Help Decorate Our Tree and We’ll Help Kids in Need

I have an odd request to make! 

I would like you to send us an ornament!

Want to know why?

Well, we finally got our tree up this past weekend and to my surprise, almost all of our ornaments were missing.

The glass balls that Daryl and I hand decorated our first Christmas together.

The cloth elves whose knees tuck behind their clasped hands from my childhood.

The zillions of altered ornaments that the kids made even prettier with paint pens and too much glitter over the years.

The engraved ones that were presents for the kids.

The miscellaneous oddballs.

The framed tiny photos of the children as babies.

They’re just gone. All but one little bag of assorted ones that were apparently packed up last.

I’ve cleaned and organized our basement (which is no small task, I should tell you).  I’ve cleaned and organized our storage closet (ditto).  I’ve searched high and low.  I can’t explain it, but all of our boxes of ornaments are just missing.

So we have a rather sparse tree. We put up the few little oddballs that were in that small bag, but it’s a bit pitiful!

To add insult to injury, the first couple of days, one of our cats decided to climb our forlorn tree and hide in the branches, bapping at the ornaments from within.

And it’s made all the more ridiculous by the fact that all of our lights were dead (I did find those!) except one strand, so we used lights my mother-in-law gave us.  Every single strand has a different color of lights — one white, one multi, one red, and one green!  And one has white wires too.

The cat and the lights make me giggle, actually.  I love oddness and it suits us.

But the ornaments?  Sigh.  That’s not really any fun at all.

I thought of hand making a billion with the children. We’re certainly pros at that.  And we will.

But they’ll all be one sort of another, and truth be told, I miss the sentimentality of the ornaments we had collected.  I wanted some variety and sentiment!

So I came up with an idea.

I’m going to ask YOU to send us an ornament!

It can be from your tree, made by your children, picked out at the dollar store, anything.  It can be a tempera painted bit of cardboard, a simple silver ball, anything. 

I truly don’t care in the least, because it will fill our tree with sentimentality, because it will come from you and your children. And that totally makes me smile.

But I can’t just ask you to mail me something without giving anything back. That would be wrong.  So I started to think of what I could do on my end and I came up with an idea.

For every family that sends an ornament, we’ll donate a dollar to the Princess Zev Foundation.

The Princess Zev Foundation is maintained by Magical Mama Caitlin, who I only know online but absolutely adore.  Few people on earth manage to convey goodness and light right through a computer the way Caitlin can. She is a follower of this blog and our Facebook page, and a friend of my fabulous friend Claire.  And she manages to be a bright spot in the universe despite the loss of her utterly magical daughter, Zev.

The Princess Zev Foundation exists to give books and toys to children in need (those who have experienced loss, those in poverty and orphans) and to schools in honor of Zev, her love of books and her giving spirit.

Incidentally The Princess Zev Foundation is also up for a donation through the Pepsi Refresh Project.  You can vote daily and help them win here.  They need your votes!

If you’d like to donate too, you can do so here.

So, if you’d like to send us an ornament for our tree, here’s the address:

Alicia Bayer
PO Box 304
Westbrook, MN 56183

Our whole family is thrilled with the idea of getting ornaments from you, because it may sound sappy but you’re special to all of us. Please tuck in a note about who you are or a drawing by your kids or anything else to let us know about you and your family. 🙂

I’ll post an update at the end of the year with some pictures of our decorated tree and a tally of our donations. If nobody sends an ornament (I understand!  It’s a busy season!), then we’ll still send a donation to the Princess Zev Foundation, and we’ll just get busy making some ornaments.

So will you help us out?  We’d love a bit of your family in our living room on our crazy (but still fabulous) tree.

I promise to keep it safe from the cat.

Happy Tuesday!



Filed under helping out

16 responses to “Help Decorate Our Tree and We’ll Help Kids in Need

  1. Amelia

    I would love to send you an ornament but apparently to get to America in time I’d have to have sent it last Friday.

    In lieu thereof: an ornament recipe

    Coconut and white chocolate snowballs.

    you need:
    thread/string/thin ribbon for loops
    shredded coconut
    white chocolate (twice as much chocolate as coconut by weight)

    Cut the thread-or-what-have-you into reasonable lengths and tie into longish loops (this is a boring grownup job but the snipping might be fun for an observed toddler)

    Melt the chocolate either over hot water (carefully) or in a microwave.
    Stir in the coconut making sure it all mixes well.

    Now make balls with the mixture enclosing the knotted end of a loop in each ball so that the other end sticks out for hanging on the tree.

