Silver Bell Ornaments

Jingle Bells! My Christmas Tree Ornament Tradition

Phyllis Lifestyle 27 Comments

I love ornaments, and I have so many favorites that my grandchildren have made for me. Every year as I unpack them,  I let my mind think back to wonderful times and beautiful celebrations.

When Neal and I got married, we started a silver jingle bell ornament collection. Since we were married on December 23, these bells are a treasured Christmas keepsake. The night we married, we gave each of our kids and grandchild a silver snowflake to remember our special night as a family. Every year we add another dated bell to our tree. I hope we live long enough to see a tree covered in silver jingle bells, commemorating our anniversary. 

This year I gave two newlywed couples a silver bell to hang on their tree for their first Christmas together—something you may want to consider starting for a new grandchild or new member of your family. If you paint or sew, you could also make dated ornaments for them.

I love passing down ornaments, too! My son Brian has two of my grandmother Norton’s ornaments that hung on her tree when I was a little girl. They are faded and exude years of love packing and unpacking them. I was so happy he wanted them, and he will be the fourth generation to hang them on the tree every year.

I could write forever about ornaments, as they usually tell stories of special times in our lives.

Please tell me about your favorite ornaments that you collect.

During this beautiful season, I wish you love and joy. You are special to me, and as we celebrate this season together, know you are treasured.

 What’s your favorite Christmas ornament?

Christmas with Paula Deen 2017


Comments 27

  1. Merry Christmas! One year I made all cross stitch ornaments for our tree. It was really cute! I started sewing in the summer and continued on until I sewed enough for a six footer. Few have survived the hanging and rehanging through the years.

    Happy New Year to you, yours and everyone!

  2. Collecting nutcracker ornaments has always been my delight. They are a colorful addition to all the other ornaments I’ve collected over the years.

    I have searched everywhere for the cheesecake recipe you posted a photo of a year ago with white chocolate shavings. Can you direct me to this recipe so I can make it for Christmas day? I have noticed others saying that they can’t find it either.


  3. I treasure every ornament that my husband and I have each year on our Christmas tree, from Mom’s very fragile glass ornaments to the paper wreath and tree my son made in kindergarten to those made and given by special friends — each one holds a different and precious meaning.
    Thank you so much, Phyllis, for the voice of kindness, hope, and grace you provide – may God bless your family’s Christmas and continue to guide you throughout the new year ahead!

  4. Thank you for sharing your ideas! I love family ornaments. In our breakfast room, we have a small 3-foot tree with multicolored lights. Because of the location, I decided to use food-themed ornaments — artificial candy canes and gingerbread boys and girls. To give the ornaments special meaning, I have painted family names on each gingerbread girl and boy! Merry CHRISTmas to you and family!

  5. The first year my husband and I were married, I decided not to have a Christmas tree since we hadn’t gotten any “meaningful” ornaments. My head nurse got us a (real) tree, and each of my co-workers gave us an ornament to hang on it. My friend even donated a nativity scene. I still have many of those ornaments 40+ years later. Some are a little the worse for wear, but I treasure them and remember the person who gave it to us with love each year as we decorate our tree.

  6. My husband is a true romantic. He chose heart shaped ornaments for our theme. Like you, we hope to fill the tree with them as time goes on. We also collect nutcrackers and I create whimsical christmas fairy houses, characters, etc. Naturally, we have Nativity Creches front and centre. We like a traditional look and are quite happy with the results. By the way we are in our mid sixties.

    1. Leah, Hi. I am Kathy from North Carolina. I read your post and offer simple advice. I use Wright’s silver cream, and simply polish my silver bells as I do my silver trays, bowls, casseroles, etc. They sparkle and shine like new!

  7. I love to cross stitch and have stitched an ornament for each of my nieces every year since they were born. The oldest is now 29, the youngest 13. Almost all of the ornament designs I stitched came from the annual ornament issue of the Just Cross Stitch magazine (originally published by Hoffman Media). When I see these ornaments hanging on the tree, they bring to mind so many lovely memories.

  8. Phyllis, you are so special to me also. I look forward to reading “ribbon in my journal” each time I see it in my e-mail. May you and your family have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. God gave you such a gift to reach out to people with your words and beautiful magazines.

