Christmas tree ornaments are so magical, aren’t they? If your tree is the little black dress of holiday decor, then the Christmas tree ornaments are certainly the jewelry that makes it sparkle and shine!

As a home decor fanatic, I’m always in awe of all of the glamorous trees I see posted on social media.

Feathers and bows and ornaments of all sizes are all used in excess to create the most beautiful pictures. And the THEMES!

From candy cane lane to whimsical elves, it’s fascinating how far fans will go to take their trees and ornaments over the top.

Image from

But here’s the thing. As much as I admire and stare and revel at all of those fancy trees, I don’t think any of them as are beautiful as the family tree we put up every year.

It may not have all the shiny bells and glitz of others, but I think you all know me well enough by now to know that shiny, glitz and Jill Bauer don’t usually exist in the same sentence.

What I believe makes our family tree so beautiful are the Christmas tree ornaments that tell our family story.

Jill’s Christmas Tree Ornament Collection

My mom started collecting Christmas ornaments for me when I was just a newborn baby. This hand-painted angel is my first-ever Christmas tree ornament.

hand painted angel christmas ornament

She is such a treasure. It’s always a thrill when I unwrap her and say hello after another year of being packed away.

Here Comes Santa Claus!

Ho Ho Ho! I love this old-fashioned Santa Claus. His flocked red suit is starting to show a little wear, but this ornament has been part of my collection since I was a toddler.

vintage santa ornament

I often plucked him off the tree and used him as the Santa that visited my Barbie dolls! I think he spent more time bringing presents to Barbie and the gang than he did decorating our tree!

Can you believe my Mom made this next ornament?

hand made santa ornament

Each little pearl is a seed bead that was pinned into place by my Mom. This beloved ornament is often the one that is chosen as the first ornament on the tree.

In fact, the kids have been known to flip a coin to see who gets to put it on the tree first. My Mom loves that.

Here’s another Santa that I’ve had in my collection since my childhood.

I love that he is hand-painted and a bit oversized. I always loved the face on this Santa. That’s so important, don’t you think?

Ornaments From Around The World

When I was around 10, my parents and I took a trip to San Francisco. The first thrill of that trip was finding out that the Bee Gees were staying in our hotel!

The second thrill was having a pocketful of my own money to spend on ANYTHING I wanted to buy. And what did I choose? A Christmas bear of course!

Santa bear ornament

I’ve had this sweet bear in my ornament collection since 1978. He brings back wonderful memories every time I see him.

And this idea of buying Christmas ornaments as souvenirs from my travels continues to this day.

This sweet bear was purchased in Germany during a visit in 1997. And when Kylie traveled to Europe with her Girl Scout troop, guess what she brought home as souvenirs?

I love that grew up seeing how special my ornaments are to me and wanted to have that for her own collection.

The Most Meaningful Ornaments

Perhaps the real treasures on our tree are not the fanciest or with the best story, but rather in memory of special people who are no longer here. It started with this ornament, in memory of my Dad.

My Dad absolutely LOVED thoroughbred horse racing. I couldn’t believe it when I discovered that the Hallmark theme for their horse series in 2010, the year my dad died, was a racehorse.

It couldn’t have been more perfect. And I won’t lie…a little heartbreaking too. But, if I’m going to have an ornament to remember my Dad, believe me, there is absolutely no other option than a racehorse ornament.

And of course, we have to have ornaments in memory of our sweet doggies. One for Duke. And another for our sweet Wilbert, who we lost last year.

I also have a soft spot in my heart for this cardinal ornament.

This ornament is from the Joan Rivers Collection. Joan and I shared a love for cardinals, and as many of you know, she was a wonderful mentor to me during our years of working together at QVC.

It was an honor to know her and my tree wouldn’t be complete without this little tribute to her.

My Parade Of Christmas Trees

I’m not sure which came first, the ornaments or the trees. But, when you have a lot of trees, you need a lot of ornaments. And when you have a lot of ornaments, you need a lot of trees. Does this remind anyone else of that children’s book, “If You Give A Mouse A Cookie?”

Here are a few of the Christmas trees we’ve had around our home over the past few years. I love featuring a tree in our sunroom. And while I probably could have simply left this tree as is…..

Here’s what the tree looked like after I transformed it!

I also like to have a tree in our dining room. Last year I went with shades of reds and golds.

And I used to put up this tree in our foyer. We have an open 2-story foyer, so I used to put up a 9-foot tree.

But, we recently moved furniture around, so I’m not putting up a tree here this year (Although after seeing the pictures, I may be reconsidering!).

But still, while I love to create beautiful decorative Christmas trees, our classic family tree with our beloved ornaments is still my favorite.

One Last Christmas Tree Ornament To Share

It’s really hard for me to choose a favorite ornament. They’re all treasures. Truly, some of my most loved possessions.

But if I had to pick just one…

After all, isn’t it all about family?

From my Christmas tree to yours,


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