Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Christmas Ornament Books

We have been sharing our favorite Christmas traditions lately and I wanted to take a quick second and share mine with you. This is one of those I have remembered as a child and am passing on to my children, actually my mom is passing it on to my children and I am helping with it. Here is how it started:

When I was growing up my grandma started a tradition for all of her grandkids. She loved to shop for Christmas ornaments, so each year she would buy each of us a really nice ornament to hang on the Christmas tree. Some years we would each get the same one and other years she would shop individually and get one that reminded her of us. We absolutely loved this! We always knew what to expect from her and we knew it would come in the mail a couple of weeks before Christmas so we could hang it on the tree that year. They were really nice ones and the whole family would ooh and awe over them. We knew that one day, when we were all grown up and married, that they would hang on our very own Christmas trees. My mom was sad when the day came that each one of us packed up our ornaments and she had to start over with her tree. This tradition also helped my grandma because she didn't have to keep up with all of the things we did like and all of the things we didn't like growing up (since it was always changing and their were so many grandkids). It was so much more personal than money and they get to stay with us forever. I love, to this day, pulling out my ornament box and hanging them on our tree. My grandma was going to stop this tradition once we got married, but I sweetly convinced her that I loved it way too much and she couldn't just STOP! So, we still get an ornamnet each year.

My mother has continued this tradition with my children. I am proud to say that my kids love this tradition just as much as I did growing up.

Here is where the helping from me comes in. There is always a picture involved in anything I do. So I had to turn this tradition into a picture book. I started this when my oldest got her first ornament. There was a little story of why my mom picked each one and I wanted them to remember it, plus between the three kids, I wanted to keep the ornaments belonging to the right person. So I take a picture of each ornament every year and put it in a book and then journal the story. Here are some pictures of the books:

Two of them are the same because I bought two at the same time. The third one is different because I didn' t think of getting three of the same book. The two that are the same are just normal flip photo books with two different types of ribbon on them to hide the "normalcy" of the book. Here's what the inside of it looks like:
It's just a 4x6 picture on the left side and the page on the right is the story typed up on some cardstalk. I usually add a little something scrappy to the journaling page. The other book is a paper book I found one Christmas at Michael's in the dollar isle. I had to get creative with this one because their wasn't anywhere to put pictures in it. It just had plain white cardstalk paper inside with out any sleeves or pockets to hold anything. I decided to use my scrapbook scraps to put the pages together. I cover the white cardstalk with paper and then cut out another scrap (smaller) and staple it to the page. That serves as my envelope to hold the picture. Then I cut out tags and use my 2 in. square punch to size the picture and stick that on the tag. I flip the tag over and type up the story. It's a fun little book that I have been happy with.

These books will go with my kids when they leave the house, along with their ornaments. They will know the story behind each ornament and I will be able to remember which ornament belongs to who. It's so nice to have a meaningful Christmas tradition. I enjoy looking back on each Christmas and having a gift to remember. I also love that this gift will never get tired of and eventually end up in the garbage, like toys and other things do. Instead, we are creating a family keepsake that my children will inherit and their children will inherit. I hope my kids love putting their ornaments on their own tree someday just as much as I do.


The DeVito's said...

That's such a great tradition! I'm so excited to start traditions with my own family.

Flamingo said...

That is the same thing my mother in law did for each one of my kids although she did stop gettting my oldest one when he got married. I love the idea of the book and writting down why that one was chosen for them. I have the priviledge of starting this with my first grandbaby this year and I will take a picture and write the story for her and all others to come in the future!

Andrea said...

I found some books!! Yeah... I finally found something for Stella and Isaac. I also picked up two more so that I can just make a new one for Jex, and then have one more if there is another baby. I was so happy when I stumbled upon them. This is my project for this week. I have to play catchup with these books. Thanks for inspiring me to get it done. I really needed to catch it up.

Tara said...

What a great tradition! I've been wanting to do individual ornaments like that, but I really like the extra meaning & little albums, too. Thanks for the idea!

HipChickCreations said...

I'm a mom who has done this tradition for 20+ years and this was the year my oldest daughter got married and this was the year I had to take all those ornaments I collected for her every year and package them up and give them to her to start her own tree. Sigh...It was bittersweet let me tell you!

Lacy said...

I love this idea! We adopted our children 6 years ago as a sibling group. We have been buying them special ornaments each year. I never thought to journal about them. This year when I get them out I am going to take pictures of them and journal the stories behind each one. I think they will love reading about each one and why we chose it. Thank you for helping us make an already wonderful family tradition even more special.