When we were first married, we were the typical married couple with zero Christmas decorations to call our own and barely any money to buy some. We bought a small box of little wooden decorations that were reminiscent of Brian’s childhood and then I had like three from my childhood. I heard on the radio the next year the idea of getting one ornament per year that reminded you of something that happened that year. And thus began my favorite holiday tradition!
Every year, we look for just one ornament that reminds us of something that happened that year. We have a snowman for our last Christmas with snow in ’08, a Peruvian snowman for our 1st Christmas in Peru for ’09, and then for the last three years, I’ve taken a plain Christmas ball and written on it little memories from the year, like this:
Each year, now that we have kids, we get each child their own ornament. One idea is to give them all of their ornaments when they leave the house so that they have their own little set of decorations for their first trees.
Also on the tree are ornaments from friends from basically all the places we’ve lived, like this one that was a gift from friends while we lived in Peru:
I’m also all about doing stuff for Advent and counting down to Christmas, so two years ago, we started a tradition of putting one small colored Christmas ball with a name of God on the tree after reading the corresponding Scripture passage. I wasn’t a huge fan of the Scriptures that someone had chosen to go along with the names, so this year, I’m going to revamp it and we’re going to follow a Jesus Storybook plan. It’s basically a Jesse Tree idea, but I’m going to put my own twist on it. It’s still in the works.
In the end, our tree is not overly full of decorations, but it is full of memories and significance. I hope we can pass that on to our kids so that Christmas isn’t just a fun holiday, but an entire season filled with purpose.
Happy tree trimming!