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Saturday, December 11, 2021

Reflections of an ornament collector by Peggy Jaeger

It’s been said ( by my husband, mostly) that I am a holiday ornament hoarder.
He’s not wrong, but one man’s hoard is another’s treasure.
Just sayin’.
I have over 500 Christmas ornaments and they’re not those cheesy glassball, highly breakable thingies we of a certain age grew up with. They are - for the most part - Hallmark and specialty, handmade ornaments I have been
collecting (read – not hoarding!) since I graduated from college and got my first well-paying job.

That very first Christmas season, December 1982, I purchased my first real tree and decorated it with the 15 Hallmark ornaments I’d purchased at my local card store. Yes, it looked a bit like a Charlie Brown tree, but a girl’s gotta start somewhere. Every year since then I’ve put up between 4 and 5 decorated Christmas trees around the house.

One tree is filled with all my Precious Moment ornaments. Another is covered with all ornaments featuring books of literature, both adult and children and including several Dr. Seuss books. I think I must own every Wizard of Oz ornament to be found in the world today, and every Winnie the Pooh one as well.

I have ornaments my daughter made for me in school, some my nieces made as well. I’ve got a few from my sister-in-law, and one friend gives me a different bird ornament every year. I have an entire baking and cooking-themed tree from all the years I did a cookie swap during the holidays. Covid stopped that from happening for the past 2 years.

Even with those 4-5 trees, some ornaments don’t make the cut some years.
This year is the very first one in a long, long time where I only put up and decorated 2 trees. The reason? My fifteen-month-old pup, Maple. And yes, that is her special ornament from last year.

 She is the nosiest dog I have ever met, in addition to being highly excitable. I can just imagine if I put up trees in parts of the house where she has free rein I would lose many of my most loved ornaments simply from her huge wagging tale taking a swipe at the tree, or her natural nosy nose poking at it.
The two trees are in our main living room which is gated off from Maple’s presence because of the hardwood floors it possesses. The rest of the house is carpeted and Maple is allowed everywhere it is.
So, this year I have our traditional family and friends tree- the one with all the ornaments about family, given by family, and about and given by friends, and a small tree that holds as the ornaments from all the places hubby, daughter, and I have traveled over the years.

That one is getting too small for all the great ornaments it has and I may need to get a bigger tree next year.

Christmas is my favorite time of the year. Not because you get presents; not because it’s in winter ( I hate winter!) but because it is such a joyous season. This year I’ll not only get to celebrate the birth of the baby Jesus, I get to celebrate the birth of my first grandchild, Ian. And yes, I got a few ornaments for him, as well.

Happy Holidays, everyone. Spend some time with family – if you can – be cautious in crowds, and treasure those you love.
~ Peg 


  1. Great post Peggy- I love ornaments too- especially the sentimental ones that the now grown kids made when they were little or the ones I bought when I visited somewhere. They provide a chance to revive the memory and relive the experience.

  2. Those are my favs as well. I have about two that I put up routinely year to year that my daughter made. SOme are so fragile I fear they will break or tea so I keep them in a locked box. Someday I will show them to her children.

  3. Agreed! Ornaments are great for sentimentality. And you get to unwrap them and discover them anew each year! I would love to see your literature tree. What a great idea! Is it hard to find ornaments for it?


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