Our Favorite Christmas Tradition
by Gabrielle Meyer
I love this time of year. It’s full of the nostalgia of times gone by, and the hope of good memories to be made. It’s also full of delicious food, beautiful music, and fun traditions we look forward to continuing year after year.
I’m married to Mr. Christmas. He loves all aspects of this holiday season, and his passion for Christmas has rubbed off on me (I was a fan before—he’s just brought it to a new level!). We have lots of family and friend traditions, but my favorite is our ornament tradition.
The first Christmas after we started dating we were just seventeen. I wasn’t sure what to get him for a present, so when I found this cute little Santa Claus ornament I knew it was perfect for him. He loved it.
The following Christmas we went on a school trip to London and I came across this Santa Claus.
As we walked the streets of London, with this tin Santa in my backpack, a tradition was birthed—one that has lasted more than nineteen years. We decided that wherever we go we will find a Santa Claus ornament to remember the trip.
Since then we’ve bought dozens of fun Santa ornaments and we try to find ones that represent the place we’ve visited. Sometimes the best memories come from the hunt for the ornament. Here are just a few.
This beautiful blown glass Santa is my favorite. It came from New York City in 2000 and sits at the WAYYYYY top of the tree where my little people can’t reach! It’s the second one like this that we bought. The original fell out of my bag in Central Park and my husband went all the way back to the store for a second one.
A rodeo Santa from one of our many trips to Colorado to visit my sister when she lived there from 2005-2014.
From Washington, D.C. in 2001.
From a Caribbean Cruise in 2006.
Sometimes we’ve gone to places that don’t have a Santa and so we’ve become creative. That was how this Santa came to be on our tree. I carved it from a piece of pine that we found when we went to Quetico Provincial Park in Canada on a camping trip in 2000. I colored his hat and cheeks with berries. For 16 years, I’ve wanted to take a wood carving class, but I haven’t had time!
Over the years, we’ve been blessed to travel to many fun places, but we aren’t always successful in finding a Santa, so we’ve bought other ornaments, instead.
This is an acorn from The Breakers Mansion in Newport, RI in 2006. The Breakers is decorated with acorns because they represent good luck & prosperity.
Other times my husband or I have gone on a trip alone, but even if we’re not together we still buy a Santa or an ornament that represents the place.
My husband bought this charming doll during a mission trip to Burkina Faso, Africa in 2008 and we turned it into an ornament.
I think you can guess where this one came from! My trip to Paris in 2009.
The reason I love this tradition so much is that every year, as we decorate the tree, we reminisce about the places we have gone and the things we have done—and dream about where we will go next.
What about you? What is your favorite Christmas tradition? Do you collect ornaments from the places you travel?
Gabrielle Meyer lives on the banks of the Upper Mississippi River in central Minnesota with her husband and four children. As an employee of the Minnesota Historical Society, she fell in love with the rich history of her state and enjoys writing historical fiction inspired by real people, places and events. You can connect with Gabrielle on her Facebook page, www.facebook.com/AuthorGabrielleMeyer and learn more about her books at www.gabriellemeyer.com.
Gabrielle has two books releasing this month.
Abram Cooper has ten months to turn rough Minnesota country into a vibrant town, or his sister-in-law will take his three sons back to Iowa with his blessing. Until then, Charlotte Lee has agreed to keep house and help raise his children as part of their bargain. But can the single father fulfill Charlotte’s requirements in time to make sure that she and his boys don’t leave—and take his heart with them?
Charlotte is convinced that the wilderness is no place to raise her nephews. But as she watches the community slowly develop, she sees that Abram just might be able to make it blossom. With three little matchmakers bringing her and Abram together, Little Falls could become not just a flourishing town, but the perfect home for their patchwork family.
Meet the seven Hart brothers of the 7-Heart ranch in central Texas.
Each man is content in his independent life, without the responsibilities of a wife and children—until their father decides 1874 will be the year his grown sons finally marry, or they will be cut from his will.
How will each man who values his freedom respond to the ultimatum?
Can love develop on a timeline, or will it be sacrificed for the sake of an inheritance?
Gabrielle Meyer is giving away one copy of A Family Arrangement and Seven Brides for Seven Texans to one of my readers. Due to shipping costs and international regulations, giveaway is only open to US mailing addresses. Giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies.