Travel Memories: Decorating the Tree
Many people collect souvenirs, little tokens to place about your home to remind you of your travels. One of the best parts of any trip is the memories made along the way. When we travel, our tradition is to find a new Christmas ornament to add to the mish-mash of memorabilia gathered over the years. Though we don’t have a designer tree, I think it’s perfect. Let's reminisce together, shall we?
My first travel ornament was from Florida, purchased when my daughter was just 18 months old. Appropriate as we stayed in Clearwater Beach, we purchased this decorative shell at a crafters market. Every year, when placing the ornament on the tree, I am reminded of the toddler, that is now my 16 year old daughter, who played in the sand every day on that trip.
We returned to Florida many times over the years, in roadtrip fashion, traveling with 3 children straight down the I-75. One year, each of the kids bought me a Santa ornament as a gift for Mother’s Day, featuring the Jolly Old Elf relaxing in various beach poses.
Another time, my youngest absolutely HAD to purchase a princess for the tree. Now at 10 years old, she still remembers the day she bought it in Disney Village.
We did a fantastic walking tour while in New York City, taking in the well-known sights including Times Square & the Statue of Liberty. With a little bit of effort, we found ourselves going home with the perfect souvenirs. You guessed it - Christmas tree sized versions of Lady Liberty and a bustling Times Square!
We took another roadtrip down south, this time to Boston, where we saw the actual bar from the Cheers T.V. show! Though not as big as the show portrayed, it did have an excellent gift shop.
Here's to remembering that beautiful city.
Of course, our idea of vacation frequently includes the beach, so the trip to Boston also included a visit to Cape Cod. I have a good friend in Massachusetts who recommended the lovely cottage we rented there. Although the weather that summer left a little to be desired, we fell in love with the charm of the Cape area.
I remember my first trip to Switzerland when I hang the glass star I purchased at a Christmas Market in Zurich. It was my first long distance business trip and just 2 weeks before Christmas! I was lonely and homesick during that trip, but the seeing Christmas market, and having my very good friend Andrea show me around helped to brighten my mood.
Andrea, this one’s for you.
During my most recent trip to Europe with my daughter, we picked up an ornament from Colmar, France. This is the first year that we will hang this handcrafted, Alsacian style ornament. I know it will remind us of our wonderful trip for many years to come.
Doing It Like a Local
Not all of our roadtrips take us south of the border. We have also explored many places closer to home, collecting memories along the way
- Going to Niagara Falls and taking our first ever ride on the Maid of the Mist - commemorated with our Snow Globe Maid.
- Our first trip to Ottawa, capital city of Canada, where my son played hockey in the Bell Capital Cup. While there we made sure that we toured the Parliament buildings, and a few museums as well.
- Trips to Blue Mountain where my daughters and I would spend hours creating works of art in the Pottery store. This was my version of the town in winter.
Each of these treasures holds memories that my husband and I look back on during our tree decorating evening (including the one from Jamaica when we enjoyed a couples getaway). Why is it that when all the decorations are up, the tree is complete and the lights are glimmering in the darkness, I always find myself in the mood to enjoy a Salted Caramel Mocha, from my favourite coffee house? Well, maybe it’s just me.
Wishing you all the best of the Christmas season and hoping that you take the time to enjoy your own memories over the holidays!