My dear friends. I usually am not into Christmas spirit before December. I am vehement about that. So much so that I can ignore the beloved Dominosteine the husband had already bought. But that doesn’t mean I can’t think about Christmas yet. That I can’t make plans yet. That I can’t get prepared yet. When we had our move earlier this year and had to pack up the basement. While doing so I realized my Christmas stuff was – not as I had thought in those two boxes – but I kept finding bits and pieces at random places. I had no patience to organize things then. But now is the time to be sorting Christmas.
And while doing so I also want to reduce a little. Give some decorations away. Let’s see how much I am able to say goodbye to.
Sorting Christmas – Christmas balls
When we first started having a tree we obviously had to start from scratch when it came to Christmas tree decoration. It was quickly decided that our tree will be white and silver. And so I went in search of some Christmas balls. Luckily I came across a box at the discounter with real glass balls that cost me 12,99€ for 24 balls. I bought a box. I realized quickly I could use some more. So when the following year the same box was again available I bought two more. Making it overall 72 balls in three shades – matted white, matted silver and shiny silver. Those balls have been hung to the tree for nine years. One of the boxes for ever untouched…
Then we got married and my aunt and godmother gave me one of my greatest gifts ever. As you may know we had a winter wedding. And she decided fitting for that would be some snowballs – aka white Christmas balls. What a thoughtfulf gift. Right? Ever since we have those hung on the tree. While their quality is much higher – handmade glass ornaments from a traditional local company – the shade is not quite white enough for our taste. But I can live with that. The meaning for me trumps the right color shade.
Storage options – for Christmas balls
But I digress. When I started looking into sorting my Christmas stuff and decorations I mainly meant my Christmas balls. I wanted to have a case where I can put them. Honestly I haven’t found a good solution. All systems I had come across use a sort of paper try. Not a fan. Or the box system would only have this one specialized box and no further options. Also not a fan. In the end I decided that the sunware system would hold the most options for storage beyond the Christmas stuff. (I have more things in the basement…)
So now I am wondering. Should I use the perfect box from my old balls and put the wedding balls in? But that would only work for the smaller ones. For the big balls there is simple no option available besides leaving them as they are.
Sorting Christmas – an ornaments collection
As I said earlier when we started out with our first Christmas tree we had nothing. After getting the balls I decided to make some ornaments myself. Over the years I have added to that ornaments collection. Would you like a peak in my – now newly sorted – boxes?
Ornament collection – handmade little gifts
These little gifts are the oldest ornaments I have. And have been on my tree for 15 years. I recycled some chocolate boxes – I did mentioned that I save every odd thing for crafting reasons *sigh*. All I had to do was wrap them in paper and add a ribbon. Voilá and done. After so many years though they need an update. I plan on doing it this year. Maybe add a more festive ribbon.
This ornament was originally crafted in 2006.
Ornament collection – handmade Fröbel stars
If you have been a blog reader for a while you may have realized I am somewhat obsessed with making Fröbel stars. One year I made over 300. Actually I just realized I never have mentioned it here let alone shared results or a tutorial. (But I did multiple times on Instagram here, here, here, here) Nevermind. Fröbel Stars are made of paper and use a sort of origami technique. I tend to make them from gift ribbons. I have them in various sizes and shapes but they all fit the white, silver, sparkling spectrum. I could sure update that collection by making a few hanging ornaments. As of now I just put them on the tree spruces like sprinkling snow.
This ornament was originally crafted in 2006 and additional stars have been added to the collection constantly.
Ornament collection – handmade sparkling apples
As I said we have a color scheme. These apples used to be red and the decoration of my first apartment. I got them on sale for 1-2€ at the hardware store. After having them hidden away in the boxes for several years I decided to spruce them up. I added white paint and when I found some sparkling pearls in the seasonal discounter section this idea was born. It is not entirely perfect as those tiny pearls come off every time you handle them and are all over by the end of Christmas. I love them though since they add some texture to my tree.
This ornament was originally crafted in 2013.
Ornament collection – handmade plaster stars
This ornament was an idea I had for Christmas gifts. That year all of my family received a set of 12 stars. Some were to hang on the tree and some have been without a ribbon and just as decoration for the table. Can you guess how I made them? I used an ice cube tray and poured plaster in. After that I painted them in red. For myself I planned on painting them white but ended up not doing that as I liked the grayish rough finish. The red stars in my collection are actually my gift my grandma received and was returned to me after her death a few months later. I haven’t used them ever since but don’t/can’t really part with them.
This ornament was originally crafted in 2017.
Ornament collection – handmade clay ornaments
These are the only ornaments in my collection that were given to me by my aunt. She is also a crafty person and has a kiln in her basement. One year she gifted these little bell Christmas trees to some family. As she knew mine all needed to be white I got a special set. Couple years later I got the three bells. They were somewhat of an “order”. I had three silver bells for years on my tree but then could not find them anymore. Every year I was heartbroken because I just didn’t know where they were. Knowing I didn’t throw them away. Well sorting Christmas stuff helps. Found them a couple days ago in the box with the old Christmas bells that I didn’t use anymore after the wedding (so for the past 8 years.)
This ornament was given to me in the past couple of years.
I have a few more items in my Christmas box. All of them sparkle joy. So after going through them all I really don’t know how to downsize. I guess it will just be sorting and not minimizing. Sorry, not sorry.
I am happy with the sorting tray I have purchased. I am waiting for a few more boxes to put the clay stars and gift ornaments in. Overall I downsized the space my Christmas boxes used up by having a system. I am happy with my efforts.
