Collecting Memories on Your Adventures

Vero Beach
One of my favorite things about the holidays is decorating the Christmas Tree.  I’m “one of those people” who is highly particular about ornament placement, light stringing, the cascade of the garland, etc, and I take little help from the rest of my family when it comes to decorating the tree.  My boys have their own trees that they can decorate any way that they want, but the big tree is mine. When we were growing up, decorating the tree was a task that fell to my dad, with lots of help from my sister and me.  Dad’s mantra was, and is, “lights make the tree,” and I could not agree more! So, after I string about a thousand lights on the tree (it’s a wonder the tree does not spontaneously combust), it’s time to place the ornaments.

Walt Disney World
Disney Cruise Line
The real reason I love decorating our tree is that so many of the ornaments come from our family travels.  When we travel, one souvenir that I always purchase is an ornament for the tree. If I can find one with the location and year on it, I feel like I’ve scored big time.  Sometimes I find the perfect ornament with no date, so I grab my silver Sharpie and inscribe the year. Other times, I’ve found something I really like, a magnet or a small trinket, and with the help of my trusty hot glue gun, I turn the trinket into an ornament.  So for this blog post, I wanted to share a few of my favorite ornaments from our travels.

One might think that I tire of getting ornaments from the Disney parks - but they would be wrong.  I’ve found a style that I generally like, and tend to stick with it. We’ve purchased ornaments on Disney Cruise Line, at both U.S. Disney Parks, and at Disney’s Vero Beach Resort.  I always get dated ornaments from the parks so that I can remember which year each ornament was purchased. My favorite park ornament might be the ears that were released in honor of Disneyland’s 60th Birthday.

With Adventures by Disney, we’ve had the opportunity to travel out of the country.  In the summer of 2015, Trevor and I had the opportunity to visit Austria, Germany, and the Czech Republic on the Central Europe AbD itinerary.  While we were in Germany, Trevor lost a tooth and the Tooth Fairy delivered a special ornament to him to mark the occasion.

The “ornament” from Vienna is an example of how Trevor and I turned a magnet into something we could hang on the tree each year.  We really liked the intricate wood carving as well as the colored stones at the bottom of the magnet. Since we did not have appliances on which to put the magnet, our friend, the hot glue gun, helped attach a piece of ribbon and - voila - we had an ornament.

In December of 2016, the whole family traveled to Peru.  Because we were traveling in December, it was easy to find ornaments to mark the locations we visited.  One of my favorite ornaments is a Nativity Scene, which was made using a small gourd that was grown locally.   Another gourd ornament was given to us on the last day of the Adventure by our awesome Adventure Guides. While visiting a potter in the Urubamba River Valley, we selected a hand-crafted butterfly ornament.

Our last Adventures by Disney trip took us out West to Montana, Yellowstone, and Big Sky.  We didn’t even have to leave the U.S.A. for this Adventure, and we collected some ornaments along the way.  The Yellowstone ornament was a gift from the staff at Yellowstone Under Canvas to recognize Trevor’s graduation from 8th Grade.

When we head to Costa Rica in March, you can probably guess what types of souvenirs we’ll be looking for.  It really is a treat to get the ornaments out each year and reminisce about our travels as they make their way to the tree.  We’re reminded that our Adventures - whether they’ve been near or far from home - have helped us to create many wonderful memories as a family.  And the best part of collecting Christmas ornaments when we travel is that I don’t have to dust them all through the year.

From the On The Road Travel family to yours, we wish you Happy Holidays and many blessings and adventures in 2019!


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