HOLIDAY DECORATING (Part II): The Ornament Tradition Edition

Christmas Tree Target Holiday Granju Mamapundit
Here’s E putting the star on top of this year’s Christmas tree.

I have so many Christmas tree decorations at this point that I really can’t find space for all of them, even the 10 foot Spruce tree we just put up. Last year I added a second, smaller tree upstairs in the hall outside the big kids’ rooms and my office, and although I’ve yet to find time to put it up this year, I plan to this week sometime. This year I may keep it downstairs though. We’ll see…HERE’S PART ONE OF MY HOLIDAY DECORATING SHOW & TELL.

 When I was growing up, my great Aunt Louise sent my little brother and sister and me a new Christmas ornament every year with the date and our names on it. As you’ll see in my photo gallery below, I still have some of mine, although keeping aged and delicate glass ornaments covered in glitter glue from falling apart after 40 years is becoming tougher each holiday season. I’m kind of amazed that even the few I have are still hanging in there.

I always loved my Aunt Louise’s tradition, but I’m not very crafty, so for years I wasn’t sure how I could recreate it for my own kids, nieces and nephews. Then I discovered an awesome website that creates really cute, sturdy ornaments for kids. Each one has the year on it, plus the child’s name. So for the past eight or nine years, I’ve ordered a new ornament each Christmas for all of my own children, and also for most of my nieces and nephews. I try to choose an ornament each Christmas that represents something interesting about that child’s year. All the kids in my family LOVE seeing what their new ornament is each year, and hanging it on the tree with their others from years past.  Again, you can see some of  the kids’ ornaments from Christmases past in my photo gallery below.

A new ornament tradition that we’ve added since Henry died in 2010 is that I get each of the children the same wooden ornament each year, and let them decorate each one as they like to remember their big brother and oldest cousin during the holidays. I never want Henry to be left out of our season.

All of the kids’ special ornaments, including the ones they create to honor Henry will obviously go with them when they are grown and have their own homes and trees. I hope that they will enjoy having them as much as I love looking at mine from my Aunt Louise hanging on our Christmas tree even all these years later.

So without further ado, on to Part II: the Christmas Tree Ornament Edition….


 Just click the arrows to scroll thru to the next doll in my photo gallery.

  • 1968 1 of 24
    Yep, when I was a little kid, my family spelled my name with a "Y" instead of an "ie." At some point in maybe middle school or early high school, I decided for whatever reason that I liked spelling it with the "ie," and that was that. But here's my ornament from my Aunt Louise, circa 1968, with my name spelled the original way.
  • Braces! 2 of 24
    This was J's ornament the year she had her braces taken off.
  • 1970 3 of 24
    This is another one of my childhood ornaments with my name bedazzled on it in glitter, and a date of 1970. That's OLD. (and thus, so am I)
  • 2012 4 of 24
    A cute new one.
  • Basketball Boy 5 of 24
    Basketball Boy
    E's obsession with hoops in the past 2 years has resulted in TWO basketball-themed ornaments for him.
  • Henry – 2002 6 of 24
    Henry - 2002
    Henry made this one in 2002.
  • A classic 7 of 24
    A classic
    You can't ever go wrong with St. Nick.
  • Ward’s Angel 8 of 24
    Ward's Angel
    In 2005, my two year old cousin Ward -- the littlest son of my cousins James and Julie, to whom I am very close -- died in a drowning accident. Every year since, Julie has gifted each family member with a special ornament to remember Ward, and this is one of my favorites.
  • From Henry’s Godmother 9 of 24
    From Henry's Godmother
    Henry's godmother -- my BFF since 7th grade -- made this one for him in 1995, when he was 4.
  • 2010 10 of 24
    Henry died in May of 2010, but I simply couldn't bring myself NOT to order his ornament that Christmas, along with his little brother and sisters' and cousins' ornaments. So this is the last ornament from a year when he was still with us. :-(
  • Pretty Pink Peace 11 of 24
    Pretty Pink Peace
    I like this one a lot
  • Remembering Henry, 2011 12 of 24
    Remembering Henry, 2011
    Last year we started a tradition where I bought wooden ornaments for all the kids in our family to decorate in memory of Henry. Last year's ornament was this peace symbol. I haven't picked out what this year's memory ornament will be.
  • PONIES! 13 of 24
    Between the ages of about 4 and 14, J was very, very involved in riding and showing hunter-jumper ponies, so this ornament was perfect for her.
  • Danger Baby Arrives 14 of 24
    Danger Baby Arrives
    G's sweet baby ornament.
  • And We Have Ourselves a Kindergartener 15 of 24
    And We Have Ourselves a Kindergartener
    C started kindergarten this year, so this is the ornament she received last week to celebrate her big accomplishment for 2012.
  • Big Brother 16 of 24
    Big Brother
    This was the last ornament that Henry hung on the tree himself.
  • Sweet 16 17 of 24
    Sweet 16
    J's ornament last year.
  • The Beach 18 of 24
    The Beach
    My mother knows how much I love the beach, and how much Henry loved it. We had so many happy times together there. She gave me this beautiful shell ornament last year, and I love it.
  • Rock & Roll Kid 19 of 24
    Rock & Roll Kid
    The electric guitar in this ornament actually looks almost exactly like Henry's actual electric guitar at that time.
  • THIS opossum is an angle 20 of 24
    THIS opossum is an angle
    My very sweet and funny pal Georgia sent me this opossum angel ornament last year to commemorate my real life battles with VICIOUS POSSUMS over the previous 18 months.
  • New Driver 21 of 24
    New Driver
    This was the year of J's learner's permit.
  • Learning to read 22 of 24
    Learning to read
    For a 4 year old booksworm.
  • Mr. Owl 23 of 24
    Mr. Owl
    A gift from a friend, remembering Henry. This is a beautiful new addition to our tree this year.
  • w5 24 of 24

A big thanks to Target for sponsoring this campaign. I can honestly say that probably half of my favorite, special Christmas decorations that I’ve added to my collection over the years have come from Target. They do Christmas decorating right. And of course, Target is always an AWESOME place to find the season’s coolest Christmas toys.

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