Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Recordable Ornaments

This is something that I just had to share! During my early college years I worked at a Hallmark store. Like most people, I spent a ton of money there that I probably wouldn't have if I didn’t see all of the product as it came in! One was a recordable Christmas ornament. It was a little mouse sitting on top of a cassette player listening to music. I liked it so much that I bought one for my parent’s tree too. We had no idea what we were going to record on it but it was cute and a unique idea at the time. The first year we just played around with the one my parents had on their tree. We made my step-dad talk into it to see how it worked. He was just being silly by saying "Ho-Ho-Ho Merry Christmas". What we didn't know then is that recording would become very dear to our family. Not many years later my step-dad lost his life to cancer. We discovered joy that next Christmas as we pulled out that recordable ornament to discover that we had never erased his message. I then copied it onto my ornament so we would have matching memories on both of our trees.

Next it was my dad who I lost to cancer when he was only 48 years old! I didn't think of the recordable ornament during the short time we had with him after diagnosis. But - I did think of it in time to create a different kind of recording. My dad had recorded the answering machine message for the phone at his house. As soon as I thought of the ornament option I sent a couple to my step-mom asking her to transfer the message to the ornaments (one for her and one for me). I have now made copies of that ornament for my father’s parents who hopefully find joy in still having my dad around for the holidays.

Then I was on a mission! I didn't want to wait for people to leave my life before I got these recordings and it is such a joy to play the messages. So I had my brother who is in the Marines record an ornament message, along with my mom, both of my in-laws, my husband, myself, even the dog! I also found an old recording of my maternal grandfather (who died of cancer many years ago) wishing us a Merry Christmas in 1984. I transferred a portion of that to an ornament and made copies for other family members. My kids LOVE playing the messages and my daughter is ready to create her own this year!

A little advice - always make a back-up tape/cd of the messages just in case something happens to your ornament. I've had mostly luck but some do not hold the message if the battery runs out. Also, if you have easy access to record over the message you should find a way to prevent that. We used cutters to cut the button off ours. It leaves it in play mode and will not let anyone move the button to record without a tool. Many times I have heard of people (all ages) who have accidentally recorded over an important message.

My brother, the Marine

1 comment:

  1. My mother still has the mouse one you gave us. :) We treasure it greatly.