Ashley Brooke’s Favorite Piece of Holiday Decor Is Her Annual Christmas Card Ornament

Inspired by her father’s own tradition, the ornament has become a staple in this designer’s home.

Decorating for the holidays is always such an exciting experience. As the weather starts to get chilly, there is no feeling like digging through the boxes and crates of Christmas decorations from years past. Each decoration tells a story, whether it is a prized family heirloom, something the kids made for a seasonal school project or a fun trinket found at an antique store—but everyone has a favorite piece to pull out every year and put on display. For beauty and lifestyle blogger and designer Ashley Brooke, that prized possession is the Christmas card ornament she creates every year.

Brooke runs Ashley Brooke Designs, a blog she founded in 2009 and which has since grown into the powerhouse of original design and style content that it is today. Her Instagram page, @ashleybrooke, has amassed a serious following, and after scrolling through a few expertly curated posts, it’s easy to see why. Brooke’s style is elegant and understated, and her social media and website are great resources for anyone looking for holiday design inspiration. ESTATENVY spoke with Brooke about the piece of Christmas decor that stands out the most in her home and makes the holidays that much more special.
“Every year I frame our Christmas card photo in a tiny ornament frame and hang it on our tree,” said Brooke. “It's my favorite tradition.”
The creation of the beautiful, memorable ornaments started with Brooke’s parents. “My dad is a photographer, and my parents did this when we were growing up,” said Brooke, whose family tree is full of framed Christmas cards. Brooke admits that some of her favorites of her parent’s home are the ones from their, in her words, “pre-children glory.”
When Brooke and her husband Ryan got married, she took it into her own hands to carry on the Christmas card-turned-ornament tradition with their family. Their first Christmas together, Brooke surprised Ryan with a set of 10 tiny gold frames that would hold their Christmas card pictures of the next decade. For her and her husband, this ornament will be their fifth.
Each card is beautifully shot and housed in a delicate gold frame that Brooke originally found at Urban Outfitters. While the frames she purchased are no longer made, she looks forward to finding a new style for the next 10 years.
Brooks pointed out that, for readers a D.I.Y. holiday tradition of your own, this is a very approachable way to start a new tradition of one’s own. Brooke can’t recommend it enough, and encourages anyone looking for holiday inspiration to try it for themselves.
These ornaments are so special because they serve as a reminder that, for Brooke and her loved ones, the holidays are about much more than shiny objects. “I love keeping what's important top of mind during the holiday season,” said Brooke. “Focusing on Advent and family is really important to us, especially when the season can so easily sweep you off your feet. These little ornaments help remind us what really matters.”