Christmas Traditions: Ornaments #iPPP

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!

26 thoughts on “Christmas Traditions: Ornaments #iPPP

  1. Those are the best christmas trees. The ones full of nostalgia no matter how tacky they are. This year our ornament was the moose mug from Christmas Vacation. It’s epic.

  2. We have a very similar tree with homemade and new ornaments added each year. It’s so much fun to open the boxes each year and oh and ah over the ornaments as we put them on the tree. We got a pack of wooden ornaments this year that the kids could color and decorate… they are all over the tree now too! :)
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  3. These are awesome! I am a December birthday- so have always gotten some at that time too. My mother in law gave us the family stocking one years ago- but that was before the twins. I feel bad putting it up since they aren’t on it!

    • We actually think it’s fun to see our older family ornaments with one kid, then two, and now three…shows what our family was like over the years :)

  4. Chris and I were given the same glass ornaments as one of our wedding presents back in the day. I only hang those closer to the top and so far so good!
    I also love that you have Buffy The Vampire Slayer ornaments on your tree!! You have no idea how much that made me just laugh. I loved that show. I’m pretty sure the only reason that I watch Bones is because I loved Angel so much. 😉
    Kristen recently posted..Christmas TraditionMy Profile

    • I think we lost most of our glass ornament set during a couple of the cat incidents where the tree fell completely over – being at the top didn’t protect them then :) We are a Buffy-loving family. It was a little embarrassing in third grade when Jenny wrote 20 pages in her school journal detailing everything she could think of about Buffy though :)

  5. I’m totally with you. Our tree has the best ornaments and they all have meaning. I collect angel ornaments, so there are tons of those. Lots from my childhood and Kelseys, plus a few ornaments for Luke now! Plus, we have several for the two of us and ones we have bought on our trips (we buy an ornament every time we go on vacay so we can remember it.) Those are the best kind of trees!
    Amanda Austin recently posted..TwoMy Profile

  6. This is so cute! I love how happy Jenny looks. I used to LOVE decorating the tree at Christmas. Zero and I don’t have any Christmas traditions, but the other night, I had fun telling him all about how awesome Christmas was for me when I was a kid. My parents were always so into it, and they made it so fun for us. We always listened to a lot of Christmas music, and my mom had a million decorations she’d put up. In Pulaski, I especially loved when my dad would put lights on the blue spruce in our front yard. It was really a magical time. It’s so sweet that you and Lee make it such a fun time for your kids, too. I’m sure they’ll cherish these memories just like I do mine.
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    • Your mom was just a little into Christmas :) Lee was talking about the lights on the blue spruce when we were decorating the yard this weekend. It’s looking pretty tacky, but we like it anyway.

  7. Yay. Love your tree and all your ornaments. I just finished our tree a few minutes ago. I was thinking how it really does represent our life together. I was tired and thinking — why do we have all these ornaments? Then I realized how long we have been together. Our tree is so much work to get up but it is such a symbolic representation of the life we’ve built.
    Jamie@SouthMainMuse recently posted..A little something for me.My Profile

    • Yeah, I probably wouldn’t have loved it during the teen years, but I think it’s awesome now. (Bonus – the fun owl ornament was only like $4 at World Market!)

  8. Pingback: 2012 In Pictures | Your Girls & Boys

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