Christmas Ornaments

Years ago, growing up my parents had a tradition of getting each of us kids a new ornament on Christmas Eve. The ornament was usually something that represented something we did or had accomplished that year. Then, on the Christmas Eve after we were married, my parents wrapped up all our ornaments from our growing up years and gave them to us, as a new couple, to use on our own Christmas tree.

This particular ornament was given to me the year my brother taught us all how to rapel. We went many times as a family and loved it.

This ornament was given to us when we were pregnant with our first child. This was the last ornament my parents gave us. And we have continued the tradition in our own family, beginning with our son’s first Christmas.

This is the ornament my daughter received for her first Christmas.

My husband and I usually only get ornaments for the kids, but every once in a while we will surprise one another with one if we did something fun or significant that year. Six years ago my husband surprised me with this ornament after my mom, sister and I took a class together and became SCUBA certified.

We got this for my daugher when she started taking ballet. I was so excited when I found this ornament because not only does it represent her ballet, but she loves to dance with her dad and brothers on the entry way rug.

My son received this ornament the year he started to play soccer.

…and the year my son learned how to snow ski.

This one is a little different to have on your tree, but I love it! It reminds me of when we went to Yellowstone and my son who is the animal lover was fascinated with the Buffalo. He couldn’t believe how BIG they were. He sat and stared at one forever and they were all he could talk about. So everytime I see it, I smile thinking of that experience.

The ornaments can be about anything that is a memory. Some years are harder to find ornaments for than others. I remember one year my mom had a really hard time finding one for my sister, she ended up giving her a pickle ornament. But, the funny thing is that it was one of my favorite ornaments on our tree growing up. The pickle ended up being perfect because this sister LOVES pickles!

I keep a paper in our ornament box and each Christmas when we put away the ornaments, I take the paper out and write down the ornament the kids got that year. This way when they get married, I will remember who got what ornament and when!  Here are some more fun Christmas Ornament ideas!

What is your favorite Christmas Tradition with your family?


  1. Lanie Ree says

    My favorite tradition growing up was our Christmas Tree Decorating Party. My parents would invite over people who seemed like they could use some holiday cheer- older neighbors who didn't see their kids all that often, or young couples who had moved far away from home, etc. Then they'd throw in a bunch of family friends, and have a huge party! Sparkling cider, Christmas cookies, and the tree would get decorated so fast! Everyone who came brought a homemade ornament to donate to the tree.

  2. Andrea says

    Not a tradition yet as this is our first year doing it, but hoping it will become a Christmas tradition… we are going to hide a doll (baby Jesus) somewhere around the house, somewhere unexpected, to remind us that Jesus the King was born somewhere we would not expect a king to be born.

  3. Carla G. says

    Hi! I began the same tradition with my family several years ago. I buy an ornament every year for my two girls, and I also try to sneek one in for my hubby. I always think of their personalities when I'm out shopping. I have one daughter who loves junk food so last year I presented her with a chocolate bar…my other daughter loves makeup so she received a glittered vanity mirror ornament. I love seeing the ornaments come out every year and recalling each one's story. I never thought about keeping a list, so this year I'm following your lead and doing the same thing. Thanks for your wonderful, inspirational blog! I love it!

  4. Jessica says

    I also buy ornaments for each of the kids, myself, and my husband every year. Last year was one of the best, my son got an X-games ornament because he had fallen and had to have a CAT scan! Scary at the time, but we can laugh about it now.

  5. Dina says

    I also buy an ornament for each child as well as one family ornament every year. I love looking every year at how our family has grown by three children … the ornaments are personalized with everyone's name and year. 2007, 2 kids; 2008, 3 kids:-)
    Another tradition I like is buying one children's Christmas book every year to read to my kids. I put the year in the inside cover and sometimes a little message to them. It's fun getting these out every year and by getting a new one each Christmas, the collection has grown:-)

  6. Sara and Wade says

    I love this post! Those ornaments are great! Since being married, my mom has given my husband and I an ornament each year. We've been married almost 3 years and, this year, our ornament was a pair of baby booties because it's our daughter's 1st Christmas!
    When I was growing up, my brother, sister, and I each received calendars for the upcoming year, my dad always got a box of chocolate covered cherries, and my mom got a calendar that we kids picked out.
    Merry Christmas!!!!:)

  7. Skooks says

    We have always done ornaments in my family, too. My mom made us a new one each year for a time which is something I decided to carry on starting this year for my own kids (I blogged about it here if you're interested: (I also buy them each one.)

    I'm also getting the kids Christmas books each year like another previous commenter mentioned. My kids are quite young, so it's fun to start all these traditions now. We'll see which ones the kids really grab onto as they get older. :)

    Thanks for sharing your ornaments. My mom has that first one you pictured and it brought back some great memories for me of decorating for Christmas with my mom.

