Sparkling Christmas Memories

#WorldWatercolorGroup - Day 17 - Shiny Christmas Ornaments - Doodlewash

Though there are many ornaments on our tree that have more of a story behind them, when it comes to painting, I do love a chance to paint shiny things. So we have this little set of ornaments that were sitting on my table for today’s prompt, because the tree was already wincing with the weight of the ornaments we’ve already added. These traditional glass ornaments are the lovely reflective kind that make the lights on the tree feel like they’re buzzing with energy, beautifully reflecting the glow of the holidays into the room. Unfortunately, they’re also the kind that often die a little death each year as one inevitably gets shattered no matter how gentle you are in the unpacking. But ornaments are such a wonderful thing and adding them to the tree each year is such a fun experience. Little bits and bobbles, some too ridiculous to explain, yet each one has its place and many carry memories that take us back to some of life’s best moments.

This afternoon we saw the Pixar movie Coco, which is a lovely film with beautiful music and an even more beautiful message. The main song, Recuérdame (Remember Me), is a wonderful reminder of just how important it is to keep love and family in your heart. Smartly, weaving the traditions of the Mexican holiday of Día de Muertos (a “los” often added here in the States) with a heartfelt message that applies to this holiday season as well. So many ornaments that many people place on their Christmas tree are ones handed down through generations. Little festive reminders of people we love and may have lost. Times we can revisit through the memories that each ornament holds. While hanging items on a tree each year is decorative, it carries far more importance than that. Our tree is a family album, with each page sparkling brightly before us, in beautiful sentiment and ridiculous joy. Like all good stories, some elements are perfectly silly and some are so beautiful and heartwarming that you can’t help but shed a tear.

Whether your temperatures are gray and cold or far more sunny, like my friends in Australia, the warmth of the season is the thing that binds us all together. That’s the beauty of this time of year. No matter your beliefs, the simple things are the things that we can all agree on. That hope, love and family are pretty spectacular and should be celebrated whenever possible. Wonderful traditions that connect our hearts more than our minds and make us feel a connection that we always celebrate and never question. Moments that made us who we are today and will take us on the hopeful journey into an uncertain New Year. No matter what happens next, we simply know that we’re loved and somehow that makes everything inexplicably perfect. Sometimes life doesn’t let us see as clearly. But, in the glow of holiday lights, everything pulls into focus and life looks pretty amazing, reflected in the magical gleam of those sparkling Christmas memories.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Quinacridone Red, Leaf Green, Quinacridone Gold, Cobalt Blue, and Payne’s Gray.  Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book.
 #WorldWatercolorGroup - Day 17 - Shiny Christmas Ornaments - Doodlewash

Creator of Doodlewash® and founder of World Watercolor Month™ (July) and World Watercolor Group™. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you’d like to be a guest artist on, contact me!

Recommended7 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
  1. Mary Roff 3 months ago

    Beautiful ornaments and wonderful, heartfelt sentiments.

  2. Kati Brooke 3 months ago

    Those are very pretty! I love the shiny traditional ornaments too, though our tree has none of them – it was already ready to collapse from ornament weight before I reached those in the box. 😛 We might own too many ornaments.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Thanks so much, Kati! 😃💕 Lol… nothing wrong with owning too many ornaments! Yeah, we have to choose carefully each year!

  3. Sharon Nolfi 3 months ago

    One of your most beautifully written posts. I’m just taking a break from decorating our tree, and we were just reminiscing about each ornament. Our family would purchase Christmas ornaments during our family vacations, so those are loaded with special memories, some going back 25 years. Your ornaments are painted perfectly – the shine, the color, the reflections.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Thanks so much, Sharon! 😃💕 What a wonderful thing indeed! Such wonderful memories hanging on these trees!

  4. Ellie 3 months ago

    I agree with Sharon – one of your most beautiful posts. Lovely thoughts, Charlie. Thanks! And thanks for all you’ve done this year to make the wonderful Doodlewash community come alive.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Aww thanks so much, Ellie! 😃💕 So happy you enjoyed it! And thanks so much for being part of the Doodlewash community!

