Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Stories Behind the Decorations

Decorating for Christmas is so much fun to me, because of all the memories that are behind the decorations. Today I thought I would share some of the stories behind our decorations...
Starting with our mantel, the most important thing hanging up there to me is our stockings. The first Christmas Kristoffer and I were dating (in 2003), I made the two stockings that have our names on them and gave them to him as a gift. I made the stockings and my mom helped by cross-stitching our names across the top. Looking back, this gift really could have scared Kristoffer off! Apparently, I knew very early on in our relationship that we would be together forever!
Whenever I visit someones home around Christmas time I love to look at their ornaments, because they always have a story to tell. Our tree started out with just "fancy" ornaments, but over the years our tree has become much more personal. This ornament was a gift from my good friend Sherry the Christmas I was pregnant with Karter.

Our second Christmas in MN we took a trip to the old German town of New Ulm and learned about the pickle ornament tradition. It's an old German tradition that the pickle is the last ornament to be hung on the tree and it is suppose to be hidden deep within the branches. On Christmas morning the first child to find it is blessed with good fortune for the next year....and gets a special gift. For now we just hang the pickle, but maybe next year with two little boys we will start hiding it.

This is Cape Lookout in North Carolina, and every time I look at this lighthouse I remember the adventure Kristoffer and I had kayaking out to see it. My first Gray family vacation was very memorable, but going to see the lighthouse was definitely the most memorable experience...and not really one that I want to repeat!

Even though we live far away from Indiana, we are still Colts fans and are proud to show our loyalty on our tree.

This ornament is actually Karter's, his babysitter Martha gave it to him last year.

Along with our stockings, I also gave Kristoffer this ornament our first Christmas when we were dating. Again, I must have known we were going to get married!! Thanks for not being scared away by my gifts Kristoffer!!

You didn't think we wouldn't have a Target ornament, did you? Kristoffer got this at work from his secret Santa his first Christmas at Target.

What couples' tree is complete without an ornament to celebrate their first year of marriage!? I love looking at this ornament and remembering all the excitement that happened during our first year of marriage (each year has been full of excitement), and just look at how young we looked!

If you have been to our home, you have probably noticed that I like to collect Willow Tree Angels. Our senior year of college, Kristoffer knew this little fact about me, and got me this ornament for our future tree (we had just gotten engaged two months before Christmas).

This little decoy was a gift from Kristoffer's mom our first Christmas together. It is from one of our most favorite places on Earth, Emerald Isle!

Of course we have an ornament to remember our adorable little baby's first Christmas!

This beautiful ornament was a gift from our friends, Brian and Mary last year.

Last year we met up with our friend Cliff and his parents when they were in town for a football game, and they gave Karter this cute one for our tree.

Besides ornaments, my favorite decorations are nativity sets. Of course during this time of year it is important to remember the true reason we celebrate Christmas, and what better way than with a nativity set. This set we have downstairs, and it was one of the first decorations we bought. On our trip to New Ulm, MN in 2006 we picked this up at a cute little Christmas shop.

This year, Grandma Terry and Papaw Kim gave Karterman his first nativity. This picture is just showing a portion of his cute set, the whole thing takes up our entire living room window. It is so precious to watch him play with it, and he can always point out Mary, Joseph and Baby Jesus!

Out of our three nativity sets, this one is my favorite. It doesn't play music like Karter's, but I really like it!
Thanks for taking this trip down memory lane with me!


Kara said...

Thanks for sharing all your ornaments! How bold of you to get those gifts for Kristoffer your first year dating. Too cute.

Sherry said...

Love the stories!! When I saw the one from me...I got all excited. Miss you guys much! We NEED to get together soon. Ari and Brynn can kinda play with Karter now. They are about the age he was when they were born.