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Lainey is a lot more organized than my family – our Christmas decorations don’t come down until Mid-January after Epiphany (12 days after Christmas when the 3 Wise Men arrived) so I can still write about Christmas decorations just a little be longer…

My first collection was started for me, my first Christmas, by my aunt wh,o unknowingly at the time, gave me more than just an ornament, but a gift that would  inspire me in many ways throughout my life.  That gift was my first bird ornament.  Just about every Christmas since then, I’ve received bird ornaments from multiple family members, picked some up while shopping with my mom, and have expanded my interest for bird decor outside of the Christmas tree.  My collection is so large, it has become my family’s Christmas decoration focal point and covers the majority of my mother’s Christmas tree.

Some ornaments are tied to childhood memories and are a way that I have been able to connect with the women in my family.  Most of my ornaments have come from my mom, aunts, and grandmothers and looking at the tree I feel connected to all of them.  As a child, we’d go to Palatka, FL each summer to visit my great-grandmother (we called her by her initials, ET) and while there would take a day trip to St. Petersburg.  If you are in the area and have extra time I suggest a stop in St. Pete’s – there is a fort to explore and lots of antique shops and boutiques.  The one store I remember was the Christmas store that we’d visit where I’d get to pick out an ornament or two.  Those ornaments are symbols of my childhood summers and when I look at them I remember the time I got to spend with my beloved ET.

Another memorable acquisition, was the Christmas my family spent in Paris when I was 12.  Christmas time in Paris is magical and shopping during Christmas is a totally different experience.  Shoppers aren’t as hurried and when you buy a gift, the shop clerk will wrap if for you right there!  Maybe that is why everyone is a little more relaxed, they don’t have to spend hours wrapping when they get home! :)  My mom and I did a lot of shopping while there (it is kind of our thing) and I came home with 4 new bird ornaments to put on the tree.  That was a magical Christmas, one that is relived every year we hang up the ornaments purchased that trip.This Christmas my mom and I picked out a purple metal bird from a department store and I got a bird wall decoration (my collection has moved beyond the tree).

None of my ornaments are antique or have been found at an estate sale (yet but I look every time), but this is a collection that is a part of me and makes it Christmas for me.  One day I hope to have a daughter or niece to start a collection for and I hope that it turns into a lifetime love for her like the first gift did for me.

And hey, some day my collection will be vintage! (though, not for a very long time)