I love the day after Thanksgiving. That’s because in my home, the Christmas Season begins. I put up the tree, find my cardboard boxes with ornaments, and start decorating. That evening, I bake cookies and make hot chocolate and I gingerly open up my beautiful collector’s boxes that store the ornaments I’ve collected over the years.
I started collecting Christmas ornaments in 1992. That was the year that I graduated from the University of Utah and moved to Washington, DC on an internship. That first Christmas in our nation’s capital was magical. I went to the White House tree lighting ceremony, The Nutrcracker ballet, did cookie exchanges, ran in the snow near the Washington Monument… And one morning, my colleague, Mary Beth, showed me a beautiful ornament she had purchased the night before. I had never seen such a beautiful ornament. It featured a replica of a painting of Mary Todd Lincoln that hung in the White House. I had to have one, too. Money was extremely tight for me and the ornament was pricey but I purchased one anyway.
And thus my passion for collecting ornaments was born. Every year, I purchased a new White House Christmas ornament. And every time I’d visit somewhere unique, I’d add to my collection. Today, I have boxes of beautiful ornaments from all over the world—from Coolfont (West Virginia) to Moscow to Maui to London to Bishop (California)—they serve as reminders of some of my favorite places in the world. And every time I take them out of their boxes, I remember when and where I purchased them. On January 1 when I take down my tree, I put all those beautiful ornaments in cardboard boxes (very banged up and beaten cardboard boxes) and shove them into the storage closet.
…Until this year! I just ordered Sterling Pear’s KeepsakeStorage Chest and that’s where the ornaments will be lovingly and beautifullydisplayed year ‘round. Right here in my living room. I’ll put a lovely wooden tray that I purchased from a local vintage shop on top of the box and use it to rest my bedtime tea and magazine. Soon, I’ll have more space in my storage closet and a great piece of furniture in my living room. Perfect. (In fact, I’m thinking about getting two additional boxes- one for both of my daughters’ bedrooms to store “stuff” in.)
For my beautiful and memorable ornaments, they won’t be hiding in seclusion for 11 months of the year anymore.
Contributed by Liz Smith Nielsen for Sterling Pear