Sports Ornaments Make Us Smile

Personalized Basketball OrnamentsWhen we gaze upon our Christmas tree we see ourselves.  That’s the most wonderful secret of the Christmas tree. Once hidden deep in the forest, our special tree enters our bright living room and takes on human warmth with all of its hand-chosen decorations.  Whether they are made of glass or ribbon, wood or bronze, these decorations show our joy and beauty because we’re the ones who place them ever so carefully. They bring out our human efforts and victories.  They remind us of special moments, like the day grandpa caught that big fish or the morning Mom won the marathon.

How wonderful that our tree has the ability to reflect who we are deep inside, our goals and dreams, our persistence and faith, whether we like kayaking, hunting, karate or hockey!  Yes, we all know that our true (and wonderful) selves come out when engaged in some kind of sport. This is why we want to think about giving our tree that extra glow with a sports ornament.

What is a sports ornament? It’s a decoration that pictures one of many leisure or competitive activities. We look at them and are reminded of that great rafting trip or the golf game when we finally hit the ace in the hole.  We see our favorite horse and the kayak we took out to the islands with our best friend from high school.  We are reminded once again of the 3rd place trophy we picked up at the ski competition when there were fifty men who seemed quite professional! There are ornaments for boating, for football, for soccer and swimming. There are even ornaments for walking.  How can we think of having a genuine Christmas tree without a baseball ornament if our nine year old daughter pitches for the Little League? And attention all yoga enthusiasts! If you practice yoga for an hour a day your tree will be much more intimate if you have a small sweet reminder of your personal and dedicated practice.

Continuing on, just like we might wear baseball caps with (for example) the Seattle Seahawks inscribed on it, our tree can be a sports enthusiast as well!  Yes, you can even order ornaments engraved and emblazed with your favorite sports team!  Do you cheer for the Giants? Do you wait online breathlessly for tickets to see the Dodgers? Is Yankee stadium your home away from home?  Let your Christmas tree reflect your dedication!  Do you watch Sunday football with your co-workers every week? Let your tree remind you of your close friendships, your wild times and your inspirational evenings.

Personalized Golf OrnamentsFinally, there’s another secret of the Christmas tree.  It’s a reflection of not only who we are now but who we used to be and how we see ourselves in the future.  Were we experts at gymnastics thirty years ago? Do we see the same talent beginning to blossom in our granddaughter? What a wonderful idea for an ornament! Was our great uncle a wrestler?  Even though he is no longer with us we know grandpa is happy when he remembers his brother.   Does our son just know that one day he’s going to be a tennis champion?  Then why not let the tree reflect his dreams and help to make them come true?

Sports ornaments bring a whole new level of happiness to any community.  They remind us of who we are and where we’ve been. We can sit together as a close family or in grateful solitude and feel the warmth of our accomplishments right there on the delicate and strong branches of this new and welcome member of our home.

 

How to Choose a Graduation Gift

Just in time for the upcoming graduation ceremonies and celebrations, the folks at Ornaments & More share some helpful tips below on how to select an affordable & unique graduation gift for your special graduate.

Choosing gifts is often a difficult task. This is especially true when searching for gifts to mark a special occasion such as Graduation. New graduates are barraged with generic gifts reflecting their graduation year and sentiments like “Congratulations” or “You Did It!” The most heartfelt and appreciated gift ideas often include the recipient’s name, school or program title and of course the memorable year. By adding certain touches like a specific degree title or use the school colors when personalizing, you can be sure that the gift you are giving is unique and perfectly suited to the recipient.

There’s no better time to start a personalized ornament collection than when a child graduates Nursery School, Pre-School or Kindergarten. These milestone moments are not only adorable, but are often the first steps of a child being independent and becoming the person who they are in the world beyond mom & dad’s home. As your child grows and graduates elementary and middle school, their world is constantly changing. New schools often mean new friends, new teachers and a new way of life. Surely they will want to remember all their hard work accomplished. Then, there’s high school graduation. Although your teen is ready to blow off some steam and head off to Senior Week festivities, be sure you acknowledge their achievements with a stylish keepsake that was created just for them.

High School Graduation Ornament from Ornaments and MoreAttach a personalized Graduation keepsake ornament to a gift certificate for dinner & movie with friends. Use a customized new grad decoration as a name tag for a well wrapped gift to provide an extra touch of pizzazz. Personalized graduation ornaments also make great presents for proud parents & grandparents when looking to honor the dedicated scholar in their life. If you are looking for unique & affordable decorations for a graduate’s party, customize any of these keepsakes and display them on the gift table, food table or any other prominent viewing area to reflect the individual’s style & achievements.

Personalized Graduation Ornament from Ornaments & MoreOrnaments & More has been creating unique and customized graduation keepsakes for 20 years. Their selection features “people” graduates with various skin & hair colors or other fun choices like a graduation cap with the phrase “The Tassel is Worth the Hassel”. Choose one of their artful decorations to commemorate a recent graduate of Nursing School, Medical School, Pharmacy School, Law School, Veterinary School or Teaching School. These hand personalized gifts can be customized as you desire and will be shipped directly to you or your new graduate with a high level of care.

