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What do you do with your expired passports? If you’re anything like me, you’ve got them sitting in a box in the back of a closet somewhere, along with other fading mementoes of past trips. But one traveler we know has a more creative idea: “Since an old passport has a punched hole in the upper left hand corner, it sounds like a Christmas ornament for hanging to me!”

Old passports aren’t the only souvenirs that Chicago-based travel writer Kit Bernardi has transformed into holiday decorations. “Our Christmas tree has been travel-themed for years with funky, not-meant-to-be ‘ornaments’ that remind us of great travel memories,” Bernardi told us. Below is a snapshot of her family’s freshly decorated Fraser fir tree, which offers a glimpse of some of their favorite journeys.

christmas tree


Here’s what’s on Bernardi’s tree, in her own words: “Next to one of my retired passports there’s a springbok’s horn ‘love potion’ powder carrier with an ostrich egg shell bead strap from Namibia, a gift from the Bushman tribe we camped with; a geisha doll’s shoe from Kyoto, Japan; hanging off the branch left of the passport is a red, mini-devil’s mask from Carnival in Brazil; a dream catcher from a family snowmobile trip in Jackson Hole, WY, is next to a terra cotta ‘kitchen god’ from Santa Fe, NM; a carved bone horn for a necklace from Botswana is sort of behind it; an acacia seed pod from Zimbabwe is hooked over the branch above the passport; a paper Chinese doll from Beijing is below the passport. And that’s just a sampling.”

The Best Ways to Commemorate a Trip

How do you use your travel mementoes to decorate your home, whether over the holidays or throughout the year?

– written by Sarah Schlichter

2 Responses to “O Travel Tree, O Travel Tree…”

  1. I have a travel tree. I have had it for over 6 years. It has cruise items, and items from all the places we have cruised. I leave the tree up all year long. It has lights usually white, but sometimes I decorate for the holiday’s such as organge for fall and Halloween, red for Valentine’s Day or Christmas, etc.
    It brings joy to me just looking at it and remembering all the good times.

  2. Jamie Bartosch says:

    Love this post, and the headline!! I just blogged about our vacation-themed Christmas tree on TravelingMom.com. http://www.travelingmom.com/blogs/5562-vacation-memories-on-the-tree.html

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