Mr. P and I always pick up a Christmas ornament on our travels. We had a really fun time collecting them this year. Sometimes they are actual Christmas ornaments, sometimes they’re keychains or tchotchkes I attach a hook to.
This year we’re trending more toward actual ornaments!
Munich: Snowflake, Penguin, Christmas Scene. This was last year technically. But since we were traveling for Christmas, we didn’t get a chance to hang these on our own tree until this year. And since we were visiting the Munich Christmas Markets, ummmm, several ornaments were purchased. Several.
Italy: Venetian Carnenvale Mask. I popped into a carnevale mask store to buy a souvenir for a friend of mine and ended up walking out with a Christmas ornament for myself. The shop owner let me pick out a mask and then turned it into an ornament.
Austria: Keychain. Super touristy, yep. The poor shopkeeper seemed a bit miffed that we didn’t want one of the huge hand painted ornaments. Since I already had a generic Christmas scene painted on an ornament (see above), I wanted something that said “Austria” a bit more. The keychain has a bunch of the major Innsbruck sites, plus an edelweiss! I was sold.
I’m not one to visit cemeteries on trips even if they are tourist attractions and famous people are buried there. But a friend of ours who was traveling with us to Argentina and Antarctica was very into it, so Mr. P and I went along to El Cementerio de la Recoleta. We were about done with our visit. On our way out, we passed this huge poinsettia bush. I never realized before that I’d never seen a pointsettia growing in the wild (or just not in a pot in a Walgreens or on an ESPN set during Christmas). I stopped to take many photos. It was our first time traveling during the Christmas season. I’d grown up with a Dad who had to work on Christmas Eve and open a store early on the day after Christmas, so any traveling in December, much less in the southern hemisphere, was odd. It was such an oppressively hot day but it finally felt a tiny bit like Christmastime. Merry Christmas everyone!
Oh my, I have lots of new travel ornaments to share with you this year!
We try and pick up an ornament for our tree during our travels. It doesn’t have to be made as an ornament — many of the best ones we have are converted keychains. Putting these up is my favorite part of decorating the tree.
The Ushuaia Penguin. We didn’t make it to any of the gift shops on Antarctica (seriously, there are gift shops at some research stations) so this little penguin from Ushuaia was the next best thing. So stinking cute.
Pope Francis. Pope Francis is Argentine and I could. not. wait. to see some Pope paraphernalia in Argentina. This is a keychain that has a picture of the Vatican on the back.
Coach from Buckingham Palace. Yes, we already have an ornament from London and no, I generally don’t get a new one every time I revisit a city. But we were in Buckingham Palace (the gift shop, but inside the palace walls). I saw it, had to have it. The end.
Munich Beer Stein. Another keychain, picked up at Oktoberfest. I don’t feel like I need to describe the awesomeness of this one.
Istanbul Eye. We had a hard time finding something we liked in Istanbul. This keychain has a bit of the city plus a charm to ward off the evil eye (frequently seen on our trip).
Brussels Lace. Brussels is very famous for its lace. This ornament isn’t on the level of some of the amazing work we saw, but it was cute and reminds us of the trip, which is the entire point.
Our 2014 Christmas cards are making their way to their destinations and I’m sharing them with you today!
As per usual, this crafty design-loving cardaholic buys rather than makes Christmas cards. More on why here. This is one of the few times I prefer quantity over quality: I’d rather spread the love and send more cards than spend the time to make them for fewer people. I’m still keeping up with my always-send-a-card mantra, so I had about 90 on our list.
I had to get these out earlier than normal this year. I’m glad I get to share them with you!
*Mr. P insisted on penguins this year. I love the cards but the envelopes were a tad flimsy for my liking. I kept on telling him that I might end up like Susan from Seinfeld after licking all of the envelopes.
Do you document new Christmas ornaments? I think it’s fun to remember what year we got each thing for our tree. I’d like to document the ones Mr. P and I got each year since we moved in together. That was 8 Christmases ago. Yikes.
My goal this year is to capture all the ornaments from the first three years, plus keep a record of the ones I didn’t capture so it’s easier to do next year.
As we unpacked our decorations a couple weeks ago, I used post-it notes and took quick pictures of all the ornaments so I can remember which goes with what year.
Focusing on the first three years, I try and get a really nice photo of each ornament hanging on the tree. This usually involves 10-15 photos each while I fiddle with settings.
One slightly annoying thing here is light. Even if I take the photos all at the same time, the light is so different on each part of the tree! I’m ending up with photos that individually look awesome but the lighting and thus coloring on the tree branches really varies! I wonder what it will look like when I put these together in a scrapbook.
When I move the photos to my computer, I delete a ton of them and keep the best 2-3 for each ornament. When I scrapbook this in the future, I think I’m only going to keep the one I decided to use for the book. For now, everything gets sorted into folders by year and is ready for me to work with whenever I want!
Hi, it’s me over here – the person who my friends describe as crafty – with my non-homemade, non-customized Christmas cards.
I love being crafty, but I still buy my cards every year. There’s something about getting out 70 of them that prevents me from making them myself 🙂 Sure, I could design a photo card, many do, but it’s not my thing.*
Disclaimer: I think twice about blogging about Christmas cards because any time I share what I do, people think that I don’t like what they do. It’s okay, I just do my own thing.
I really prefer to find a pretty card and devote my efforts to writing a message inside. It’s not much, but I like thinking about the person I’m sending it to. This usually results in “hey, I need to have dinner with them! And Them! And them too!”
That’s what I think it’s about in the end – getting a chance to connect with people in a non-social media form.
*I reserve the right to change my opinion after I have kids.