Chattanooga Area Holiday Ornaments Celebrate Local Icons and Fundraiser

Photo courtesy of Meagan Jolley / Rock City has ornaments resembling her iconic See Rock City birdhouses available in the gift shop and online.

Christmas decorations, especially Christmas tree decorations, can take on special meaning for a variety of reasons. A gift from a loved one, a family heirloom, or a particular favorite from your childhood can trigger warm memories and special feelings during the holidays.

They can also be a source of income for community organizations.

A quick online search for Chattanooga vacation ornaments reveals examples from Rock City, the Tennessee Aquarium, the Chattanooga Choo Choo, and the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum.

These groups have been selling ornaments for several years.

(READ MORE: Songbirds reopens in Chattanooga with new song, mission)

“See the birdhouse ornaments in Rock City [we have several varieties] are definitely an iconic takeaway with visitors from all over the world [much like the original red and black birdhouses]Rock City public relations manager Meagan Jolley said in an email. “We also have a pink version sold during this time of year that benefits the CHI Memorial Foundation.”

Last year, the Tivoli Foundation sold hand-blown ornaments with the “Tivoli blade”, the part of the marquee bearing the name of the place, as a means of generating income during the pandemic.

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Photo courtesy of the Tivoli Foundation / The Tivoli Foundation began selling hand-blown glass ornaments replicating the Tivoli blade last year during the pandemic.

And, this year, the Songbirds Museum Guitar & Pop Culture Museum created the “Rockin ‘Around the Christmas Tree” charity campaign. For $ 100, participants can purchase and sign a small wooden guitar ornament, and the proceeds will go to the Guitars for Kids program.

Each ornament will be displayed throughout this holiday season and up on a tree in the museum lobby, and the $ 100 will go towards a guitar and 10 lessons for a child hoping to learn to play the guitar. In 2021, more than 55 schools, 18 partner programs and 3,500 students participated in the program, with more than 800 guitars distributed statewide.

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“Our Guitars for Kids program is the backbone of everything we do,” said CEO Reed Caldwell. “And we are delighted to announce that all future profits of the Songbirds Museum – whether generated through concerts, event rentals, or museum admissions – [will benefit] this amazing program. Due to the pandemic, getting people back into Songbirds has been a bit of a challenge. That’s why this year, your donations are more important than ever. “

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Photo courtesy of John Dooley / Supporters of the Songbirds Foundation’s Guitars for Kids program can purchase and sign guitar-shaped Christmas tree ornaments for $ 100. The proceeds will be used to provide a guitar and 10 lessons for a school-aged student who hopes to learn to play the guitar. The ornaments will be displayed on a tree in the museum lobby every year in the future.

Guitars for Kids participants from across the state learn guitar basics through a wide range of playing styles and techniques. They are also able to work with certified music therapists in a group setting, building friendships and making musical connections with other players.

This program includes children from all walks of life and may be particularly beneficial for children who have social interaction issues, disabilities, neurodivergency or other special needs. The experience extends outside of the classroom, where students attend free performances and perform, collaborate and record with national artists.

(READ MORE: The Songbirds Foundation teaches kids in Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama with plans to grow up)

Ornaments can be purchased online or at the museum at 35 Station Street, upstairs inside historic Chattanooga Choo Choo.

Tivoli Foundation executive director Nick Wilkinson said the ornaments sale helped bring needed funds to the organization, but his staff were also impressed with the beauty of the ornaments. They are handcrafted by Joy To The World Collectibles in Knoxville and can be purchased for $ 49.99 through the foundation’s online gift shop at

“They are really beautiful.”

Contact Barry Courter at [email protected] or 423-757-6354.

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Photo courtesy of Steve Freer / The Tennessee Valley Railroad has a variety of ornaments.

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