Saturday, November 27, 2010

Let The Christmas Traditions Begin!

Now that Thanksgiving is over I'm getting everything prepared for Christmas. As I've shared before, I like to put the tree up the day after Thanksgiving. I know that might sound a little rushed but Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year. I used to spend my holiday breaks with my Grandmother and everything about that time was wonderful. We would go shopping, out to eat, and to the movies. Her house would be filled with all kinds of treats, pies, cookies, candy, etc. And the best part, I pretty much could eat anything I wanted when I wanted. So it's with those memories that I want to make the holidays special for my children.

One tradition I started about five years ago was setting aside Christmas ornaments for both my kids. Each child has a box with there own special ornaments. Some are my childhood ornaments, some are gifts, some I made and some they picked out. Each year I let the children pick one new ornament after Christmas. This provides a history of what they were interested in each year. For example, my daughter has a lot of princess ornaments and my son has quite a few Star Wars ornaments. Each year they're excited to see there box of ornaments. They always forget what's inside the boxes so it's kind of like a pre-Christmas for them. Since they're so distracted by the ornaments, I'm able to set up the tree without being interrupted. It's one of the best traditions I've ever started.

Have any of you started Christmas ornament boxes for your kids? I know it's not an uncommon tradition.

Want to read more about family traditions? Please visit here, to see a special family holiday recipe. Plus, read what others are making for the holidays. Clara shared that her family makes chicken soup with abalone!

17 comments:

randomcreativity said...

That's a neat idea that I haven't heard of before. We normally make an ornament each year, but I haven't saved one for my son. I will have to start a box for him this year :-)

Amanda said...

My parents did that for me, so now my Christmas tree is filled with my ornaments and also the ones I am starting for my daughter. Last year was her first Christmas and I ordered one of her ornaments from Shutterfly with her picture on it where she is dressed in a Christmas outfit. I'm going to do that each year (here's hoping Shutterfly keeps making the same style) so that she'll also have the exact same ornaments with a picture of her from each year. I can just picture a simple tree set up somewhere in her future house with only these pewter frames with all of her pictures on them. So sweet and simple.

kawaii crafter said...

randomcreativity,

Thanks for reminding me, I add all the ornaments that they make as well. I bet you have plenty of ornaments to start a box for him. My kids really love it and I'm sure your son will too.

Amanda,

I've always liked picture frame ornaments. If I ever had a house that allowed space for multiple trees, I'd have one dedicated to just family pictures.

Since you mentioned you like Shutterfly, you might be interested a deal they have for bloggers. If you blog about their photo cards, they'll give you a $25 gift card. You can find all the details about it on Freebies 4 Mom, I just read about it on her site today. Here's the link:

http://freebies4mom.com/2010/11/25/bloggers-get-free-25-gift-certificate-from-shutterfly/

Akemi said...

i really like that tradition of having the kids' own ornament boxes. when danny and i start our family, i would like to do that, too. =o)

Donna said...

My dad's family had yearly ornaments for him, my parents did it for me, and now I do it for my children. I used to choose the ornament when they were younger, but the past few years we've gone out together while they pick out their ornament. It's fun looking at the different ornaments and how they reflect what they liked that particular year.

KJ@letsgoflyakite said...

An ornament box is a wonderful idea. I will do that this year. We haven't put up our tree yet. We get a real tree so it might be sometime this week.

Tizzalicious said...

That is such a sweet tradition :)

kawaii crafter said...

KJ@letsgoflyakite,

Will the real tree last a whole month? That's what has always stopped me from getting a real tree. I'm always afraid it will dry out before Christmas day. Do you have any special tricks to keep it green?

Novi On The Go said...

We don't have kids, but I take some time each Christmas to make some ornaments for the tree. It's been almost 20 years, I stopped for the past couple of years as there are too many! They are all handmade, all crafted with inexpensive materials, ideas inspired from books/magazines, craft stores, even my own sketchbook. When we put up the tree, we walk down memory lane and it's very special to us. There's something cherished and close to the heart when something is handmade and crafted some time ago.

Janelle said...

I like that you let your kids pick the ornaments. My mom collected ornaments for my sister and me, but she picked what SHE liked. I think the collection would be more meaningful to me as an adult if I had been more involved over the years. So good for you!

Jessica said...

star war ornaments! This sounds interesting.

LindaJ said...

We've kept all the kid's ornaments through out the years. Taken pictures of the holiday pictures too large to put up each year and hard to keep.(I plan to make ornaments of those pictures) Son is married and daughter is going to be a foster mom. Once the kids come for both, they will get their ornaments plus pick their favorites from our others gathered as a family. We also put up our tree the day after thanksgiving(aritficial) and keep it up through the 12 days of Christmas which ends on January 6th. We get our fill of our much loved Holiday!! Merry Christmas to you and your family! Thank you for all you do and give us on this blog. It's highly appreciated!
Hugs

Hopewell Creek Designs said...

Well I think thats a great idea for my grandsons to have at our house next year. We put our tree up before Thanksgiving this year, it is my favorite as well.
Each year when we trim the trim it is a walk down a wonderful memory lane.Every ornament holds a story and a memory of so many friends and family.

Kayleigh said...

My parents have always done an ornament for my sister and I every year, but we never had the foresight to separate our ornaments and they're all a jumbled mess. I think this year I'm going to try to separate all of mine from the pack. I plan on continuing to tradition with my son, and I think my parents do too.

tango said...

We started putting up our tree Thanksgiving weekend when my firstborn was 2. She LOVED all the lights. (We also put up her little hanging toys instead of ornaments as she also LOVED smashing things.) Our tree is hugely sentimental. Most of the ornaments are handmade by my girls, me, my mother, my mother-in-law and my grandmother. The commercial ones are either gifts or souvenirs from some special adventure. My husband received one of those locket/trinket box ornaments a couple years ago. Now he and my daughters leave a note to themselves in it for the next year.

As for keeping a real tree for a month, it will depend mostly on the quality & freshness of the tree and the dryness of your house. You want to hydrate it like crazy when you get home. Cut a couple inches off the bottom and put it in a big bucket of water. If you're in a really cold area, you'll want to acclimate to the warmth of your house by staging it in the garage a day or so before moving to hopefully a cool spot in your house. You'll need to keep the tree water fresh and full. A capful of bleach to a quart of water will help. Personally, I quit real trees due to the expense, care/maintenance requirements, the cat playing in the water, the dropped needles, and contact dermatitis (aka hives) from the tree needles. This year we replaced our old tree. We bought a new pre-lit tree with twinkling LEDs that rotates...the entertainment factor for my girls alone was worth the price!

kawaii crafter said...

Tango,

Thanks for answering the question about how to care for a real tree. Maybe down the road we'll have a real tree for Christmas. It seems like I debate the idea every year.

I love the idea of writing a note to yourselves for next year to read. What a fun tradition and good use of the locket ornament.

The Seaman's said...

not uncommon at all! when my husband and I married, we decided to buy one, really expensive ornament for the both of us (Waterford Crytal ornament.) Now, that we have our girls, we purchase an ornament for both of them.

My oldest daughters ornament last year was a giraffe, this year she picked, Hello Kitty. What I do is marked somewhere in the bottom of the ornament my daughters name and the year. This way, I know when the ornament was purchased and who's it is.

Zakka Life has moved to a new site!

Click here to visit the new site.