I love the way my mom “did” Christmas ornaments.
(you’re welcome for this photo by the way…this is circa kindergarten/1st grade)
Every Christmas Eve, we got to open one present: our ornament for that year. All three of us (Martha, Scott, and I) got our very own ornament to be added to the tree Christmas Eve.
Our mom would put the date on the ornament (she loves to date everything), and the ornament itself would usually have something to do with what we’d been up to that year... in the fourth grade, I bought myself gerbils (and now cringe at the thought of them, GROSS!, but that’s another story), so my ornament that Christmas was a little mouse/gerbil-y guy running around one of those metal wheels. Martha would get a ballet dancer, Scott would get a football bear or something the year he started playing football.
Sidebar: we usually took down our tree the morning of December 26th (and one year, it was Christmas Night itself). My dad always worried over the fire hazard of a live tree (and the mess, let’s be honest), so as soon as the presents had been unwrapped & Christmas dinner had been eaten, taking down the tree was fair game. The Leslie & Jonathan tree stays up until New Years! Take that!
So, when the Guinn family would take down the tree, all three of us had a shoebox with our name on the top, that housed “our” ornaments. And the next year, when we’d decorate the tree, we were responsible for putting up “our” ornaments.
I just love this. When we got married, my mom gave me the “Leslie” box, and it’s been such a treasure to use some of these ornaments on Jonathan’s & my Christmas tree. [And I’m happy to say she’s continued this tradition with her sons-in-law!]
It’s so fun to have a growing collection of these special ornaments and I cannot wait to do the same thing for my kids one day.
My granny always said she loved the look of a “homemade” Christmas tree that didn’t all match. Me too!
Thanks, Mom, for this wonderful Christmas tradition.
p.s. Hey oldest children: one of my favorite ways to taunt Martha while decorating the tree was to constantly point out how many more "Baby's First Christmas" ornaments there were for me than her. I beat her like 7-1. Bam.