  8. Stephanie says

    Over the years we've collected a lot of Christmas books and movies. Each year after Christmas we wrap up all of the books and movies for the next year so we won't know what they are. We label them (fun, Sunday, Sunday fun, date night, etc.) so that we can open them when it would be most appropriate and yet we're still surprised because we've forgotten from the year before what is in each package. It's kind of our "countdown" to Christmas. All of the wrapped books and movies go under the Christmas tree and then as we open them, they are collected in a nice basket so we can continue to read or watch them. It's nice because no matter how many gifts we give/receive that year we have lots of gifts under the Christmas tree! :)

    We also have the tradition of opening "The Three Trees" book first each year when we put up and decorate our three trees. We don't have a traditional Christmas tree but instead have three alpine trees of different heights that remind us each Christmas of Christ's life as told in the story. Then we put the book in a prominent place so that we can read it again.

  9. Rachel Smith says

    I love all the comments from your readers. My mother in law got us an advent box for our daughters her 1 year old Christmas and filled it as well with little trinkets and notes from her. We have 4 girls now and as each had their 1 year old Christmas, a new box arrives:) She also sends the box of stuff for me to fill them each year. It is so nice for her and them to feel connected at the holidays when we are so far away.

    We started to wrapped Christmas book idea that you blogged about the other day. My girls were so excited last night and sat so quietly to listen. I love the magic of Christmas:)

  10. Anna says

    I do the same things. I've bought Christmas ornaments for the kids that are something they've done or enjoy. My son has a train from one year, and a ABC chalkboard because he started school this year. My daughter has a big lollipop this year and a cat from a previous year. They LOVE getting them. I'm also planning on letting them take them when they are older for their tree.

  11. Stephanie says

    We paint ornaments each year. It is fun to see the kids' artistic talent evolve over the years.

    My mom sent home all of my painted ornaments from my childhood… is nice for my kids to see that my painting was always not great!

    Love your Blog!

  12. Andrea says

    We also have an ornament tradition in our family. Like you, every year my children get a new ornament that they will then get to take with them when they get married. What we do different is we pick up one ornament from our vacation(s) that year. That way every time we put up our tree we have fun remembering where we traveled and the fun memories we made while on vacation. I also made a picture scrapbook where I took a picture of the ornament we bought and also included a picture of the vacation. It has become a very fun tradition.

  13. Rainy Day Farm says

    What a great tradition, and they will have ornaments their first Christmas!
    I am with your son on the size of buffalo, they are gigantic. I stared at them forever too!

  14. The Thompson Family says

    We do the Christmas ornament each year for our 3 kids too. They love decorating the tree and rembering why they got each ornament. But my favorite tradition is sending my kids Christmas cards. Each year, when I am addressing our cards to family and friends, I also mail one to each of my kids. I include our family newsletter and picture, a list of what they are getting for Christmas and a personal note from me and their dad. When it comes back postmarked with the year and city we live in, I add it to the ones from past years. I have them all un-opened in a special spot and plan to give them to them when they are older. It is sort of like a Christmas time capsule. It only takes a few extra minute.

  15. Cee says

    My mom and dad did the exact same thing when we lived at home! A mouse flying an airplane when my sister was a flight attendant, Raggedy Ann the year I dressed up as her for Halloween. Sometimes the ornaments had no significant meaning other than they were handmade and we made them together as a family. Just an idea if your last resort is a pickle ornament! :) I can't wait to tell the story of my ornaments to my daughter when she's old enough. (Great idea about putting a paper in the ornament box–I got mine out this year and couldn't who gave her some of the ornaments she has…)

  16. The France Family says

    I love this idea!!! Your blog has quickly become one of my favorites!! I just recently got married and reading your blog makes me dream of the fun things we will do as a family when we are blessed with children!! Thank you for sharing your ideas!!!

  17. Grace @ One Craft Girl's Corner says

    We also give each other a new ornament each year. It's fun, and it's always nice to see the tree get fuller each year.

  18. Kaymin Kantina says

    Decorating the Tree is one of my favorite parts of the Christmas holiday because every ornament that goes on our tree has a story! My parents did this when we were growing up, so now I have all the ornaments from when we were children as well as the ornaments my husband and I have collected since we've been married. It's so much fun to tell the stories that go with each ornament!
    Hugs & Happy Days!

  19. For My Rat Pigs says

    Loved reading about your ornaments. I saw in a magazine once where you can take a picture of all your ornaments that you treasure and describe their meaning as you did and make it into a mini scrapbook album. This would be great to pass down so future generations know what the ornaments mean and where it's from.

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