This weekend the tree at Rockefeller Center came down and so did the one at Love Jac Headquarters. Unlike the Rockefeller tree, our tree had to be taken apart piece by color coordinating piece and shoved back into its cardboard box. We know, it doesn’t sound like so much fun and it definitely isn’t the same feeling as when we decorated it, but we do believe there is something nostalgic about packing up Christmas.
It seems to be a reoccurring theme, but tradition is really important to us at Love Jac. We believe a lot of what made you happy in childhood can still make you happy today. Growing up we had an artificial tree with multicolor lights and although as an adult I briefly had a real tree for a couple years, I find myself with that same tree from my childhood as our daughter celebrates her first Christmas.
As you pack up your ornaments and decorations, it’s a good time to look back on your holiday memories and preserve them for years to come. What you pack your ornaments in can serve as a unique and functional keepsake. Many warm memories flood back as I wrap my Precious Moments Nativity Set in those same 80’s Christmas napkins my mom originally wrapped them in and snuggly fit them into my Rainbow Brite roller-skate box. I’m not sure if my mom knew she was making a time capsule when she packed it this way, but it is now a part of my Christmas nostalgia. I don’t know if my husband’s Nike shoebox will have the same effect in a couple years, but it’s what we are using for our ornaments now.
This year, we decided to start a tradition of our own. It came to me pretty randomly when I saw a pickle ornament at a holiday craft fair and couldn’t pass it up. Our 10 month old surprisingly loves pickles. There was no ornament more perfect. I decided every year we should buy or make an ornament that told a particular story for that year.
We then decided to take this one step further by creating a Family Ornament Scrapbook. It won’t be like every other scrapbook we try to start and never finish because we only have to make 1 or 2 pages a year! We won’t stress over these pages, we will just get the stories down on paper in one spot. We inserted blank pages in the rest of the book, so it will be ready to scrapbook for years to come. It will be packed with our ornaments so every year we can look back at it as we decorate the tree.
|Our latest find in photo printing (we apologize if every knows this already and we're the last to find out) is collage mini-prints! Many of the online photo providers have this as an option, but we’ve found CVS to be the easiest. At the kiosk in the store, select Prints>>Collages>>Mini-Prints. You can get two 3x4s printed on a regular 4x6 photo sheet and it costs the same as one photo. These are a lot easier to fit on a page if you are scrapbooking. Warning: don’t accidentally select one that fits on a 5x7 sheet. It’s significantly more expensive. Alright, we digress.
|We took some photos of this year’s ornaments and got them printed along with some of us decorating the tree. Bought a red scrapbook and filled two pages with the stories behind the ornaments. Another ornament we featured is the “Queen Anne” one I made for my husband to honor his Grannie & her love for chocolate covered cherries. They were her favorite Christmas candy and he would buy her a box every year. We simply cut out two pictures from the box (one for the front, one for the back), hot glued them to a piece of felt, and attached a festive ribbon. This was the first year Grannie wasn’t with us and we wanted to make this ornament as a way for this fun Christmas Candy tradition to be remembered.
|After all our decorations were packed we finally had time to write out our holiday cards. We know… the holidays are over, but we think it’s important to not let them stress you out. If that means sending out “New Years” cards instead, so be it. This is the second year this happened to us, so we can’t even blame the baby. Georgia did give us a great subject to center the card around. The card says, “We got caught up in all the holiday fun …and forgot to send our Christmas Cards” and is filled with photos from our holiday vacation.
If you haven’t taken down your tree or sent out your holiday cards yet, don’t stress. When you do it is not important, just that you try to enjoy the process and not get overwhelmed. You may even create some lasting memories in the process. Have a great week and a wonderful start to 2012!