Christmas 2022 is now past. Yet the Christmas tree that glimmers and shimmers in our living room will remain there until New Years Day. It’s tradition in our family, and we do like our traditions.
Another tradition Papa and I initiated many years ago was purchasing at least one Christmas ornament on our traveling trips from one of the places we visited. If you inspected our tree, you’d notice several different ornaments from a wide variety of places.
Since travel is not on our calendar right now, I thought I’d share a few of those on today’s Tuesday Tour.
I think we began acquiring travel Christmas ornaments when we lived in the Pacific Northwest and traveled all over Oregon, Washington, and California.
So, a gingerbread house ornament from the Bavarian-style mountain town of Leavenworth and a Christmas star from Seattle, both from Washington state, adorn our evergreen tree.
Just a couple exist from our journeys across Oregon, where we lived for six years: a cute reindeer peeking over the state of Oregon we purchased at a Redmond reindeer farm and a decorated seashell found in a Pacific Ocean coastal town.
And even though we also traveled down the coast of California, the only ornament from those trips is a musical cable car from San Francisco that plays – you guessed it – I Left My Heart in San Francisco.
We purchased many of our travel ornaments in more recent years. Those like a brass wreath with a welcome pineapple from Williamsburg, Virginia; another brass representation of the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina; and yet another similar one of Silent Night Chapel in Frankenmuth, Michigan.
Trips to the beach are also remembered by a Cape Hatteras, North Carolina sand dollar hand painted with the famous lighthouse there upon it and one featuring the lighthouse at Cape May, New Jersey. Speaking of lighthouses, ornaments from Nubble Light in Maine and Presque Isle Light in Erie, Pennsylvania also decorate our tree.
Representing historical places Papa and I visited in recent years are ornaments from Plymouth, Massachusetts; a minute man from Boston; a drum from Fort McHenry, Maryland; and a pewter one from the famous Civil War battle site in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
Baubles from Vermont, Michigan (including Mackinac Island), New York City, a West Virginia blown glass one, and a Hershey’s Chocolate World in Hershey, Pennsylvania also adorn our tree.
There’s even a hint of international flavor even though we haven’t traveled to other parts of the world yet.
Look closely and you will notice olivewood ornaments from Israel. Our oldest daughter brought back special decorations from a Honduras mission trip and London, England on a grander excursion she experienced.
And another special ornament we received as a gift from our Australian friends is a Christmas tree that fits together with two parts, crafted from aromatic Huon Pine wood (it smells just like a campfire) from trees grown only in the wet, temperate rainforest of Tasmania.
All these decorations for our tree are special to us, and this Christmas I received two more that most of my Tuesday Tour readers will understand why I was tickled to receive them – a lighthouse and a covered bridge.
But not just any run-of-the-mill ornaments, these are Ginger Cottages. A few years ago, I discovered this style of three-dimensional wooden ornaments at a Christmas shop.
They were originally designed and created by American artisan Glenn Crider, but in recent years the product was acquired by the Old World Christmas company.
Mr. Crider still designs all the ornaments, and they continue to be American made (a plus in my book) and hand assembled. Ginger Cottages can be found in retailers all over the nation now.
The intricately carved wooden structures create a village if you collect them all (and there are many, click here to see them) so you can either hang them on your Christmas tree and insert a light into the small hole on the ornament bottom, or you can arrange them on a shelf, table, or under your tree.
When lit up, you notice little surprises inside each ornament like the Amish horse and buggy in the covered bridge.
We already possessed three of these special ornaments – the wedding chapel, ginger clock tower, and Santa’s workshop. It’s enjoyable to peek inside these to see what’s there. Pictured below are Santa’s workshop and clock tower lit and unlit.
So, I was particularly pleased to receive the special-to-me Ginger Cottage ornaments that represent several posts I’ve shared on my Tuesday Tours.
If you need me, I won’t be traveling yet. Instead I’ll be sitting in my living room still enjoying our illuminated Christmas tree at least until January 1, 2023.
“Christmas is a box of tree ornaments that have become part of the family.” ~ Charles M. Schulz