A Travel Inspired Christmas Tree!
Every year as I decorate my Christmas tree, I am reminded of the wonderful and diverse world we live in. Years ago, my husband and I started collecting Christmas tree ornaments from the places we visit here in Canada and around the world. We have been amazed time and time again to find Christmas ornaments displayed not only at all times of the year, but also in every country we have visited. In Vietnam, which is a communist country we not only found Christmas ornaments but some hotels and many shops were decorated for the Christmas season and we heard Christmas music playing.
Decorating our tree is always a joyous experience, we play Christmas music, enjoy Christmas goodies and eggnog while we reminisce about Christmas’s past and family traditions. Since we started collecting ornaments from around the world, decorating the tree has also become a time filled with travel memories. Each ornament evokes thoughts of a specific place and the people we travelled with. We talk about the experiences we have had, the cultural and traditional differences, the way other people live and the new friends we have made throughout our journeys.
One of the things I love most about travel is looking back on my past experiences and finding the meaning in them. We try to buy ornaments that reflect the places we have been. We have colourful boots from Alaska, a Troll from Norway, a brass from Leavenworth, Santa with a pelican from Florida and a embroidery piece from China. This global tree is also a conversation starter with friends and family as we gather during the holidays. We not only share our holiday adventures but listen to their travel stories and glean new ideas for our next adventure.
Many of us like to pick a souvenir from the places we visit. These little ornaments are ideal; usually inexpensive, often hand-made and easy to pack. Each year when you begin the ritual of setting up the trees and opening those Christmas boxes, memories preserved in these tiny tree ornaments will take you on a journey to a special time and place.
May your Christmas holiday be filled with traditions, family, friends and the blessing of love, health and prosperity.
Written by: Joan Niemeier