My parents started a tradition when I was born that we’ve continued for our own children. It’s an ornament tradition and I’m SO glad they had the foresight to start it. The concept is simple one: I got an ornament each year. Once I was old enough, I got to pick out my own ornaments. I have a dated Baby’s First Christmas that started it all. Some of the ornaments are simple or handmade. Some are just something they thought was cute. Some are things that I was particularly “into” at the time (like my Care Bear ornament from 1986); some are from special places (like my shamrock from a band trip to Ireland in 2000); and some have special meaning for that year (like the Nebraska ornament from my first year of college). For any ornament without the year on it already, my mom wrote the year on the bottom.
The tradition continued up until I got married. Then, my parents gave me all my ornaments. As it turns out, my husband’s family did virtually the same thing. We continued the tradition and each year (even before kids) we got an ornament for us. Now, we’ve started our little guys’ ornament collections as well.
Our Christmas tree isn’t the picture-perfect shot out of a magazine. It’s not all beautiful matchy-matchy in a Martha sort of approved way. But, our tree tells our story. Each year, I love getting out all these special ornaments, bringing back so many memories of years past.
It’s such a simple tradition to carry out and one that is so sentimental. I can’t wait to see our tree become filled with all the boys’ special ornaments as the years go on.
What special holiday traditions does your family have?