  5. Sandra Strait 3 months ago

    I’m so jealous of your ability to paint shiny things, but I’m glad you share both your beautiful paintings and lovely philosophy with us each day!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Thanks so much, Sandra! 😃💕 Just a lot of contrast and drawing every crazy shape you see! hehe

  6. SnehLata Maheshwari 3 months ago

    Awesome charlie.colouers.
    Wah wah kya bate hen.

  7. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 3 months ago

    The sentiments you’ve expressed here are touching, Charlie. Your tree as a family album – what a wonderful thought. For all the frenzy over gifts and decorating and eating, the most important thing is spending time with family. We’re planning to take our grands to see Coco over the school holiday break, so I’m pleased to know you liked it so much. Wishing you and your family much joy.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Thanks so much, Sharon! 😃💕 Wishing the same to you and yours! And I know you’ll love this movie… it’s such a wonderful piece of storytelling!

  8. Excellent capture of the light and shadows on the glass surface, Charlie.
    I fully agree about your statement “our tree is a family album…” – we have several vintage glass ornaments which are approx. 60 years old. My son inherited them from a very good friend of mine, who’s now 70+. She told us that the ornaments are from her childhood, and we kept treasuring them over the years.
    Ah, I just love Christmas 🙂

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      That’s so fabulous!! LOVE that! 😃💕 My mother still has the oldest ornaments, but I love visiting them each year!

  9. Susan Cuss 3 months ago

    Oooh, that shine! Those reflections! (on the ornaments as well as your thoughts!) Superb.

  10. Pamela Smith 3 months ago

    Oh my word Charlie,your story brings tears to my eyes,you are an extraordinary writer and painter…if I am ever out your way I am going to beg to meet you…

    • M. Caulder 3 months ago

      Exactly, Pamela! Wow. 💕

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      You’re so sweet! Thank you Pamela! 😃💕 And no need to beg, just send me a note! Would love to meet you!

  11. Thomas Blanchard 3 months ago

    Beautiful ornaments Charlie! The glow you achieved is just amazing. My favorite ornaments are the oldest thin glass where the shine is wearing away. 🙂

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Thanks so much, Tom! 😃💕 I love those too, but they also terrify me. A bit clumsy… hehe… they wouldn’t last long in my care. 😊

  12. Phil Cooper 3 months ago

    Beautiful! Those simple little glass baubles are the most evocative Christmas decorations for me Charlie, they have no purpose but to look pretty and shiny and I love them :-). What a wonderful Christmas post, thank you!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Thanks, Phil! 😃💕 What a wonderful way to describe it! so true! I think that’s why I love them most!

  13. Sandra Gilbert 3 months ago

    I am always amazed at how easily you produce shiny things, those ornaments are wonderful as is your story.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Thanks so much, Sandra! 😃💕 Shiny things are my favorite!

  14. Delores Azary 3 months ago

    Another wonderful post! A co-worker just saw Coco this weekend with his family. They loved it.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Thanks, Delores! 😃💕 You should definitely see that movie… it’s wonderful!

  15. smzang 3 months ago

    So fine!!

  16. Jacob 3 months ago

    They are absurdly pretty – I wish my real baubles looked like this! Who even needs a tree? 😉 Although I suppose I’d get some funny looks if I just flooded the place with glass baubles. Fab!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Thanks, Jacob! 😃💕 LOL… you should totally flood the place with baubles! That would be so awesome! Kind of like though pits with colored balls that kids play in! Only, yeah, with exploding class and sharp edges… hmmmm… maybe not then.

      • Jacob 3 months ago

        Ha, yes, a smashing Christmas ballpond! My niece has one of those – though not glass! – and I can’t resist jumping into it from time to time 😛

  17. Jennifer McLean 3 months ago

    Thanks Charlie, that was beautiful written. Do you buy a new ornament every year to mark the season? I wish we had more personal ornaments but over the years stuff has been lost or broken, we moved so many times in my childhood!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Thanks so much, Jennifer! 😃💕 Yeah, we buy a new ornament or three each season… hehe…. can’t help it! There’s always something about that year that brings back memories!

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