January 6, 2020

Christmas Ornaments - A little piece of our family history

You might ask, "Why is there an underwear ornament on your Christmas tree?"  Or, one day, my kids might ask that question, or my grand kids might ask their dad why there is an underwear ornament hanging on their tree. (I'll tell you why at the end of this post...)

A few years ago when I was lying in a hospital bed being treated for blood clots in my lungs.  I realized, if I were to pass away, my kids wouldn't know the history behind the ornaments that were hanging up on our tree every year. (Obviously, that wasn't my main concern, but you have a lot of time to think when you are by yourself in a hospital room thinking you could have, or could die.) So, I decided that year I was going to record the history of every single ornament on our Christmas tree.  If it didn't mean anything to me, the ornament got tossed. It's taken a few years to finish every single ornament, but I can now say I have completed my task!

My kids receive a Christmas ornament from us every year.  You can see more about that tradition HERE and HERE.  We try to choose an ornament that kind of sums up their year, or if there was a big event in their life that year, I choose an ornament that goes along with that.  I started with recording the reason why I chose their ornament, but I needed to print them off and place them with the ornaments. 

Also, when I travel by myself, or we travel as a family we usually try to get a Christmas ornament as our souvenir. We began that on our honeymoon.  So, our Christmas tree is a bit of our family history. 

Another great reason to record a history, or a have a bag or box for each ornament, you know if there is one missing.  With a real tree, as the month goes on the branches start to sag and ornament slip off, or children move them, etc. At the end of putting up the tree if you have empty boxes or bags you know to keep looking for an ornament.  This happened to us this year.  We finally found it kind of towards the back of our tree.  It blended in, and had I not known it was missing, it would have been taken out to the street with the Christmas tree. 

Here are a few examples of how I have recorded the history of some of the ornaments:

1.  You can simply write the history on a piece of paper and slip it in a zip lock bag.  Some of them, I have taped on a zip lock bag. 

2. I prefer to type up most of the histories of each of my ornaments, but I was too lazy to get my laptop during some of this.

3. For ornaments that have boxes - I hot glued the history on the inside of the box lid, or packaged taped over the history on the outside of the box.

I feel so accomplished after having finished this yesterday! It only took a few years to fully complete, but we have a ton of ornaments.  I love that when I'm not around, my kids will know where the ornaments came from and know a bit of our family history. I have ornaments on my tree from John and I's childhood, our travels, ornaments my mom made, ornaments we were given as gifts, and ornaments from friends weddings.  I love that that is all recorded! 

That underwear ornament is Jonah's from the year he was potty trained.  The easiest kid to potty train by far, and he always just hung out in his underwear all year.  The Charleston ornament was from my first trip to Charleston with my sisters.  The paw print was Trevan's ornament this year from starting high school, it's his high school's mascot paw print. The Nutella ornament is also one I made for Everett because he was a Nutella monster.

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