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- Each year, we get the new Hallmark Frosty Friends ornament (bottom center). We have them all the way back to 1983. We are only missing the first three years. I would love to have these three, but each one is now going for hundreds of dollars on Ebay. So, I'm just hoping to get lucky and someday find them at a garage or estate sale for only a few bucks.
- This year, the Mc family and we decided on a new rule for our gift exchanges. Namely, the gifts had to come from Deseret Industries or some other thrift store. Rob and Mary Ann were truly inspired with one of their gifts, a Michael Jackson jukebox ornament (bottom right) that lights up and plays several of his hits. This was the perfect gift because Santa left in my stocking the Wii Michael Jackson Dance Experience. How did Santa know I secretly wanted this? Even though I provide lots of laughs and entertainment for the kids, who has the most high scores? That would be me. Thank you! Also, Tomas can't go past the tree without pressing the button on the jukebox to play a song.
- Several years back, I began my own new tradition—a tradition for which Katie gives me the one raised eyebrow look. I go out the day after Christmas to the local Hallmark store. They have all their ornaments on sale for 50% off. This brings the ornaments into a price range I'm willing to pay. I love looking through the ornaments and choosing an ornament for each member of the family that reminds me of him or her. Someday each kid will get to take all their ornaments with them. I just haven't decided if that's when they get married or when I'm dead. But anyway, for Tomas I got the Green Eggs and Ham ornament (top right) because he has become such a great little reader this year. Currently, his favorite books are the Captain Underpants series, but they shockingly didn't have any of those ornaments. For Liam, I got the H-1 Racer airplane (center top). Liam is really into WWI and WWII airplanes. He can tell you all about them, and I mean ALL about them. This plane shattered all kinds of speed records. Chloe, the Tim Burton fan, got the Corpse Bride ornament (bottom left). Corpse Bride is one of her favorites, and the piano duet scene is fantastic. For Katie, I got the stained glass window ornament (center). I picked out this ornament for her because the angel looked very Jugendstil and reminded me of some of the amazing cathedrals and artwork we saw in Vienna a couple years ago. The Kirche am Steinhof and the Dr. Karl Lueger Kirche are definitely on our list of places to see when we go back this coming summer. Finally for me, I bought the stand mixer ornament (top right) because this is the year I really got into food blogging.
Each of the kids ended up commenting several times over the Christmas holiday how much they liked our tree. Once you get all the ornaments on, you can't see much of the tree anyway. So, I guess we'll be getting a few more years out of the old thing.