My Life of What Ifs

Friday, December 9, 2011

It was a great idea at the time

Twelve years ago I had a brilliant idea.  It was my last one.

Twelve years ago I decided that I would start a tradition of providing my nieces, nephews, children of friends, and eventually my own children, with yearly Christmas ornaments.  For some, this yearly sentimental act was in lieu of a gift.  No more dolls, books, or stuff their Mom's didn't want, just a nice ornament signed and dated by yours truly.

That was 1999.  I had one niece.  My close friends had three daughters among them.  I could swing the whole endeavor for less than 20 bucks.  That was 1999.

It is now 2011.  I have three nieces, four nephews, and my closest, dearest friends now have 18 kids between them.  I have developed friendships with new families too and could easily add in about eight more kids.  That would total 33 ornaments.  And once there was four.

Back in the day I had a great "Ornament Lady", which is what I really called her.  I could find her at a variety of craft shows in Jackson or Ann Arbor. 

She is responsible for this...

And this and this...

And then she fell off the Earth.  Leaving me and my ornaments...hanging... with no idea where to turn to continue the tradition.

I tried to continue the craft show tradition for a bit, but everything that met my "standards" which were based on the "Ornament Lady" cost an arm and a leg, and my siblings and friends kept reproducing.

One year I found these lovely gems...

Not cheap and I had to pay to have them shipped because when I gave the crafter my list of names she passed out on the floor.

Another year I got these for girls, and heaven only knows what everyone else got...

And as the numbers grew, and my money shrank- not in size, just in volume, I tried my luck at boxed ornaments that I could personalize myself.  Thanks to Target and my love of Snowmen/SnowSantas I had a couple of more great years...

and my favorite...

So now here we are in 2011 and Christmas is 15 days away and I have yet to find this year's ornament that I need a gazillion of.  OK, not a gazillion, but even if I only bought for my girls, nieces and nephews I would need 9.  But of course I will buy more than that.  I will probably even buy them for my dogs.  And yes, the ornament has to "speak" to me, and when I see it I will just know that it's the one.  I will drive my husband crazy with my process, but I will be proud of the outcome.  When I deliver them to their recipients some of whom have 12 from me already they will love what I choose.  And for awhile it will seem like a great idea all over again.  Until next December anyway.

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