both times – this book is one every single child should read. It teaches an extremely valuable lesson on being true to yourself and, in my opinion, reaching for the unattainable, reaching for the stars.
I bought this ornament for myself several years ago and it always claims a visible space on my tree.