Ornaments & More offers over 6,000 personalized ornaments with endless free hand personalization options with themes that are sure to get the ideas flowing when planning a graduation party or celebrating a new graduate. Be sure to check out their 500+ new for 2013 gift ideas in addition to their other keepsakes that are sure to interest your new graduate, such as “1st New Car”, “Studying Abroad” or “1st Job & Paycheck”.

A Year Round Christmas Place

I recently had the pleasure of visiting the South’s largest Christmas ornament store in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.  Established 25 years ago, the Christmas Place is nestled near the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains in the little east Tennessee town that celebrates Christmas year round, sporting  streets lined with holiday lighting and Christmas decor.  To call the Christmas Place a store doesn’t quite describe it though.  It is really a Christmas village which boasts over 60 themed Christmas trees, ornaments from every designer, and a friendly staff to help you plan your holiday decorations.  If you get a chance to visit, you will want to spend hours browsing the ornaments and if you don’t finish your shopping the first day, you can stay at the Christmas Place Inn across the street.  This is serious Christmas ornament shopping.

When you first step in to this little village, it is kind of  like a quick trip to the North Pole, with a charming Christmas train traveling on a track around the perimeter of the ceiling and Christmas trees and ornaments stretching out into several large rooms packed full and yet very organized by theme, color, manufacturer and designer.  Next, your eyes are drawn to Santa and his reindeer lifting off into a starry sky.  It is really a winter wonderland and all of the shoppers seemed wide eyed and a little child-like as they viewed this fascinating and unexpected display.  I saw several shoppers who appeared really tickled to find so many unusual ornaments in one place.

Moving on in this ornament collector’s paradise, we are treated to the vineyard Christmas tree which was one of my favorites.  The staff cleverly combined wine themed ornaments such as grape ornaments, wine barrel ornaments and wine glass ornaments with an assortment of wine and grape motif ribbons.  Their designers really have a wonderful knack for using ribbons and bows as ornaments.  This tree just sparkles!

There are more traditionally themed Christmas trees as well, including lots of red and green, but I want to share with you an image of the African themed tree.  All of the ornaments and bows fit together in a safari type decor that doesn’t sound like Christmas, but the combination of the animal print ribbons, wooden animal ornaments and gold berries just works so well.  From jungle animals to boots for a trek through the African veldt, the ornaments on this tree are fun for young and old alike and are very collectible.

You’ll be glad to know that even if you can’t make it to Tennessee to the Christmas Place, you can experience the village online and even take their virtual tour.  While shopping online for ornaments and clearance items, be sure to sign up for their free newsletter and receive monthly designer tips for planning your 2013 Christmas tree.

Silver Christmas Ornament Traditions

2012 Wallace Sleigh BellEach year, in late November and early December, millions of people engage in one of the most magical traditions known to man–decorating the Christmas tree. For many, the Christmas tree has religious importance.  For others it is a symbolic reference to the importance of family, togetherness, and peace. Regardless of one’s individual view of the Christmas tree, it warms the heart and reminds us of the importance of tradition and family in all our lives.

2012 Wallace Grand Baroque AngelSome of the earliest depictions of the Christmas tree indicate it was adorned with fruits, nuts, and paper decorations, later with candles and other baubles, and in modern times decorations and lights of all varieties. Christmas ornaments have become a cherished part of a family’s holiday, often re-used each year. Some ornaments are even passed to future family generations as gifts, and serve to remind us of holidays past.

Ornaments come in many shapes, sizes and materials, but none quite have the longevity of silver. Silver Christmas ornaments carry a timeless beauty and magnificence year after year. Many of the world’s top silver manufacturers offer silver ornaments each year, often as limited edition items available for a short time, then gone forever. Some ornaments are offered as annual editions, engraved to mark the year in which they were produced, serving to remind us of the holiday season they were acquired. Some of the more popular manufacturers include: Reed & Barton, Towle, and Wallace. These companies have been offering annual and single edition silver holiday ornaments for many Christmas seasons.

The Silver Superstore has been connecting silver manufacturers with individual Christmas traditions since 1997. They carry all of the most popular ornaments from the biggest names in silver. Silver Superstore offers custom silver engraving, friendly service, and the lowest prices on the web. Whether it be angels, bells, santas, or crosses, they have that special piece you’ll be bringing out year after year.

Article and images used with permission from SilverSuperstore.com

Do It Yourself – Woodcraft Ornaments

Buy wooden cutouts.  Add a little paint.  Personalize.  You’re ready for Christmas.

           

With dozens of wooden cutouts to choose from at very reasonable prices, the whole family or classroom can get started on fun Christmas ornament projects.  The folks at Woodcrafter.com have everything you need to complete your craft project and that eliminates any second guessing of  what kind of paint to use.  They sell the artist supplies such as paint, brushes and pens for personalizing the ornaments. You don’t have to be a professional to end up with a beautiful wooden Christmas ornament.  Many of the cutouts are very simple and are perfect craft experiments for the little artists in your family.

Owner Bill Anderson has worked with wood for over 30 years and has learned the perfect process for making quality wooden ornaments.  Primarily laser cut, all of the ornaments are designed and created in house in his studio in North Carolina and new ornaments are often developed at the request of his customers.  Bill is always open to new ideas and makes thousands of custom ornaments for schools, churches, summer camps and other organizations.

Excerpts and images used with permission from Woodcrafter.com