  9. When my husband and I married 54 years ago, we bought a couple of boxes of insignificant ornaments. When our children were small, we started giving them each an ornament…sometimes they were each the same, but usually different but significant to that child. When each married, they each took their collection with them. Meanwhile we collected ornaments given to us through the years by friends and family or that we purchased as we traveled. When grandchildren came along, we continued the tradition of giving an ornament.
    I love decorating the Christmas tree each year and revisiting all the precious memories. This year everyone is receiving identical ornaments, a Celtic Cross, which is the religious symbol on my husband’s headstone in the National Cemetery. This is our second Christmas without him, but he is never far from any of our hearts. In years to come as the ornament is hung on the various trees it will stir loving memories of a much loved husband, father and grandfather.
    Merry Christmas!

  10. Five years ago, my husband and I both took a glass blowing class at the Chrysler Museum in Norfolk, Virginia. We blew round glass ball ornaments and absolutely loved it!
    Now each year we go in on a Sunday afternoon and blow our annual glass ornament! And as of last year, we are also blowing them for our family members!
    This usually starts off our Christmas season celebrations!

  11. Our most cherished ornament is an embroidered “Our First Christmas” given to us by my parents on our first Christmas together. That ornament always takes center stage on our “special ornaments” tree. Each year we have two trees; one that we call the fancy, coordinated tree in our living room. It is beautiful. The other tree is in our keeping room and is filled with ornaments that friends and family members have given us in addition to the ones our children made in grade school. Every year when we open these ornaments it is like a walk down memory lane and the ornaments have more meaning with each year. I love your tradition and bet is makes for a beautiful tree. Merry Christmas and thank you for always sharing your beautiful ideas and thoughts.

  12. My favorite ornament is not actually an ornament, but rather a crocheted faded red bow with a tiny girl and tiny boy at each end of it’s ties. My mother wore it on her coat when she was a little girl, then I did as a girl, and at some point I started putting it on my Christmas trees. It joins another favorite non-ornament: a tiny yellow bear, originally holding lollipops, which I was given at the age of four for being well-behaved on a visit to the doctor!

  13. I love my mother’s antique glass German ornaments. They are extremely fragile though and extra care is needed when hanging them on the tree.
    On my son’s names day, I always give him an ornament for the tree…he is 25 now and has quite the collection….each one reflects his interests, or a trip we may have taken together, sports, school etc.
    The bell idea is beautiful!

  14. Our tree… is filled with many ornaments that we’ve collected at places visited, or ones given us by family and friends, some from trees when my husband and I were small, pictures of children and grandchildren, cards given our children when they were small (in other words a hodge-podge of . ) Then, when all decorated …..I add burgundy velvet ribbon along with gold… draped here and there.

    It sounds craZy, but to us… the most beautiful tree of memories… is so special.

    Merry Christmas to you and thank you for another lovely “Ribbon”!!!

  15. I like to place white doves on our tree and around the house. One of my favorites got knocked off the mantle and broke. I saved the pieces for about three years and unsuccessfully tried to find a replacement because I liked it so much. I finally decided to try to repair it, so I bought some good glue and patiently put her back together, with the exception of one piece that was lost. She’s now back on the mantle alongside her “hubby”. She has a few imperfections, just like me. Maybe that’s why she is so special to me.
    Happy Anniversary

  16. My favorite ornaments are handmade by my sister. Many years ago she collected walnuts, painted them in shiny gold paint, then tied satin ribbon around each one. I make sure they are hung on our tree each year. They are beautiful!

  17. Dear Phyllis,
    I just love reading all of your treasured memories about things handed down to you and those you have collected. My daughter started a tradition the first christmas after her daughter, Claire was born by purchasing an ornament depicting what she had dressed as for Halloween. Cinderella, a bee and some of those ornaments were easy to find but the year she dressed as a vampire proved difficult so grandmother to the rescue we made red felt lips with white fangs sewed on them!! New traditions are fun too!!

  18. My favorite Christmas ornaments are the ones from friends[some are no longer with us]. I treasure these and it brings back memories of the friends. Have a Merry Christmas. Happy Anniversary and wishing you and Neal many more years of happiness and love.

  19. In 1970 my mother started collecting the Wallace silver sleigh bells, every year I gave her a bell. After her passing I became the owner of the silver bell collection and have added to it every year. A friend and I collected the Towle snowflakes, so I have about 47 silver bells and 47 silver snowflakes. I have two small trees in our dining room with the collection of silver ornaments, bells and snowflakes. I was lucky enough to find two Waterford crystal tree toppers for these trees. These are the first trees I put up every year.

  20. I love your silver bell story! My favorite is a hand blown
    Red glass ball from my grandparents dating to the 1900’s. We Started a Swarovski star collection for our granddaughter Cadence. This year will be her 3rd year. Xoxo

  21. My favorite Christmas ornaments are the ones my sisters and I made in school. Wishing you and yours a Blessed Christmas and a Happy,Healthy 2018.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *