As I determine when to pack away our Christmas tree ornaments for another year, I’m continually amazed at how many of our family’s ornaments tell their own story. This year my daughters spent hours looking through each ornament and reminiscing its story – who gave it or made it or how it was passed down. Some are purely for show, you know those cookie cutter ones that we all have, but others are part of a heritage, a collection that has been started for each child.
As I young girl, I received ornaments for my hope chest. When I got married it was so special to already have meaningful ornaments for our first Christmas. When our first child was born, I decided I wanted to begin a traditional ornament collection for each of our children as well. I started with a theme, but have since branched out in variety.
So each year I buy every child an ornament for their collection. Through earlier error, I now mark each ornament with the child’s initials and the year it was given (or note any special memory tied with that ornament. Yes, you WILL forget, even if you’re assured that will never happen. Ask me how I know.) If I was starting it now, I would keep a “ornament journal” included with the ornaments for those notes because knowing the story behind each ornament doesn’t always fit on the bottom in my “Sharpie” ball point writing.
When each child gets married, I will then pass on this special gift to them for their first Christmas. I know now that they don’t understand the significance of receiving an ornament every year (mainly the guys), but they will…eventually.
Why am I talking ornaments AFTER Christmas? Well, now is a great time to get a jump start on this new tradition. I will pick up special ornaments full price that might signify a trip or memory, but often, I will purchase their annual ornament (or two) this week when prices are slashed. That way I can invest more money than I might normally spend because I want them to be special.
My storage and organization is finally starting to take shape. Slowly, I have purchased one of the Christmas Memory Boxes above for each child. A Rubbermaid box will work just perfectly as well, but when I finally pass on the gift, my desire is that the box, as well as the ornaments, will be presentational, so I took advantage of the sale. I also have one just for my vintage ornaments and the special ones given from my mom.
If you haven’t started an ornament collection, it’s never to late to start. You can always begin the tradition with a few ornaments for those older children.
If you have an ornament collection, I’d love to hear about it so we can encourage some new ornament traditions.
Once Upon a Family’s 40% off Coupon Code ends this week. If you’re interested in preserving passing on your family’s Christmas ornaments in a special spot, the Christmas Memory Box (shown above) is beautiful and turns your collection into a true heritage piece. There’s free shipping offered for orders $100+ if you choose to purchase multiple boxes.