Years and years ago, my parents started a tradition where they bought a Christmas ornament when they went on vacation — something that represented where they’d been. I love looking at their tree every year and remembering all the fun trips we’ve been on. One of my favorites is a gorgeous little glass teapot that my mom and I picked up on our mother/daughter trip to Boston in 1998.

This past summer when we were in Texas visiting Janssen and Bart, Philip and I decided to start our own collection of “travel ornaments,” and picked up this little clay Alamo.

A brisket or ribs ornament would have probably been more appropriate to the trip, but they didn’t appear to sell those. Darn.

With all of the traveling that we’ve done as a couple so far, and plan to do with our children over the years, I hope to acquire a big collection of ornaments from all over the country and world. But for now, we have one.

Although these beauties from my parents trips, and other trips from my childhood, help make our tree special in the mean time.

(a real glittered starfish from my parents recent trip to Hawaii)
(A glass angel from my college study abroad in London)
(can’t remember where this one came from, but it’s a gorgeous little glass butterfly)


  1. So pretty! My husband and I pick out a new ornament every year, maybe from traveling maybe we just like it. We'll be out of town this year so I didn't deck the tree. As I was pulling out the ornaments it was nice to relive the memories 🙂 Great tradition!!!

  2. Saskia says:

    I also pick out an ornament each year, something to represent the year, usually. Last year I brought back an official ornament from the White House, while this year I'm hoping to find something German since I just started my PhD in Dortmund.

  3. Chelsea says:

    Brandon and I have been doing the same thing! We have missed one or two trips, but for the most part, we have started a tiny little collection. You are right– it is fun to look at them and have good memories 🙂
    I love the ribs comment– isn't it funny how many times you remember the food most from a trip! So true.

  4. Janssen says:

    That butterfly is from the Venetian 🙂

  5. Rachel says:

    I love this idea! So far we've collected ornaments from the beach we go to every year, Valley Forge, and Mount Vernon. I am kicking myself right now that I didn't ever get an ornament in London! Oh well, guess I'll just have to go back. 🙂

  6. Amanda Hill says:

    Just stumbled onto your blog! So great, I am totally becoming a new follower so I can stop back often! Thanks xoxo.

  7. Packrat says:

    What a wonderful idea!

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