Christmas Ornaments-It’s Our Thing

True Confession: We sorta think about Christmas all year long.

I know, I know….it’s blazing hot and few of us have any desire to think about Christmas yet. None. Zero. Zilch. Notta. I love Christmas. I like snow, don’t mind the cold, we’re into snowshoeing and all, but while we THINK about Christmas all through the year we aren’t ready to CELEBRATE Christmas quite yet. There is a method to our madness.

Right now we are anxiously waiting for pumpkins, crunchy leaves, fresh made applesauce, cool nights, apple cider and football games. We heart fall.

We have a tradition that we started years ago that forces us think of Christmas even during the hottest summer days.

We believe in traditions, in establishing a common, shared history with our kids. Few times are better than during the holidays to relive traditions.

Which brings us to Christmas Tree Ornaments.

Each year we purchase new ornaments. Sometimes its simply to replace ones that have mysteriously broken while sitting helplessly in the attic entirely alone.

I’m not sure how that happens.

But otherwise…we have two categories of ornament purchasing:

  1. Each year the girls get one ornament that represents something significant in their lives over the previous twelve months. Braces on, braces off. A new hobby begun, or a special interest or event.
This is the year Anna decided she wanted to be a teacher and Kaitlyn began taking Martial Arts.
This is the year Anna decided she wanted to be a teacher and Kaitlyn began taking Martial Arts.
Inside this little Hannah Montana Stocking, which Anna was all about one year, is a letter to be opened in forever from now.
This is Kaitlyn’s from her piano teacher after a Christmas recital a few years ago.

2. Every trip we take to a new place we purchase or make an ornament. If it’s a touristy kinda place, we’ll purchase one that will remind us of what we liked most about our trip.

A Starfish from a trip to Baltimore a few years ago.
A Starfish from a trip to Baltimore a few years ago.
This little ornament is from a quick trip to Boston when we watched the Red Sox play the Yankees at Fenway.
Disney. Disney. Disney.

Sometimes, though, we don’t purchase ornaments…we make them…ornaments with sand in an empty clear glass ball, a school picture of the girls, a pine cone, or a handwritten note only to be opened in the year 2099. Or somewhere around there.

Kaitlyn's school picture from elementary school.
Kaitlyn’s school picture from elementary school.
And of course,every baby needs one of these. This one belongs to Anna.

Each year when we decorate our tree and pull out our ornaments we relive the memory all over again. It really has become one of our favorite things to do. We will labor over which ornament to choose, it needs to be “just right”.

This one is from our Trip to Story Land this summer.
Here’s one from our trip to Harper’s Ferry.
This beauty came from Boothbay Harbor, Maine.


  1. Label each ornament with who, where and when. In 40 years you don’t want the kids to pull out this ornament and wonder what Mom was thinking when she bought it.
  2. When putting them away after Christmas, wrap each one really well. These really are a moment of time you will never get back. Preserve what you can now.
  3. When our girls move away from home, they will take their personal ornaments with them. They won’t take our family vacation ornaments with them.  Keep that choice in mind when purchasing each ornament.


One comment

  1. Very lovely story As a single gal I used to decorate my tree with ornaments that reminded me of my friends/family. I also picked some from vacations, as you do. I had a friend in the navy, his was Santa on a boat. My parents, kitchen things for Mom and tools for Dad Soccer balls(little ones) for the nephews ……… Thanks for the memories

    Liked by 1 person

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