Ever since our kids were born we have given them a Christmas ornament for the Christmas tree each year. The year we went on a holiday to Florida I used the sea shells, added a bow and some gold thread to hang the shell with. I picked up key chains in the shape of little Cuban cigars, grass topped huts, and shakers when we were in Cuba.
Piano lessons were taken one year... so I found notes (1/4, 1/8). When they are playing football or soccer... I find football or soccer items. When we went to Dallas, Texas we brought back little cowboy boots and hats. The kids are always making Christmas ornaments in school. Each child has a separate box, with a recipe card inside of it to keep track of the description of the ornament and the year they got it.
When they leave home and have their own Christmas tree they will have something to decorate it with that means something to them.
I always made an ornament for each child every year and that way I could put their initials on them and the year.
I mark the ornament whether I made it or whether I bought it with a very fine permanent marker with the year and the initials of the child. Sometimes when I have bought an ornament in the store the clerk has offered to put the information on the ornament for me.
I am glad to see that others do the same thing that I am doing.
In my family, we exchange names each year. We have my sister's name and one of my nieces. I want to make something special for them, so.. for their Christmas tree I have made cute little homemade angels with wire ribbon (for the skirt and arms), a clear bead (head) and wire (angel wings). Each of them will get one on the outside of their gift as the "bow". It may be years before I get their names again because I have a large extended family.
I have done this every year since the kids were born. Now, 2 of the 3 kids are out on their own and have taken their own ornaments with them and my tree is sure bare! ;-)
We have our kids make ornaments and give them away. And when they do they also make one for each other. I love the idea of having ornaments to pass on. I have ornaments on my tree that were on my parents' first tree and also one that was my great grandmother's!
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