When Greg and I first married one of our nice ornaments was a crystal angel. I can recall placing it pridefully on our tree only to return from work the next evening to find the tree had toppled, crushing my beautiful angel. The loss frustrated me for days. The ornament was to be the beginning of my dream tree–one sparkling with crystal.
Fast-forward 21 years and four kids later. The crystal ornament tree never happened–saving plenty of money and my sanity. What we do have is a beautiful tree filled with treasured ornaments made at school, church, and home. In addition, our tree showcases family travels–ornaments picked up on various vacations and trips. When we travel, the kids know we do not purchase toys that quickly break. Instead we choose a family ornament. Some vacations, like our trip to Disney, are extra-special and everyone gets an ornament. To save money, I bought Mickey ear ornaments and wrote their names and year in with a paint pen.
When child number one was born he received nice store-bought dated ornaments yearly. Now with four kids I try to find one easy design they can make that includes their picture. It saves tons of money and means much more. This one was actually made at school. It is easy to recreate with some shaving cream, Santa hat, glue, and popsicle sticks. Just take a photo and make the frames.
I also buy frame-style ornaments to put in a family photo. These are easy to find at dollar stores or after Christmas on clearance.
No, my tree does not glimmer with crystal. It sparkles with fun and memories. Every ornament is different and each has its own story to tell.