Our extended family has a few traditions that make Christmas extra special for my children. My mother-in-law, for example, loves to get a Christmas book for my children every year. I love this tradition because I love to read, and any tradition that makes reading an even happier experience for them is a winner in my book.
When I was expecting my first child at Christmas, my mother-in-law said that she also wanted to start a tradition of buying my kids an ornament every year. And my mom said the same thing!
But this isn’t a bad thing, to have two grandmothers with the same tradition. It’s great, and every year my children gets excited about decorating our Christmas tree with their special ornaments. As a child, I also have fond memories of my parents handing me a shoe box with my own special ornaments in it, so I’m glad my kids have the same tradition.
My mom picked out a special box for each of my kids to store their ornaments in, and they get so excited at the sight of their boxes. The kids help decorate with other ornaments as well, but they take special pride in putting their own ornaments on the tree and hearing about where they came from. My oldest child was a Christmas baby, so many people gave us ornaments when she was born, and I’ve kept them just for her.
Each ornament has a story and the kids love hearing them. One year, we made a gingerbread house completely from scratch. Don’t hate me–I only had one kid and could do that! So that year, my mom picked out a Hallmark ornament that was Noah’s ark in the style of a gingerbread house to capture that memory. I do get sad when my oldest child points to her LSU ornament and asks “Did my Papa give me that?” but I’m glad she has both the ornament and memories of her dear Papa who died in September.
Even with the hard memories, it’s sweet to have ornaments to collect as visual reminders. When my children grow up and leave our home, they’ll have a box or two full of ornaments to start their own Christmas trees.
Have your children’s grandparents started any special traditions for your children?