Build a Tree Full of Memories with Annual Christmas Ornaments
Christmas is all about traditions, and one of the best things about having a young family is getting to pick and choose the traditions that your kids are going to grow up with. One of my favourite traditions that we’ve embraced with our kids is annual Christmas ornaments.
The premise behind annual Christmas ornaments is simple: every year, we take the kids on a special shopping trip, and they each get to pick one Christmas ornament. We encourage them to pick something that reflects their interests, but ultimately, the ornament they choose is completely up to them.
This year, our kids are 8, 6, and 3, and we came home with Yoshi, an old-school Nintendo controller, and Elsa. A few years ago, it was a Baby’s First Christmas ornament, Olaf, and Optimus Prime. I love it – the annual ornament reflects exactly where our kids are each Christmas, and over time we’re building a tree full of memories.
On our tree we have Mickey Mouse, a ninja turtle, a backhoe, and a crayon, among others. It’s far from a perfectly styled tree, but it reflects our family perfectly. I love looking back at how our kids’ interests have grown and changed over time.
Our kids love it as well. They take the selection of their ornament very seriously, and love to show their ornaments off when we have guests. Pulling out the ornaments is a walk down memory lane each year, and they loving having their own Christmas ornaments to put on the tree.
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A Simple Way to Organize Annual Christmas Ornaments
Finally, to add an organizing twist to this, I have a very simple system to keep track of who chose what ornament and when. I have a list for each child, where I record the ornament that they’ve chosen each year, and a very brief explanation why. In the “why” I will often include a specific anecdote to explain why they’ve chosen that particular ornament.
This has become one of my favourite parts – it’s amazing to have a record of things that I would have otherwise forgotten. The kids love it too. We read the lists when we take out the Christmas ornaments each year, and they get such a kick out of the stories about themselves when they were younger. I store the lists with the ornaments, and it’s a less than 10 minute task to update them each year.
While our family traditions will grow and evolve over the years, this is one that I hope to keep up. If they’d like to take the ornaments with them when they move out they’ll be welcome to. If not, I will happily keep Yoshi on my tree forever, to remind me of Christmas 2020.
Sending you my warmest wishes for a happy holiday season!