We love the holidays. In our home it’s time for special foods – both old and new – but all from our families.
On Christmas Eve we’ll enjoy the tradition of my Mom’s Mushroom Meatballs and Black Walnut Cake from James’ sister Brenda. Our Christmas ham will be baked to James’ brother John’s recipe, and in the evening we’ll graze on my sister Ellen’s Mozzarella Cheese Bread and Party Mix from my sister Nancy, then try a new taste sensation of Curried Crab Rangoon from my sister Susan.
So while you’re waiting for Santa to arrive, I’ll leave you with a few of my favorite things – our Christmas ornaments collected over time … and place. Just click on any image for a slide show and behind-the-scenes details. Sweet dreams.
Global Monkey. What could be more appropriate for a couple of nomads than a monkey embracing a globe.
Bubble Ball. For our 1st Christmas in Dallas, James gave me this stunning crystal ball. It’s the definition of simple elegance.
Turtle Doves. My sister Susan and I are big fans of the “Home Alone” movies, so a pair of turtle doves is a must.
Indian Tiger. While on Tiger Safari in India our guide lost his way as the sun set. I swore if we got out alive I would commemorate the occasion. Voila!
Disco Ball. Years ago my sister Susan surprised me with this. It’s always the first ornament on the tree, where it twirls and shimmers endlessly. Thanks Sue!
Faberge Egg. This little jewell of an egg never fails to make me smile. Thanks Cheryl and Wolford!
Egyptian Royalty. With my love of Africa, this Egyptian beauty was the perfect addition to my collection. Thanks El!
The Manger. This is the ornament that launched my Christmas collection. Given to me by my childhood Sunday School teacher, I’ve always treasured it.
Topo Gigio. I stumbled across this tiny Christmas mouse in a St. Augustine antique shop and knew it was coming home with me.
The Sisters. I cherish this photo of the first Christmas for all 4 Sisters together. And Santa brought me a guitar!
Howling at Luggage. Where else can you have a Mexican coyote milagro howling at the newest addition to my suitcase collection from my sister. Thanks Nancy!
Puppy Wagon. The old-timey innocence of this ornament is what I love. It makes me think of my sister Sue who was great at getting our dog Katie to push or pull her around in any vehicle!
Texas Armadillo. If you live in the South you know that we love our armadillos.
Good Glinda. She’s always a reminder that “There’s no place like home”.
Suitcase Ready. Our friends know us so well. Thanks Susan and Harper!
Joan Rabbit. My great friend Joan Crawford made this ornament for me when we all lived in Sudan. The hand stitching is glorious!
Mom’s Snowflake. My Mother was a wizard with a crochet hook. She created sets of these lacy snowflakes for all the Sisters.
Spanish Dancer. We sent this postcard to James’ Mom while traveling in Spain. The woman’s skirt is actual Spanish lace.
London Teapot. While living in London I fell in love with the custom of afternoon tea.
White Rabbit. I spied this tiny bunny at a flea market and snapped it up because it reminded me of my Granny and all the wonderful little porcelain animals she kept on glass shelves in her windows.
Like many of you, Christmas traditions are a part of our life. However, our nomadic lifestyle sometimes requires adjustments, and frequently, fun new additions.
For instance, last year we spent Christmas in Athens in a small studio apartment. A big decorated tree wasn’t possible, so we improvised and it turned out great.
This year, because it’s our first Christmas on the Georgia coast, it only seemed natural to add the new tradition of the “recover from lunch” beach walk.
And discovering this whimsical tree – the Totem of the Beach Clan – made our walk even better. It actually was quite well done, but at the same time showed that slightly wacky attitude that always exists at the beach.
Locals adorn the tree with ornaments, beads and garlands, while beachcomber’s add their treasures as well. It’s a motley collection, but oh so cool!
So on this special day, we hope that your holiday traditions, whatever they might be, bring peace and joy to you and your loved ones.
We're Terri and James Vance - high school sweethearts who went on to international careers and became world nomads. Today, 65 countries later, we're still traveling ... and still in love. Check out Our Story for more of the backstory at gallivance.net.
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