One of my favorite family Christmas traditions is related to ornaments. Each year since my husband was born, his mom gave him a new ornament (at least one – sometimes more!) for the Christmas tree. We’ve continued the tradition with our kids, so each year they each get a new ornament that we’ve selected based on their current interests or personalities. As we decorate the tree, we all have so much fun looking at each ornament and remembering its story. So today I’m sharing a few of my favorites.
These are (very clearly) not any of our purchased ornaments, but I also love the history of so many homemade ornaments on our tree. There’s Jenny holding an ornament she made in kindergarten, back when she was tiny. And Reagan popping out of an ornament she made last year – she’s not overly fond of it because she said she was having a sweaty day, but it’s still fun for us to look at. The ones on the right were made by Lee when he was a little kid. We have several of the kind on the bottom right that we kindly call “monster faces” because they’re all so pretty. Lee loves them. And they’re all so incredibly heavy, and half are broken. But we hang them every year.
Several of our pop culture interests are represented on the tree. Star Wars is featured heavily. That nice shiny and glittery Darth Vader is required to be the highest ornament placed on the tree every year. He broke one year when the cats knocked over the tree and had to be replaced because he’s essential to our tree. We have a few Lion King and other Disney ornaments that Lee’s mom gave me during our early years together before we were married when she added me to the ornament tradition. Angel and Spike from Buffy. Buffy’s somewhere too, but I couldn’t find her when I was taking pictures. Harry Potter is also quite popular on our tree.
On the left you can see a few more of our favorites, Boots from Dora given to Reagan when she was 2, a backwards Barbie given to one of the girls, Gandalf, and Kim Possible in the front. Poor Kimmy has had a rough ornament life. Her leg has broken off several times and its most recent repair with gorilla glue has left her looking a little deformed, or more like she has a cast on her leg that has shifted a bit to the right. Even though it’s blurry I loved this picture of Jenny laughing about it when she pulled her out of the box.
I’ve also been known to get a few personalized ornaments over the years! Lee and I don’t get new ornaments each year for ourselves, but the kids each get one, and I get a family one, often personalized. The one on the left was from last year, the first family ornament including Brinkley! The Little Princess Jenny was from her first or second Christmas – she wanted me to be sure to point that out because she thinks she’s way too old for that. I got the years each gymnast ornaments one of the years they were into gymnastics. And ballet shoes and tap shoes (in the background) during some of their dancing years. And lots of different family ornaments – I really like the one of us on the state of North Carolina.
These two are from our first Christmas tree the year we got married. We have a couple “first year together” ornaments from that year too (even though it wasn’t really our first year together). The Elf Nog on the left was a bottle of egg nog that said it could be turned into an ornament and we didn’t have a lot of ornaments at that time, so we thought it would be fun. And we’ve kept it. Reagan was looking at it this year and looked at the expiration date on the top and said “This expired December 24, 1999!” and then started to open the lid. Even though we’re 99.9% certain we cleaned that thing out before turning it into an ornament, we both yelled, “No, don’t do that!” because if it smells like anything in there, it’s not something good. The ornament on the right was from a set of 12 traditional glass ornaments Lee’s mom gave us that first married Christmas – we’re down to two. They’re a little too breakable.
These are this year’s ornament selections for the kids. I went with an animal theme this year. An owl for Reagan because she loves them. A pink flamingo for Jenny because she thinks they’re fun and often draws them, and a dog above the pink flamingo for Brinky because they’re still his favorite animal. I haven’t ordered our family ornament yet, so it will be added later, but I’m thinking about the one I mentioned in my etsy post last week.
Finally (at the end of what feels like one of my longest posts ever) our decorated tree – and Reagan:
If you survived the reading of this long post, tell me about your favorite Christmas tradition.
P.S. If you’re wondering, all the personalized ornaments shown above were purchased from Personal Creations, one of my favorites I forgot on my Big Giant List of Holiday Shopping Ideas, but they are on ebates with 8% cash back right now!
P.P.S. If you need some holiday cleaning help, don’t forget to enter my Stanley Steemer giveaway!