We buy very limited souvenirs when traveling these days. Our preference is to spend money on experiences rather than things to clutter our home or worse end up in the donation sack. There is one souvenir that is an exception to our policy and that is a Christmas ornament.
The ornaments on our tree don’t match and we’ll never win an award for most beautiful decor, but they bring joy with their memories of past trips. Here are a few of my favorites snapped on our tree this week.
Carnival Paradise – I wouldn’t buy something like this today but it is a memory from the first cruise my mom and I took together in 2001. My husband had talked to mom in advance and asked her to pick me up an ornament.
We had a great time and this trip was the first of many cruises to come for mom.
Virgin Gorda – This ornament was purchased last year at a gift shop at the top of The Baths on Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands. It is a natural stone ornament. It was the first trip all four of us “kids” traveled together after losing our mother. That is what I think about when hanging this ornament.
Ireland – This ornament was purchased in 2000 during my first trip to Europe and only trip to Ireland. Although it took 15 more years until I went over the pond next this trip was very special. It opened my eyes up to travel outside North America. We visited four countries (England, Ireland, Wales and Scotland) and Ireland was my favorite. The Irish are most like Americans — warm, vibrant and loud.
The next four ornaments are all from the state we live in, California.
The most recent purchase was an ornament celebrating the 125th anniversary of the Hotel Del Coronado. My employer had our work holiday event there that year and we spent the weekend enjoying the hotel and Coronado.
We found a year round Christmas shop in Solvang on a visit years ago and picked up this delicate ornament.
I took a mother-son trip with my youngest son when he was 14 or 15. We rode the cable car and picked up this reminder.
This hand-painted ornament has scenes from San Diego. I didn’t capture it in the photo, but underneath “Shamu” the name of our city is painted.
Hawaii – The first time I went to Hawaii with my husband we stayed on Oahu for a week. Our hotel had a crafts fair going on one day and I bought this lovely handmade ornament. It depicts so many of the things that makes Hawaii wonderful and is a favorite of mine.
And then there’s this one I think also came from Hawaii. Who doesn’t love Santa in a lava-lava!
Nassau – This is another handmade ornament only this time from Nassau. This angel is made from nuts, shells and fabric. Nassau is one of my least favorite ports but this angel is a favorite.
Although I have many more ornaments from travels, I’ll wait and share them next year along with a few new favorites I hope. Do you buy ornaments as souvenirs?