Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Ornament Exchange

Right before Thanksgiving I posted that I needed to get my 24 handmade ornaments done. Well, I did, and tonight's the night! My mom's annual ornament exchange.

It was actually Phillip's idea for me to make a mini card this year. Afterall, I do spend most of my free time in my craft room and I also had the wonderful achievement of being on my first Design Team! I like to try to make my ornament tell a story from my life that particular year, so the card worked nicely for that.

I made five different ones, but made the most of the penguin because I thought he'd probably be everyone's favorite.

The stamps are all PTI. They're from Tiny Treats Christmas. The circle is actually from one of the Tag sets, though. The label punch and ribbon are from SU and the rhinestones from recollections. The cardstock is all PTI.

And then to make it seem more like a card and not just a little tag, I made the inside for each one, too :)

My mom has been doing this ornament exchange since 1987! Every year she invited 24 of her friends to come over to her house for a fun evening. Each attendee brings a basket full of her 24 ornaments, and first enjoys the 3 signature desserts that mom makes each year (coconut pound cake, apple dump cake, and mexican chocolate cake...all delicious!) and gets to make 3 different ornaments that my mom has set out at different stations. After everyone has made their ornaments and is full, they all gather in a big circle in the living room with their baskets. Each person tells how they got the idea for their ornament and any story that may go along with it. Then the baskets are passed around so that when it comes back to you, your basket is now full of 24 different handmade ornaments! As a child, my grandpa and dad would take my brother, sister, and I out to eat and then we'd get to come back and fill up on desserts. It was always fun to look at the ornaments the next day and figure out which ones we liked best. The year I got married is the year I joined in on the fun. This will be my 8th year and although I've only actually attended one or two (because I've always lived somewhere else since we got married) I still participate by mailing my ornaments and my mom is my "stand-in." Because she has so many ornaments, I was raised that on the Christmas tree, if you can see green, then you haven't put enough ornaments on ;) But now her collection spreads not only to her huge tree, but to garlands that she hangs all in the living room and entry way, and to at least 3 other trees she has in the house as well. I am up to two now! Anyway, its a wonderful tradition that I look forward to every year and I may even start one myself someday, although I don't think I could fit 24 ladies in my living room!


  1. This is such a wonderful tradition! I love the idea of exchanging ornaments, especially handmade ones like your darling cards. So, so cute!

  2. Jessica, as I read on through your post, it hit me that this is such a wonderful tradition! You must keep going! What a wonderful evening of no stress but just fun! You will treasure the memories of these ornament exchanges for a lifetime.

  3. You know I love it! You Copic-magnet, you!

  4. Such a great tradition! I like how everyone shares how they got the idea for their ornament. Your ornaments are so cute!


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