“The Island of Misfit Ornaments”

I mentioned in an earlier post about decorating the Christmas tree that “the island of misfit ornaments” was the designation my oldest son gave to some of our ornaments that were not quite picture perfect. Some of them got broken or misshapen over the years and we’ve just never gotten around to fixing them — I think when we get them out I’ll fix them some time during the season, and then when that doesn’t happen I think I’ll get to them before next year, but somehow I never throw them away. Others of them are just a little offbeat. But as we unpack the ornaments every year and ooh and ah over the pretty ones and remember the stories and significance behind several of them, we have a lot of fun with the “misfits” as well. I thought I’d show you some of them. I’ll forewarn you, though, that with teen/young adult boys, our sense of humor is a little warped.

This one used to be a little Nativity ornament.

Broken Nativity ornament

We don’t hang this one any more. One year the roof broke off, and it looks like we lost Mary, or at least her head, along the way. My kids found this at the bottom of the box and were asking about it (I guess it has been so long since it was whole that they didn’t even remember it). As I was telling them what it used to be, Jeremy, my oldest, said it looked more like Abraham getting ready to sacrifice Isaac…

I mentioned in that earlier post that there was one angel whose head got separated from its body somehow, and the boys have done strange things with it every year since. One year they just hung the head as an ornament and placed another ornament that was a little hat on top of it. This is where it ended up this year:

Angel head

I told them they reminded me of Sid on Toy Story.

These were little wax candle ornaments that we got our first Christmas together.

Melted ornaments

The brown-haired boy represented Jim, and the blond girl represented me. But one year they got a little melted up in the attic. I couldn’t even get them out of the plastic bags because they were stuck. I don’t know why I haven’t thrown them away. I put all my Christmas candles in a box in a storage closest now so they don’t melt any more up in the attic, and I keep these in with them.

I think one of the boys got this little misshapen bear at a school or Sunday School exchange. I don’t know what happened to him.

Misshapen bear

But they seem to have special affection for him.

Someone gave us this one year. Jason called her the octopus angel.

"Octopus angel"

She looks a little depressed to me.

This was a little crystal angel whose lower end keeps getting broken off in pieces even though it is kept in its own little box.

Broken crystal angel

This is what Jeremy did with it this year.

Broken crystal angel

For those of you familiar with the BJU Unusual films, their logo was the angel flying with the video camera — this reminds me of that.

This is something Jesse made when he was little.
Early childhood decoration

We have several kid-made ornaments like that that have their place of honor.

And there is nothing wrong with this one…I’ve just always thought it was a little strange.

Hershey's kiss ornament

Doesn’t every tree need a Hershey’s Kiss ornament?

Finally, I also told in that post about how we have a stray hook on the ceiling that the previous owners had, I think, a hanging lamp on. We’ve just never taken it out, and one year one of the boys put one of our snowflake ornaments on it. I fussed about it the first year, and then it became kind of a game every year to get it up there before I could say anything. I’ve accepted it now as one of our unique traditions.

Snowflake above the tree

You can also see in that picture that they put a little crown ornament I got on clearance last year on our angel tree topper.

I’ve always preferred that our tree be a meaningful family-oriented tree rather than a perfect decorator tree, but I’ll have to admit there have been some years I wished some of these remained in the box, or after everyone was done decorating I moved them to a less conspicuous place on the tree. But now I’ve pretty much embraced them as part of the fun of our particular tree decorations.

Do you have any offbeat or “misfit” ornaments?

17 thoughts on ““The Island of Misfit Ornaments”

  1. Fabulous!! I needed to laugh & you certainly provided me with some chuckles and smiles this morning, thank you.

    I will now have the song “The Island of Misfit Toys” in my head all day, thankyouverymuch.

    Your boys sound wonderfully fun.


  2. I LOVE your misfits simply because of the stories you told about each one. It makes them so special.

    Many years ago, I used to have a Christmas party where the guests would bring a Christmas ornament (bought or homemade) and I would give them a homemade one in exchange. Anyway, one year a (guy) friend brought red and green toliet bowl freshners (the kind that hook on to the toliet). I put his name on them and put them on the tree. Sure he forgot to get a real ornament, but the ones he brought made more of an impact (every yeay).

  3. Oh yes, I have a white plastic spoon that’s been turned into an angel with the help of pipe cleaner wings. My granddaughter made it for me, and I love it because I love her.

    Each year, I get the glue out and repair ornaments that can be repaired.

  4. What a funny post~ it made me smile today! I too have all sons- three – and can totally relate ! We have misfit ornaments also- what a fun title:) I finally ,after many years ,have a ‘pretty’ tree and I have to say , I miss the family ornament one- In fact- I think I will put it up too! It just isn’t Christmas without it somehow.
    Merry Christmas!

  5. Oh, I laughed and laughed over this! LOL I can see my boys doing the same things yours have done – especially doing something before Mom has a chance to say anything about it. Have you considered getting a Charlie Brown tree or something like it and making it your Misfit Ornament Tree? I think I’ll keep that in mind for all our old ornaments next year.

  6. That was fun, Barbara! When you wrote about the ‘head only’ ornament the other day, Sid is who came to mind. Our tree is the same way. It’s the memories that make it special.
    God bless,
    Brenda 🙂

  7. I love YOUR misfits on YOUR tree – along with YOUR stories! But I tend to throw MY misfits away… or leave them in the box. BUT… that’s what the kids GET for NOT helping me put up the tree anymore!!! We used to have a set of Ninja Turtle ornaments that someone made for Mathew when he was small…. I HATED those ornaments! But the kids put them on the tree every year and I left them right where they put them. Then I had a bunch of crocheted ornaments that I THINK must have belonged to my mother — I’m not sure… I know I didn’t buy them! But Krysti LOVED those ornaments! And she would always put those up. They are in the box this year. I don’t keep ornaments that break. If they break I toss them!

    I love your boys sense of humor though! And Jeremy is right about that nativity! It DOES look like Abraham and Isaac!

  8. Funny! I’m going to try to remember this post next year, and get some pics of our misfit ornaments. (Since I have small kids, I have control — and those ornaments stay in the box!)

  9. These really made me laugh, Barbara! We’re still waiting for one college son to come home before we get/decorate the tree. If snowy weather around the country cooperates, he should be home tonight, then we can get our own “misfit” ornaments out tomorrow. But your post made me laugh and laugh. Reminds me of my own family’s antics. Thanks for sharing 🙂

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  14. How fun! We have several misfits too — I think we have that same nativity (although mine is still okay; I got it in childhood) — also we have a Hershey Kiss 🙂 I love the stories behind yours and the meanings each ornament holds.

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