Before we take down our tree, I wanted to take some photos of our ornaments. I collect ornaments that tell the story of interesting things that have happened throughout the years, and I love to reminisce each Christmastime.


Here’s one of my favorites: an ornament made from a photo of Mike and me on our wedding day.


Here’s one that I bought in New York City in 2001, shortly after 9/11.


I bought this one in 1999, the year I traveled through Australia.


Here’s a golden aspen leaf from 2003, when Mike and I first traveled to Colorado together.


Here are my cats Roger and Janie. Janie’s lifelong buddy, Roger, passed away earlier this year.


This one is a beautiful gift from my mother.


This one is from 1998, the year I volunteered at a chimpanzee research institute in Washington State.


A photo ornament from 2003, when my niece Kenna was born.


One from 1994, when my college roommates and I couldn’t afford ornaments, so we tied thread around inexpensive stuffed animals.


Of course I love this camera ornament.


From 1998, when I took a year of figure skating lessons. I finally had to give it up when I started grad school.


Another beautiful gift from my mother.


A tribute to the University of Virginia. The school so nice that I graduated twice.


A UVA Cavalier dressed as an orange and blue Santa.


I bought this one in 2004, the year we moved to Colorado. It’s a tribute to the deer who wander through our neighborhood.


More gifts my my mother. Animals are a common theme on our tree, because I love them so much.


This one is the closest that I’ve found to our Ally. It needs a white chest, though.


Finally this one is from 2008, the year that my beloved Roger went on to kitty heaven. I miss him.

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Oh my gosh, the ornament with a photo from your wedding day is perfect! We’ve been meaning to get photo ornaments made of our family but we haven’t been able to find a good place to get them done — can you share the place you had yours made?

Oh my gosh, the ornament with a photo from your wedding day is perfect! We’ve been meaning to get photo ornaments made of our family but we haven’t been able to find a good place to get them done — can you share the place you had yours made?

Gorgeous tree! I loved reading the stories behind your ornaments.

Re: I love your tree.

What wonderful family traditions. πŸ™‚

That sounds beautiful and fun! I love it.

Re: they say great minds think alike…

You should! I’d love to see yours. For my photos, I used a 24-70mm or 50mm with no flash. I used wide apertures for more light and narrow depth of field. I didn’t use a macro lens, but I did crop some of them in photoshop. I definitely recommend that you don’t use a flash, because that will destroy the mood of the tree lighting. If you must use a flash, bounce it off a wall instead of pointing it forward.

I agree! I don’t usually buy souvenirs, because there is rarely anything that I want from tourist shops, but ornaments are always fun for me to buy.

I’m so glad you enjoyed this post. πŸ™‚

I really should paint that dog ornament, but I don’t trust myself to do it right. Maybe I’ll talk myself into it next year.

I hope you’ll love collecting ornaments as much as I have.

That’s so true. One of my favorite parts of Christmastime is opening my box of ornaments and reliving each memory.

I’m so very sorry about Miss Kitty. I know how much that hurts. I found the cat angel at a store here in Colorado Springs, but I found them online here: http://www.rainingcatsanddogs.com/cat-23-1-52/Cat-Angel-Ornaments.htm I hope you can find one that looks like your Miss Kitty. Hugs to you.

That sounds like a perfect start to the ornaments that the two of you can collect through the years. πŸ™‚

I love hearing people’s stories about ornaments and Christmas time. Thanks for sharing with us! πŸ™‚

I love your tree.

We just bought a new home, so none of out ornaments were particularly special to us except one that his mother gave us- A golden key with 2008 engraved on it. When I was a child my sister and I used to get to pick out a new ornament the week before christmas every year. It’s a tradition I’ve decided to pass to our new home and future children. My parents divorced last March but my father wanted me to help my nephew’s Christmas to remain somewhat normal so I was decorating my father’s tree a few weeks ago with him. I laid out each ornament and let him choose which to add and where. Every one he picked up he asked me to explain. I had forgotten how special a simple decoration can be until the next generation of a family wonders the history.

What a fabulous idea!
Beautiful

What a fabulous idea!
Beautiful

You have such great ornaments. I love how each one has a story behind them.

I highly recommend it…it makes the tree really special! Plus, it always gives you one good souvenir to hunt for when on special trips πŸ˜€

Ben and I both brought special ornaments into our marriage, but decided last year to weed out the insignificant, “boxed” things that didn’t mean anything to us.

I think our tree was the most beautiful this year than ever before, and that is due to the fact that all of the ornaments mean something. We have hand painted and beaded eggs from our trip to Salzburg, pewter ornaments representing favorite things or purchased from special trips, ornaments from our colleges, likenesses of our pets (which is the most fun!) and funny ones that remind me of good jokes (a giraffe ornament representing Eddie Izzard’s “evil herbivores” and a monkey who truly is represents “La singe est sur la branche!”) and ones that just make us laugh (Glass Reese’s Cup package, Krispy Kreme light up “Hot Now” sign)

Thanks for sharing your ornaments with us. I may have to steal the idea and document our own special tree items!

they say great minds think alike…

i really love that you did this! i thought i was the only one of my friends who had an extensive collection of ornaments like you have. that said, i was going to post an entry with pictures before i left for NH, but then i ran out of time so i’m gonna do it when i get back to WA. what’d you do to make them stand out so well? macros? no flash? flash? any advice for an amateur like me?

I really like that idea, and it makes me want to go through my ornaments and weed out the non-significant ones and start collecting too.

I love these photos, Charlotte–very heartwarming to know the story behind the ornaments.

Lovely tree!

I like all of the ornaments, and the details as to why they mean so much to you.

My favorites, however, have to be the Roger and Janie ornaments. They’re so very cute.

This one is the closest that I’ve found to our Ally. It needs a white chest, though.

…why not see if you can paint one on? It might be painstaking, but it might well be worth it.

I love these photos, Charlotte–very heartwarming to know the story behind the ornaments.

This was a lovely post. This year was my first to put up a tree, and it’s so wonderful to start accumulating meaningful ornaments.

Having ornaments with sentimental value makes the whole Christmas tree tradition even more special.
Thanks for sharing your ornaments and your memories.

Having ornaments with sentimental value makes the whole Christmas tree tradition even more special.
Thanks for sharing your ornaments and your memories.

Beautiful Tree! Happy Holidays to you and Mike πŸ™‚

very sweet, I love the meaning behind the beauty. πŸ™‚

Hope you had/are having a great Christmas. πŸ™‚

Aw, gorgeous ornaments! πŸ™‚ I always love hearing the stories behind tree decorations because there’s always something there it seems πŸ™‚

These are all so beautiful!

May I ask where you got the cat angel ornament in memory of Roger? We lost our Miss Kitty just 3 weeks ago today (under 2 weeks before Christmas) and cat angels are tough to find!

And I understand what you mean about missing your Roger, I’m still heartbroken about Miss Kitty.

What a lovely tree. We didn’t even put ornaments on my family’s tree this year – we kept it bare with just the lights.

I received a lenox 2008 ornament this year – the first year I’ve been given an ornament as a gift. I got engaged this year so it seems like a good starting point for a tree of my own, just like yours. πŸ™‚

Great photos, as always.

Charlotte Geary

CHARLOTTE GEARY

Lifestyle, event, and portrait photographer with a vibrant, joyful style and 17 years of professional experience.

Located in Reston, Virginia near Washington, D.C. and available for travel.

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