I had no idea that when I bought that little piece of brass in Seward Alaska I was also starting a family tradition, but I was. I suppose the best traditions start that way, by accident. Our family collects ornaments. To be specific brass ornaments emblazoned with the names and attractions of the places we visit. We have them from Glacier National Park to Frankenmuth Michigan. Some are simple, some are pretty elaborate, and each one of them represents a trip that our family has taken together.
The children remember some of them; I remember them all. And each December, as a take the lid off of the blue tote that contains these shiny treasures, I am taken back in time to places that I have traveled to with the people I love most; my family. I am sentimental and I am attached to these things, not because of their value, but because of the memories and the people that they represent.
In my minimalist journey, I am getting rid of many things; some things that do have sentimental value will go, but not my ornaments. I count my blessings every December when I get them out and every January when I put them a way. It is a marvelous way to begin and end each year. They are beautiful and functional, so they get to stay.
I bought that first ornament in July 1992, just a few days after Glenn proposed. As our love and family has grown, so has our collection. In some ways, it is a family history; told in shiny little pieces of metal. I look forward to discovering what other stories we will collect.