(credit: CHRISTOF STACHE/AFP/Getty Images)

For many, it is a tradition to treasure special Christmas ornaments and pass them on from generation to generation. If you haven’t done it before, why not start such a tradition for your family? Special decorations create wonderful memories that will be enjoyed for years to come. Finding the right item takes some imagination and perhaps a bit of crafty adaptation. If you’d truly like to make this “the most magical time of the year” by transforming your home into a Christmas wonderland, here are a few places to go treasure hunting.

Whatnots and Dodads
1330 Lincoln Ave.
San Jose, CA 95125
(408) 295-3500

Lovers of the odd finds will simply go breathless when they walk into this popular San Jose shop. Whatnots and Dodads specializes in the sort of items that are tough to categorize. From vintage cameras to vintage furniture from the old days, delicate china, collectible toys, antique postcards and other oddities and curiosities, you’ll find it all here. You may find an antique ornament or two, and certainly there’ll be items you can adapt for that purpose.

Mr. Goodie’s
1541 Pacific Ave., Suite A
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
(831) 427-9997

Mr. Goodie’s is a Santa Cruz institution that locals describe as having “been here forever.” Goodie’s is known for its huge collection of costume jewelry and other decorative items. You can find everything from Americana to English Victoriana and all sorts of curiosities in between. From toys to tassels and fancy flags to picturesque plate ware, there’s plenty here from which to fashion ornaments. In Santa Cruz, the locals say “Goody for Goodie’s” and if small, distinctive antique shops are your particular cup of tea, you’ll be saying it too.

Related: Top Bay Area Home Decoration Bargain Stores

1173 Lincoln Ave.
San Jose, CA 95125
(408) 289-9004

This gift shop focusses on “sugar and spice and everything nice” with frills and lace to the max. It is also known for glamourous Christmas decorations. You’ll find plenty of angels, candles, ribbons, bows and sparkles galore. If you think of yourself as a “girly girl” or know someone who is, this is just the sort of shopping experience that will tickle you pink.

Grace on the Avenue
1100 Lincoln Ave., Suite 150
San Jose, CA 95125
(408) 293-2005

People around the South Bay call this shop a gem. It is said that the owner here has a fine eye for the exceptional piece. Customers are pleased with the variety of prices—there is something to be found here for both budget shoppers and big spenders. The layout and selection are constantly changing. There are always seasonal items included for the holidays.

Related: North Bay’s Best Spots For Holiday Decorations

Emily Joubert Home & Garden
3036 Woodside Road
Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3520

Along with the Christmas tree and the poinsettia plants, why not consider a variety of floral arrangements to add to your home’s Christmas ambience? At this florist and home decor shop, you’ll find plenty of arrangements to inspire your eye. Emily Joubert is one of the best sources in the South Bay for home decor.

Charles Kruger is well known in the Bay area as “The Storming Bohemian” ever since he entered the Bay Area cultural scene in the summer of 2009, attending 90 cultural events in 90 days and blogging about it. This project was successful enough to warrant a mention in The New York Times. His coverage of Bay area theatre can be found at Examiner.com.