Christmas Ornaments: A Beloved Family Tradition

We have a beloved family tradition in our home; a Christmas ornament tradition.  Let me tell you all about it and maybe you’ll want to establish the same tradition in your home.

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I remember it was nearing Christmas time in 2003; we had a new baby and a one-year-old and our neighbors told us about their Christmas ornament tradition.  Each year they purchased an ornament for their child that represented something special about that child’s year.  What a great tradition!  We promptly decided to adopt the idea and the tradition of yearly Christmas ornaments for each child in our family was set.

For that Christmas back in 2003, I purchased a Baby’s First Christmas ornament for my newborn and for my walking one-year-old, I purchased a baby shoe ornament.  Each year since our children have received a wrapped ornament from Mom and Dad.  We give these gifts to our children as part of our nightly Christmas Eve tradition.  They get to open their ornament for the year and hang it on the tree just in time for Santa Claus’ visit.  It’s a cherished tradition in our home.

Ideas for the ornaments come from a wide variety of activities and milestones.  We’ve purchased all types of sports and scouting ornaments, as well as ornaments surrounding favorite colors, movies or books.  Sometimes our ornaments have been based on travel experiences during the year or religious milestones such as First Communion.  Deciding on what type of ornament to purchase each child gives my husband and me a chance to reflect on the child’s year and review what important events occurred.  It’s a pleasant look back on the year.

Now we have 5 kids and we’ve been following this tradition for 15 years.  I calculate that we’ve purchased 60 ornaments for our children over the past 15 years.  That’s a lot of commemoration!  We use to keep these ornaments packed away together.  After a while, it became such a hassle.  Five kids were clamoring into the same box to find their precious ornaments.  We purchased an ornament box for each child, put their name on the box, and now they each feel like they have a special box of memories just for them.

The Christmas tree in our home is the kids’ domain.  Sure, I love a colored coordinated, themed tree, but it tugs on the heartstrings to have a tree full of special memories.  Each year the kids are so excited to set up the tree right after Thanksgiving.  They each get out their ornament boxes and dig in to see the sweet ornaments once again.  They announce their ornaments as they pull them out of the box and place them on the tree.  It’s a fun cacophony of memories as we kick off the Christmas season with a reminiscent trip through their childhood.

Do you have a Christmas ornament tradition in your family?  Maybe you would like to try this one and create a kid-centric Christmas tree in your home!




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