Christmas! It is almost here! It is mine and Eric’s favorite holiday of the year! If you are like most people, you are almost done shopping; however, you have a couple more items to pick up and wrap before Christmas morning! Do you love the hustle and bustle of last minute shopping or do you prefer to have everything purchased and wrapped by the end of October? To each his own, but if you do still have a few items to pick up, have you considered a special Christmas tree ornament?
What are some of your Christmas traditions? Are there certain foods you only have during the holidays? Do you have White Elephant (also known as Dirty Santa) parties where you all bring a less than ideal gift to give? Do you host a small gathering for work folks or friends or do you enjoy jumping around from party to party? Maybe Christmas for you is a few close family members sitting around an intimate little fire with cocoa and soft music (and perhaps even the roasting of chestnuts!). Whatever your traditions are, it is important to have some! If tradition was not a big part of your childhood, find ways to introduce tradition into your upcoming marriage.
Ornaments Can Tell a Story
Have you ever stood around a decked-out tree in someone’s home and wondered how all of the ornaments fit into their lives? When did they get the snowflake picture frame ornament? How old were their kids when they made hand print ornaments? Did they get the train ornament after taking a special trip somewhere? It is so much fun to gaze upon a tree filled with memories!
One way to tell your love story is through ornaments. If you give each other an ornament every Christmas and pick up a few throughout the year as life changes (engagement, marriage, first anniversary, first baby, etc.), you will have quite a collection in no time! If you add two ornaments to your collection each year (and then more as your kids are born and grow up), your tree will tell its own story of your family. Strolling down memory lane is comforting and ornament collections allow you to do so every Christmas season! Plus, you can share your memories with everyone who enters your home!
Enjoy Watching Your Tree Grow As Your Family Grows
Some of my favorite childhood ornaments are my Sesame Street characters, two picture frame ornaments of me as a baby, and a drawstring Santa and Reindeer. Those ornaments became part of my Christmas experience as a child. When I got older, they were the ones I made sure were on the tree, and in plain sight! Even today, is a comfort to stand in front of the tree and see them hanging there. It makes me feel warm and reminds me of all the Christmases my family and I have enjoyed together.
My family and I did not start the tradition of giving each other ornaments every year, but I have heard of others doing it and I think it is a great idea. If we had thought of it, perhaps we would have purchased an Atlanta Braves ornament to commemorate our trip to Fulton County Stadium when I was ten-years-old. Maybe Mom and Dad would have something to highlight their honeymoon trip to the mountains or Mom’s first year of teaching (e.g., the first year they stopped paying for college and started getting paid instead ~smile~).
If you start this tradition now, you can collect ornaments that tell of your courtship, then engagement, wedding, first year of marriage, and first anniversary. From there, you can watch your collection flourish as you add baby ornaments, trip mementos, and milestone ornaments. Tell your story on your Christmas tree each year and leave a box of treasures for your kids and grandkids to enjoy after you are gone. Random do-dads that sit around the house are not always wise investments, but ornaments are different since they are stored carefully away each year. They are also like the drawings etched on the walls of caves… they tell a tale.
So, consider starting an ornament tradition this year! You can either give each other an ornament every Christmas morning or you can pick out an ornament(s) together each December. When your kids come on the scene, get them an ornament each year that serves as a snapshot of their stage – princess, superhero, kindergarten, baseball, Barbies, so on and so forth. It is such a great idea and I wish I had thought of it years ago! ~smile~
What ornament will you buy your sweetie this year?
The Countdown Continues…
T-minus 2 days and counting. Merry Christmas everyone! Enjoy your family, friends, good conversation, delicious food, worship services, and your new ornaments!