Sunday, November 20, 2011

Christmas Ornaments: 1 Each Year For A Full And Happy Tree

We have a Christmas tradition in my family that I love.

Each year my parents give each of us kids a new Christmas ornament.

It starts the year we're born and, well, they're still doing it.

My mom is always really good about tagging each ornament with the owner's name and the year it was given.

Her big secret is...

...using sticky labels.  She just buys labels (similar to these), writes on them, cuts them to the size she wants, and then folds them around the ornament string.  Simple and effective.  I don't think I've had a single one fall off yet.  Which means they've been holding strong for at least 25 years now.

Of course, writing on the back with a permanent marker is an easy solution too.

But a permanent marker wouldn't exactly work on something like this little feathery friend.

Part of the reason I've always loved this tradition is because ornaments are so easy to make or buy.
And there are ornaments for everything under the sun.

But the other great reason I love this tradition is because, with only one or two ornaments each year, by the time you grow up and move out, you have enough to fill your own Christmas tree!

Although we're celebrating our 4th wedding anniversary next month, this is the first year since we've been married that Bryan and I have had a full-size Christmas tree.  And it's so fun to already be able to fill it with ornaments!

But what I love most is that this tree is filled with 25 years of Christmas memories.

And those are memories I'll cherish for years and years to come.

Olivia's favorite part, on the other hand, is pushing the little bear in the swing.

Over and over and over again.

And ringing all the bells and touching everything she can get her hands on.

Luckily she's a good girl and she's really gentle with the ornaments.
That, and, ya know, all the breakable ones are at the top where she can't reach them.

Do you have Christmas ornament traditions?


Kathy Haynie said...

Oh, this makes me cry. All those years I bought/made and marked and saved those ornaments, I didn't quite think ahead to the beautiful grandchildren someday treasuring them. So sweet! Hooray for having a full-sized Christmas tree this year!

Polly @ Pieces by Polly said...

Love your tree. I've always been partial to the mis-matched look of ornaments collected over the years versus the trees decorated with a particular theme. And ours all have those tags too, and I've put the same kinds of tags on our kids' ornaments. And I think my favorite pic is that one of Olivia reaching up to touch the ornament. I'm headed to bed now and will talk to Eric about putting up the tree. :)

Kendra said...

I love that tradition. I think my mom did that for the first 5 years of my life and then stopped. I should get on her for that :)

The Jessee Journal said...

I have a lot of ornaments from my childhood as well, and now that I'm married my hubby and I pick an ornament to remember the year by -- something that represents a milestone or something big in our family. My sister has taken on the role of giving her nieces and nephews an ornament each year for their Christmas gift so we already have a ton of their special ornaments on the tree as well :)

Katie said...

We have the same tradition in our family too and have started it with our little boy! Now that we are married, we are starting a little twist on the tradition and finding ornaments that coincide with big events or vacations from the year (like last year hubby hiked the grand canyon so we got a grand canyon ornament). It's really fun and makes decorating your tree so much more special and meaningful!

Emily said...

I love your tree! And what a great tradition! I love having so many ornaments that actually mean something instead of only looking pretty. And I love the pictures of Olivia enjoying the tree! :)

Lauren @The Little Things We Do.... said...

I love this!

We have some ornaments from when I was a kid, but my mom wasn't so good about doing one every year, but I totally plan on doing that for our kids. Craig and I have collected an ornament from each year we've been together, so we've got like 9 of them so far, so that's a pretty good start :). I love that you already have your tree up!

Alison said...

My family had the same tradition and I have continued with my boys. We buy them an ornament of either a milestone, activity or something each boy was very into that particular year. Like when my oldest was 2.....he was obsessed with Thomas, so he got a Thomas ornament that year. I love this tradition. We also have a very special advent calendar house and this year we are starting our Elf on the Shelf. Christmas traditions with my kids make me happy!

Lisa @ MMT said...

Aww that is amazing! What a special tradition. We have bought our son an ornament every year, but I never thought about labeling them and doing it the rest of his life. I love this idea!

Lisa @ MMT said...

I'm following you on Pinterest!