Sunday, December 15, 2013


Our Maui Angel. I wrote here about how we acquired her at a roadside stand in Maui.

As I wrote yesterday, my former wife and I established a tradition early in our marriage of collecting ornaments. We tried to add at least one new ornament a year that would symbolize something that happened in the family and/or someplace to which we had traveled that year.

I have carried that tradition into my new life with Mark, bringing with me ornaments that had belonged to my dad and step-mother and some of the ornaments which were special to me from my married years. 

One of the ornaments that belonged to my dad and step-mother

I wish I could say that I had at least one ornament from my childhood; but my mother sold all of our Christmas stuff, along with many other things, when she moved while I was on my mission 30 years ago. (Yes, I still have a bit of an issue with that.) She tried to make up for it later as she took up tole painting and sent us and the kids a number of ornaments in the early 90's - and these are nice to have, especially for my older children.

A wooden gingerbread man my mother painted and sent to us 20 years ago

An ornament my mother painted for my daughter Rachel for her first Christmas
(Rachel's picture)

This Santa ornament was given to me by my secretary at my law firm in Vancouver, about 20 years ago.

I have tried to collect broom ornaments over the years. I purchased several of the one in the upper right at a craft fair
I came upon in the student union 25 years ago while I was in law school in Vancouver, Canada. The one on the left was
purchased this past year at the Granville Island Broom Company in Vancouver while visiting my daughter Hannah.

More broom ornaments

An ornament that has special meaning to me, purchased in Uniontown, Pennsylvania in the fall of 1995

Ornaments, above and below, purchased in Russia when we adopted Aaron and Esther

My sister has given me ornaments over the years that she has acquired on her travels. The one above is from London, England, the following one is from Switzerland, and the one after that from the Netherlands.

An ornament given to us by Mark's mother

These two ornaments, above and below, are part of a collectible series. I purchased the doctor merman two years ago in a shop in Durham, North Carolina, and the one below was purchased in the Castro when we were there this past summer.

We purchased this ornament last year. It was such a perfect representation of the children's book, And Tango Makes Three, which tells the true story of a pair of male penguins - Roy and Silo - who, after it became apparent that they were trying to nest, were provided an egg which eventually hatched. The chick, Tango, was raised by Roy and Silo. I read this book to the Quads to help them come to grips with the fact that Mark and I are gay and are a couple.

Gingerbread Mt. Vernon purchased in November when we were there

Wooden bird purchased at Thanksgiving in Grand Lake, Colorado

A souvenir of our trip to Disneyland with the Quads last June

This last picture, above, is of one of a dozen or so charms that I purchased for Mark in various temples and shrines while on our trip to Japan in September. Each charm - of different colors and sizes - represents a healing charm, particularly for those who have cancer. These dozen or so charms are the most important addition to our collection of ornaments this year, for each one represents a hope that Mark's hormone therapy will continue to work and that he and I and our children will be able to enjoy Christmases yet to come, along with all of the other 364 days of the year.

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