We have a home in Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains and retreat there for the weekend following Christmas. Upon arrival, my kids conduct a stealth mission to find a mangy evergreen in need of a trim. They lop off 2 or 3 feet, scurry home, shove it in a stand and swaddle it in cotton batting in an attempt to keep it upright. We festoon it with a string of lights, some faded construction paper chains, and the handcrafted ornaments the kids made in elementary school – think elbow macaroni glitter-glued to a paper plate. We gather round and “ooh” and “aah” over the Christmas Twig as if it were the one in Rockefeller Center.
Purchasing ornaments when traveling is a common activity, correct? When I stumble upon a Christmas shop, I tumble in and pick up at least one decoration to commemorate the trip. My favorite is a snow-capped cactus I found in Sedona. A major storm hit while I was there, knocking out the power at the Enchantment Resort. The area’s famous red rocks were transfigured by the snow and I appreciated the event; that is, after wrapping my head around the understanding that there’d be no hot coffee.
Traveling specifically for ornaments is a niche peculiar to the Christmas season. Markets abound here in the States and abroad and browsing through one is an easy way to jump-start your holiday ho-ho-ho.