    Leave for a couple of hours in a cool place or at least half an hour in the ‘fridge.

    Hang on tree.

    Try to sneakily eat one when no-one’s looking, for a harder challenge don’t use your hands.

  2. Hi, We are going to send an ornament this afternoon.I am not sure it will reach you by xmas, but if it dosnt then it will be good for next year.I think we might have missed the international postage cut of date too.

    A couple of years ago my husband discovered that our tree and decorations had been destroyed.It was awful and I was so upset but thanks to my mum we have a good tree again, but it took ages.Each year we love to make things too and hope they last a good few years.


    • Oh thank you, Jessie! Sorry about the loss of your tree and decorations. We lost most of my childhood ornaments years ago. I kept thinking they would have to eventually turn up and they just never did. This time I’m hoping the same, but I did tons of cleaning and tossing in the basement last year of water damaged items and such, and I suspect those boxes somehow got tossed accidentally. It is upsetting, but I am okay with collecting all over again. We have the important things around the tree. 🙂

  3. Lonni

    So sorry about your ornaments! Oh, I hope you find them even if it’s next July! We have special ornaments too, some go back to when I was very little too and we give our kids a new one each year. So yeah, sentimental and I’d be really really bummed if they came up missing too.
    This is an awesome and fun idea and I will try to get one in the mail very soon!!
    I know you probably don’t need suggestions for homemade ones but….We made some neat cheapo ornaments the other day. You rub a glue stick all over the dull side of a piece of aluminum foil then fold it closed, glue inside. Grab an ink pen and draw a simple picture (xmas tree, snowman, bird, etc) then cut around it but not too close to the lines. Tape a piece of thread to the penmark side for a hanger and your done. It looks like those old-fashionedy tin ormanents. Flimsy yes, but so painless and quick to make you won’t mind if something happens to them. Also fun just mushing a long pieces of foil into snakes and bending them into candycane shapes. Another easy peasy free one is to glue short sticks from a tree into star shapes. Saw a cute idea also for pinecones. Stuff them full of cotton balls, glue on some eyes, and you have a baby snowy owl. Sounds so cute!
    One more but this one you can eat. Lay 2 small candy canes facing together to form a heart. Melt white almond bark (omg, do NOT try melting white chocolate chips if you have those!) and spoon it into the heart and add sprinkles if you want. We put string thru some first so we could hang them on our tree. Again, painless. 🙂

    • I love these ideas! Thanks Lonni!

      We made some ornaments today. Most of them were … um… interesting! I channeled Teacher Tom and let Alex pile things in a heap and dump paint on them, and then added ribbon. 🙂 Jack decided to do Mario Brothers ornaments, Victoria made a beautiful framed praying mantis one and Anna mostly painted things red. It all makes me smile!

  4. Lonni

    Heh, did I actually accidentally write “ormanents”?!? I may have heard too many of my children call them that over the years and it just seeped from my subconscious, unnoticed. Well, I’m happy to say I will always love ormanents. 🙂

  5. Oooh, I’d be so upset if we lost our special tree ornaments… Unfortunately being in the Netherlands it’s unlikely anything I send will a.) Arrive on time b.) Be very cost-effective. (Not a happy b, but with a baby on the way, being a stay at home mum and wife to a student… Well, it counts!

    Do you mind if we craft ornaments for the elderly and donate story books to our local hospital’s children’s ward in honour of Zev?

  6. I’m jealous. I wish I would have thought of this idea. What a fabulous way to replenish your ornament stash and get a whole lot of fun packages in the mail at the same time!

    Ironically I purchased four dozen clear glass ornaments online this year to decorate for some friends. I can’t say they all turned out fantastically, but perhaps I’ll send one your way. My daughter is still too young to decorate glass ornaments (she’s only 16 months) but if I get one to you I’ll include a picture she’s “drawn.” 🙂

    Brilliant idea, generous thought, fun activity…fits right in with what I’ve seen of the rest of your blog (which, by the way, I linked to from my own blog last month).

    Keep up the good work…I look forward to keeping up with you and your magical family.

  7. Kajtryna

    My daughter, Wren, and I sent an ornament your way this afternoon. She has just learned how to quill and was so excited to make your family a quilled snowflake (it even has glitter)! We also sent some craft items for your family to enjoy from our Christmas craft day. I hope you have fun.

  8. Kez

    I’ll send you one from Australia, but it won’t get there until after Xmas. It can go on your tree next year 🙂

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