I haven’t decorated a Christmas tree in years, and when I finally went back to get my Christmas decoration bin at the house in South Carolina (you know, before the bank sold it because my husband just stopped making payments without telling me), I figured I’d just hold onto them until I finally got a Christmas tree. You can imagine my excitement – I loved decorating the Christmas tree, like … LOVED – when my sister brought up her fake one. I bounced down to the basement where my big plastic tote was and rooted around to find … well, nothing. I found some small, cracked Christmas balls and some unused present boxes, still wrapped into plastic, but that was it. He’d taken the Christmas ornaments that I’d purchased, some of them before we got married, and left me with broken ones.

I sat in the basement for a second, dumbfounded, until I found the one ornament that was left – Dumbo wearing a Santa hat – and just started crying.

Christmas tree ornament - Dumbo, an elephant with very large ears, is wearing a red Santa hat with holly berry on it, is holding a red and white candy cane with his trunk, and is holding a green present with gold ribbon with his front feet. He looks very happy.

I’ve been divorced for two years now, and it seems like, somehow, he still manages to reduce me into a sobbing mess. It’s infuriating.

Anyway, my sister was lovely and insisted that I could always make new Christmas memories with new ornaments, building my collection again. And so, dammit, I did.

Welcome, my new Christmas ornaments:

A bright orange fruit (an orange, coincidentally) with a green leaf covered in green glitter.

One of my favorite things that I’ll have to find again is an orange wreath, but this little orange ornament will have to do for the time being. I think I may find some orange oil and dab a few drops on this, just for that scent.

A red fox wearing a green sweater happily rubs its chin against a snowman. This image is on a silver ball that has sparkly snowflakes sporadically in the background.

This is the first of the set that I got from West Elm (it was on sale!). I am a sucker for animals dressed like people (I got some of their plates that feature animals dressed in costumes and I love them), and this set was really up my alley.

A brown bear wearing a plaid coat and a blue floppy hat lined with fleece and holding a fishing rod. This image is on a silver ball that has sparkly snowflakes sporadically in the background.

But this is the little dude that really made me want the West Elm set: it reminded me so much of Letterkenny that it seemed inappropriate that I didn’t have it in my possession.

A brown moose wearing green snow goggles and a white ski suit with orange accents rides on a pair of skis. This image is on a silver ball that has sparkly snowflakes sporadically in the background.

I think the moose is probably my second favorite, though? I honestly don’t know. They all kind of rotate as my favorite, depending on which one I’m looking at at the time.

A raccoon wearing green ear muffs and wearing a red and white patterned scarf sits on a brown sled. This image is on a silver ball that has sparkly snowflakes sporadically in the background.

And the final of the West Elm set! I think this little dude looks happier than all the others, but I could be projecting.

A black and red plush reindeer with brown antlers and black beads for eyes wears a green scarf.

This reindeer is a bit more traditional than the other ones, and now that I’m looking at it, I can’t remember if this is one of mine or if it’s one of my sister’s? Time will tell.

a brown, very fuzzy llama wears yellow tassels and just looks frazzled

Last but definitely not least, the most frazzled looking llama I have ever seen. I just felt such a kinship with this little guy that I had to have him. And so he’s mine forever.

It’s probably for the best that all of those ornaments I had before are gone; a lot of shitty memories are locked with them, and with these, I have nothing but warm feelings with these. I don’t ever plan on having a huge collection of Christmas ornaments because they are a bitch to store, but I do want all of them to have meaning to me. And while it may not look like there’s a theme or an underlying connection that all of these have, there is.

This is my Start Over collection: Merry Christmas to Me.

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