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My first career was as a travel agent and it was at that time I decided I would begin my first collection.  I decided I would collect Santa Clauses and Christmas Tree ornaments from my travels around the world.

Each year, I lug out boxes and boxes of trimmings for my house.  Each year, since I moved to Winnipeg, I hear my loving husband remind me I have too many Santa Clauses and too many Christmas Tree ornaments.  Yet each one brings a fond memory to mind and I realize I am in a better place to travel down memory lane, than ever before.

Santa always takes front and centre.  It was this ornament that started the trend almost 30 years ago.  I keep him wrapped and it’s this one that begins the process of placing ornaments.  I can honestly say as much as I wish I had help decorating the tree, I truly do want to unwrap each one and hold it and find the perfect place.

Then there is the horse-hair angel, I picked up in Vermont from a quaint town shopIt is so unique and I visited there when my kids were quite young.  I see the angel and I can see my kids in the pool at the resort.

A hand-painted egg from Amsterdam.  One of the best trips I ever went on as a young adult.  I actually have quite a few items from there, including a little Dutch skater made of wood.

My mother gave me this one back in the 80s.  My mom and I had quite the tumultous relationship over the years.  Best of friends and worst of enemies.  About a decade ago, we recognized she had dementia and she was diagnosed within a month of my step-father’s death with Alzheimer’s.  She passed a few years ago.  I haven’t had many fond memories over the past several years, as I was left as the executor with a step-family that came to the forefront in greed.  But when I see this little ornament this year, I think of all the special Christmases my mom gave me and I can feel the love fill my heart again.

My last family vacation with my children’s father.  We went to Walt Disney World.  Trip of a lifetime, except we travelled 3 weeks after 9/11, though planned a year in advance.  I wanted this trip to be everything to keep our family together and it was anything but.  Yet I still hold dear memories of visiting there, especially when Troy met Tigger, which brings me to the next picture.

Troy’s nicname, Tigger.  Since Troy never learned to crawl, he would hop around on his knees.  Basically, he bounced and we all know what Tiggers do, so the very young children of the daycare began to call him Tigger.  When Troy met Tigger in Disney World, I knew at that moment he had very strong cognitive skills.  His eyes opened so wide and he allowed Tigger to wrap him up in his huge paws.  To this day, he will always be my Tigger.

A gift from my oldest step-son on our first Christmas together.  He was 16 I believe.  He will never know how much this oranament will be treasured over the years.  I was wowed then, as I am wowed now.

There are hand-made ones from my children when they were young, crystal shoes from my girlfriend because all women love shoes, a Chinese Santa Claus, a snowman from my husband, my children’s first Christmases, Las Vegas, California, Florida, Palm Springs, and even Sandusky, Ohio.

Throughout my house is the rest of the collection, but these little angels spelling NOEL are one of my earliest and fondest of memories.  Each one was wrapped in tissue separately and each one holds a tiny white candle.  I took pride every family Christmas, carefully taking them out of their box and placing them in our living room.  Considering I was the family klutz and that at the age of 15, my parents separated, this memory is very special.  When my mom passed, I was so happy to find them still intact, with the original packaging.

There is no such thing as too many Santa Clauses or too many Christmas Tree ornaments.  Each one is a memory and there is no such thing as too many memories.