Saturday, November 12, 2011


Last night when Michael and I arrived home he gave me a little gift bag. I thought that it was a little something he had picked up for me during his travels around the globe. (GLOBE = Louisville and Atlanta...duh!). But I was surprised when I looked in the little bag to see my favorite annual gift that I get during this time of the year from my Aunt Carin who lives in Georgia (Michael stayed with them one night this week).

So, the tradition started like this.  With my mother first.

Back in the day my mom LOVED collecting antiques. That was her thing. We went to sooo many antique malls, shows, yard sales, etc. in search of the next antique. Basically all of the wooden furniture in our house was antique. She was also into collecting refurbished/repurposed wooden wall clocks. Different sizes, looks, etc. I loved that, it was cool that she had something that she loved to collect.

Which brings me to another point. My friend Amanda's parents had all of these collectible hallmark ornaments. Man was I jealous. Especially of the cool barbie ones.. anywho...

Well I don't really remember how it all got started. (Aunt Carin might be able to clue me in on this because I was probably too young to care/remember) but I do remember that my mom got her hands on this Hallmark ornament collectors book that listed the going rate for each ornament in a series. Well somehow she decided Dustin and I should start our own collections.  I picked the puppy collection ("Puppy Love")  and Dustin picked the frosty friends collection (Mine is up to its 21st ornament and Dustins it's 32nd, Dustin's older ornaments sell at very high price points!) :

She let us pick ours and then went crazy trying to find some moderately priced ornaments in these collections. Each year around Christmas we would receive the ornament from that collection for the year. Sadly once my mom passed away we thought the tradition was over. Until one day Dustin and I received our ornaments from our Aunt Carin. She wanted to keep our tradition going in the spirit of my mom. As I write I am tearing up just thinking about how silly a collection of silly dog ornaments are, but really, they mean a lot to me (and hey, you all know I L-O-V-E dogs!). So yes, my tree may be covered in little dogs, but they have a meaning to me, and they have a special place in my heart. I really appreciate the gesture by my Aunt each and every year. It makes me smile. And it makes me remember my mom. Thanks Aunt Carin, love you and see you soon!


  1. Oh my goodness, made me tear up too!!! Aunt Carin

  2. Gosh Ashley, you made me cry too!!! I could barely read it to Chuck but he said you could have as many of the Hallmark ornaments as you want. (Amanda has her Barbie collection though). According to him, we have waaaayyy too many. I loved going to antique shows with your mom. In fact, we went to the Burlington Antique Fair shortly before she passed away.