Putting up the Christmas tree is more than just a holiday task for our family, it is a trip down memory lane. Collecting ornaments over the years remind us of family we love, major events in our lives, places we have been.

My husband and I put up our first tree together a few months after we started dating – that was 13 years ago. We had no ornaments! So being crafty (I am not artistic, but I am crafty), I decided we should “make” ornaments. So we opened some beers, bought some glitter, glue, and paint, and went to work. During our project, we got silly and put glitter on one of the empty beer cans – the glittery can still hangs on our tree every year.

Years later, as we hang the ornaments, I like to talk about how each ornament became part of our collection. It is like a game show – I say: “Remember this one?…” but only I seem to know the answer.

We have a memorable collection that gets a little bigger each year. Here are some of my favorites:

The glittery balls from that first year we were dating with our names on them (we had no idea what else to put on them). My husband’s has his first and last name!

The glass ball with a picture of my nephew and me– I recall clearly sitting at my parents that summer and posing for the picture. My nephew was about 2 at the time, he is now almost 11.

The wooden house from a trip to New Haven when I told myself I would collect an ornament from every place we visit (I didn’t live up to that self promise very well).

You can find the paper-fan and a bird given to me by my husband’s step-mom to help us fill up one of those early empty trees. I recall, but don’t know why, her explaining that all trees needed paper. And the bird reminded me of the birds we had on our Christmas tree growing up.

There is the purple star, my favorite color, given to me by my best friend and roommate from college.

If you look, you will find many ladybugs because I loved “lucky ladybugs” so much that I decided when I was 18 to get the tiniest one tattooed on my big toe.

Up high, because it is breakable like many others, is the wedding cake ornament given to us the year we were married.

Now one of Big Girl’s favorites is the ballerina giraffe from a good friend and neighbor while we were living in Baltimore, Maryland.

The Fleur de Lis hangs from our trip to New Orleans (post hurricane Katrina) next to a San Francisco trolley car.

Of course, you will find a Baby’s First Christmas from the year our daughter was born.

One of the first ornaments given to Big Girl were miniature nutcrackers. The nutcrackers are from a good friend given to Big Girl during our trip to see the ballet.

The Kermit the Frog ornament that I received as a child hangs next to Dora the Explorer that was given to Big Girl.

Most recently received are the brand new matching mice in Santa suits given to the girls from their best friend.

The list can go on and on.

Now that the girls are getting “older” – they are receiving ornaments from their friends and family. Hopefully, I will recall with the same clarity who gave them those ornaments so they, too, can begin to build their own memories. Maybe I better start writing that down!

Do you put up a Christmas tree? If so, tell us about your ornaments, especially the ones your children love!  

This has been an original post to World Moms Blog by Angela Y. of San Francisco, California.

Photo credit to the author.

Angela Y (USA)

Angela Y. is in her mid-thirties and attempting to raise her two daughters (big girl, R, 3 years; little girl, M, 1 year) with her husband in San Francisco, CA. After spending ten years climbing the corporate ladder, she traded it all in to be a stay-at-home mom! Her perspective of raising a child in the city is definitely different from those who have been city dwellers all their lives, as she grew up in rural Northeastern Pennsylvania (NEPA) surrounded by her extended family. Angela Y. and her husband are on their own on the west coast of the United States — the only family help they receive is when someone comes for a visit. But, the lifestyle in San Francisco is like no other for them, so there, they stay! This exercise conscious mom is easily recognized, especially when she is riding around her husband-built bike with two seats on the back. And, when she’s not hanging out with the girls, you can find Angela Y. in the kitchen. She loves to cook for her family, especially dessert, and then eats some herself when no one is looking! Sneaky, mom!

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