Every year, as is tradition – I get a new ornament. Long ago my mom go us started by adventuring out to the local drug stores to pick up a new ornament to put on the tree. It was always an exciting time, without fail getting my sister and I into the Christmas spirit. With each new ornament, it reflected on the year we had finished and what we had accomplished or so cherished.

Each one has a story and a memory attached. Christmas would not be the same without this tradition, and for my mom’s neurosis I am eternally grateful.

Classic Tigger – There was a Pooh and Friends revival back in my middle schools days. And although my nickname from my Dad is Pooh Bear, I wanted Tigger and stood firm. Dang those teenage hormones…

This one is my frog prince. I’d had relationship rough patches that year and needed a beacon of hope that my prince would come. I got this little guy in 2007. Magically enough – I met Ben the very next year. This little dude is my lucky charm, no doubt about it.
This is Bowe the camel. During my four years working in the large animal facility at WSU’s Vet Teaching Hospital I got attached to all the animals, especially this one. Bowe was a squishy, softy, and affectionate camel who adored being hugged and would give you “Something About Mary” hair when she drooled all over your head. I’d sit with her during my class breaks and when you’d leave – she’d cry. Well, HONK is more like it – loudly enough to be heard through the entirety of the facility. But she was what I took away from that year, kindness, love, compassion and lots of slobbered on hair.

Of all the ornaments I have, the Precious Moments ones are the ones I treasure the most. I wanted a goose to waddle after me, my own little farm and each time this little ornament comes out of a box I’m reminded of those little dreams I had and still have, even now.

Hey, each family has a TV show of choice. It just so happens that our “quality family programing” was The Simpsons. Each family is dysfunctional in their own silly and lovable way, maybe this is why we identified with them…or cause we’re just plain nuts.
What doggie-mom would I be if Huck didn’t get an ornament just like I did. Fine, it was more for me – just cause I’m an emotional mom- even if it is to a dog. 

But this year, I got two ornaments. These writings, musings, follies and debacles of my life in the kitchen and home were chronicled here. I’ve baked up a storm, ruined pans, burned, under cooked, and taken pictures of these adventures all along the way. Cupcakes are my salvation and happy place. 

And so is my mixer. Between these cupcakes and mixers, I stay sane.

 This is the best of traditions. Now that I’m out on my own, I’ve taken each of these ornaments and dutifully hung them leaving me with a full tree. My life, accomplishments and memories lay on those branches and I am eternally grateful for everything I have and everything I have been given this holiday season.

All of the best to you and yours. May the reason for this season bring you joy and comfort now and well into the new year.