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The travel tree

pic of Bermuda airportI love to travel. I will forgo a new car, a fancy house, eating out, and an updated wardrobe for the chance to visit somewhere new. On many of our trips, we’ve bought a Christmas ornament to adorn what I call our Travel Tree.

Looking at the tree is a visual reminder of our travels over the years, and it always makes me smile.

Here are a few of my favorite ornaments from places we’ve gone specifically during the winter holiday for vacation. (We tend to alternate between visiting family and going somewhere new.) And while I was going through old travel photos, I noticed that we apparently like to put our boys in stocks for Christmas, so I added those pics too. 😉

Do you have a favorite tradition from this time of year? Do you tend to stay home for the holidays or travel?

(click any photo to enlarge)

Tell your friends!


  1. Reply

    I am the only person in my house who likes Christmas card photos that show some significant personal event during the year. I also like Christmas ornaments with a personal inscription of some sort, like “2014 Graduation from JIT”, or the like. My latest (and fairly new) yearly habit at this time is that I like to throw a big Christmas Day dinner and do all the cooking. This year a lot of folks will be at my table and I’m doing a turkey and a duck with all the trimmings. I really like having (carefully picked) neighbors over and having a good night of conversation, and great food. I’d like to turn it into a monthly Dinner Night. I would also like to introduce dancing before or after dinner, if I can just find a good dance floor.

    As to travel…I’m much more of a homebody person. I am quite willing to travel overseas to the United Kingdom, finances permitting. That much is okay. And provided it is in comfort, perhaps some short trips elsewhere. I did go out on a cruise to the Bahamas and discovered that I cannot stand being at sea. Seeing water all around me and having no idea where land is terrifies me. I’m a landsman.

    • Reply

      Bob: I definitely prefer the ornaments with a personal connection, whether travel mementos, treasures from my childhood, ornaments made by my kids, or those to commemorate a particular event. My tree is never designer, it’s all personal. Sounds like you have a lot of lucky friends and neighbors! Enjoy cooking. 🙂

  2. Reply

    Gwen, I do the same thing. Some of my favorites are those that recall special trips or holidays, like the stork and the dolphin ornaments (made of shaved teak) from the Outer Banks and a weathervane that’s a replica of the one on Mount Vernon (that we got after a candlelight tour there one December). It always takes us a while to get the tree decorated because we stop and talk about the memories that each one of these special ornaments brings back to us, both the family or friends we were with and the places themselves. –Donna Gough

  3. Reply

    My most enduring Christmas tradition is to write a family Christmas letter on Thanksgiving. I have done it now since 1996 and the letter also includes photographs.

    • Reply

      That’s nice, Stephen. I enjoy getting the letters with updates and pictures. I’ve switched over the last decade or so to a New Year card with as many pictures as I can fit and a quick bullet list of our highlights for the previous year. Waiting until after Christmas gives us a chance to have a family photo, and lets me do it after the mad holiday rush. Thanks for sharing. Enjoy your holiday!

  4. Reply

    Over the years, we’ve driven our 6 kids to all 48 states and collected ornaments along the way. We trim our travel tree on the lower level and the sentimental tree in the living room. Since all the kids have now left the nest and taken many sentimental ornaments, next year the travel tree is coming up to the living room where more folks can enjoy it!

  5. Reply

    I love your travel tree! I have a few ornaments from vacations. They are always a fun reminder of the good time we had. I used to travel a lot for work, so for a long time, just staying home for vacations was a treat. But now that I’ve been off the road for a while, maybe it’s time to start planning some trips again. Who knows what new ornaments I might find? Happy Holidays, Gwen!

  6. Linda Gartz


    Great idea,Gwen. I have several ornaments from various trips, but have not made it a tradition. Just want to say I really got a lot out of your compile class and hope I don’t forget it all before I have to use it! I have all your detailed answers saved, in any case, and will hope to get it all together. Thank you for your detailed course lessons! Merry Christmas.

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