Welcome to our Christmas Issue!
Tyler’s “Tinsel Tour” of Christmas Memories
Collecting a Lifetime of Holiday Ornaments by Miranda N. Burgin
As we begin the holiday season, with holly in our hearts and a jingle in our step, we welcome the return of special traditions among family and friends. Collections play such an important role in these traditions, especially those of treasured holiday ornaments. My dear friend Tyler’s collection of Christmas ornaments is part of a unique family tradition started by his mother, Carol.
Each year, Tyler’s mom picks out an ornament that symbolizes a fun memory from the year or significant life event. Carol lovingly chooses an ornament for each of her three children. A tradition, which began when Tyler and his siblings were very young, has continued through adulthood and now includes Carol’s grandchildren. Many of the ornaments feature an inscription bearing the name of the recipient and the year commemorated.
Tyler recalls it all began with a fascination for Hallmark ornaments featuring light, animation and sound when plugged into the Christmas tree. “My mom started letting me pick one out each Christmas,” Tyler recalled. “Later on the tradition developed into her choosing an ornament with some significance to events that happened over the year. “We have ornaments representing all the major moments in our lives,” said Tyler. “Each ornament brings back memories of where I was in my life at that point in time. I call it the “Tinsel Tour” because looking at the ornament collection each year is truly like taking a tour of your life.”
It would be impossible for Tyler to choose one favorite moment or ornament; each is sacred and cherished. Among the collection are ornaments marking big milestones, little moments of joy, and everything in between.
A Times Square ornament recalls the family’s vacation to New York and a glass ornament in the shape of the Eiffel Tower represents Tyler and Carol’s travels to Paris. A little Chinese food carryout box symbolizes the family’s tradition of gathering at a favorite restaurant for dinner on Christmas Eve. The collection records memories of Tyler’s first car, summer jobs or childhood hobbies, and his graduation from high school and college.
After college, ornaments capture memories of Tyler’s first home and the beginning of his career in the newspaper industry. “The collection even has an elf toting newspapers to commemorate the year I started working at the newspaper,” Tyler said fondly.
Tyler’s Tinsel Tour of Christmas memories is a collection that truly comes from the heart. Through Carol’s gift of an ornament each year, she has given a lasting legacy of love to her family. “I think this tradition is about keeping family memories alive through the years and not losing that wanderlust of childhood,” Tyler shared. “It has definitely taught me to appreciate every blessing I’ve been able to experience through the years. This collection of ornaments, chosen with such care, allows me to look back and remember people and places that have been dear to me throughout my life.”