Now let me know what your favorite ornament is in your Christmas box and which one you would steal from me.
Now I absolutely can’t wait to see what your tree looks like (but I guess I have to wait till December 24th, right?) Like you, I’m not letting myself decorate for Christmas yet- but unlike you, I’ll start right after Thanksgiving. I love all these ornaments, and especially love the fact that so many of them are homemade.
My Christmas tree has no color scheme- it’s just a hodgepodge of different things. But my favorite ornament is actually one my sister made when we were little. It was a craft at church. Back then (I’m talking 1970s) L’eggs pantyhose used to come in a plastic egg. They decorated those eggs with different colors of glitter and it looks… like a seven-year-old made it. I’m two years older than my sister, and I didn’t want to put her homemade decoration on the tree- I said it would make the tree look “shabby.” Of course my mom overruled that, and the egg went on. As we got older, we would laugh about that argument and always put the egg in a prominent place on the tree. Now somehow I’ve inherited the egg, and I take a picture every year of me putting it on my tree and send it to my sister. Not quite as elegant as your homemade ornaments… but I love it.
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I love that story about the shabby egg. Those are the best ornaments. And yes you would have to wait until December 24th before anyone will see my tree. However if you scroll back Instagram you can see it.
Wow. Those are SUCH beautiful ornaments. I agree with Jenny – I can’t wait to see your tree.
We have a hodgepodge tree; each year we all get a new ornament. The plan is when the kids leave home they’ll take their collection with them (which will be SAD!). But the math is a bit overwhelming because we still have a lot of years with the kids at home and 4 new ornaments each year is…a lot!
I think my favourites are the apples and the trees your aunt made, but they’re so gorgeous.
Hmmm…my favourite ornament? I’m not sure. I have memories associated with basically all of them!
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That is a wonderful tradition you started. Taking a bit home once starting an own family.
My aunts trees are so cute. I was instantly in love too. I would lend you my apples for a year.
I can understand you don’t have a favorite one. Every ornament has a memory and it’s the combination with the tree to make it perfect
Hurray for another person who is obsessed with Fröbel stars. I make some more every year and I find it very meditative (even though the first one usually drives me crazy because I have to figure out again which direction to fold the strips – my guess is that does not happen anymore after as many as you made?).
My tree is a little bit all over but the main color is red. When we first moved to the US I got a huge set of declarations from Ikea and I still have that. It will come out of the box the week after Thanksgiving.
Fröbel stars are the best. And no matter what the first one always needs all my brain capacity to get it right.
Did you find it strange that Christmas starts after thanksgiving?
Yes, I at first definitely found it strange but I like having the tree up earlier. It means more days to enjoy it😁
Why am I not surprised that you handmade most of your ornaments? I love it. I’d definitely steal the star ornaments from you – I love stars! I try to be minimalistic when it comes to Christmas ornaments and I don’t have very many… but I would like to expand my collection a little bit.
P.S. I LOVE Dominosteine and hope to find some at the World Market this holiday season!
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You know me well I guess. I love stars. I didn’t show you the svarovski star that goes on the top but you can glimpse it in the first photo. I hope you can find some Dominosteine. In past years they have sold out by December so it is a gamble. But maybe I need to get a few more packs beforehand. Did you know it was actually a low budget praline? I didn’t.
My tree is a hot mess compared to yours. I am not crafty, and there is zero rhyme nor reason to it. I love it though. The first year I lived on my own, I had no ornaments, and my friend worked at Macy’s and could get me a discount. The store in San Francisco (where I lived) used to have an entire floor set aside for Christmas decorations and such (it is now a restaurant, alas) and I took her employee discount and my not-quite maxed out credit card and bought a ton of ornaments. We have added to them sporadically ever since, but I think the majority are from that time. I love Donald Duck, so there are a lot of DD ornaments. Some are elegant. It’s a hodgepodge to be sure.
I believe every Christmas tree has a beauty to it. And if all the ornaments have a meaning even better. I love the story that you went on a shopping spree when you put up your first tree. But would. you have guessed that the first things you got are sticking with you for years? I kinda though it was a quick fix and would later get “real ornaments” never did.
so looking forward to seeing your decorated tree with all its handmade loveliness.
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Thank you Heather. I always look forward to decorating it. Never though towards re-decorating. So much stuff to put away.
I like the apples, but I also really feel like ornaments with sentimental reasons attached are so much more special when they’re hung on the tree. I can’t wait to see what your tree looks like!
I love the apples also. They make me feel a bit in the Snow White fairy tales. I do have a lot of sentimental ornaments that is for sure.
Your ornaments are so pretty! I always think about having a Christmas tree that has one theme/color, but I’d probably need to have a second tree for that! I do like my mish-mash tree with lots of different ornaments.
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Mish Mash Trees are also very fun. I think it always needs to match the person and reflects ourselves. I am not sure my tree would be exactly this when I would only decorate for myself. Similar yes but probably pops of icy blue. But this is what the husband and I both like. Will you share your tree once it is decorated?
I do appreciate a theme tree – and your colors are lovely (And those I might choose myself, if I decorated and had a tree… ;>).
Do you think non-crafty – as in, truly non-creative, non-crafty – people can make those Fraboni stars? Would it help to look at your tutorials? Just curious if I would like something like that. :) Crafty people impress me immensely!
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Thank you Anne. Well, honestly the Fröbel Stars are not the easiest to make. I’ve had lots of practice but still need to really focus when I start a star. I do not want to discourage you but there are easier craft projects out. If you want to try check YouTube. There are a couple good tutorials out there. I haven’t shared one here because the YouTube videos cover it all.