One of the many wonderful things about this time of year is all the different traditions carried out. My parents started an ornament tradition when I was born and I am so thankful they did. The tradition is simple--they simply got an ornament for me each year. Once I was old enough, I got to pick out my own ornaments.
Some ornaments are just something they thought was cute or something I liked at the time (like my Care Bear ornament from 1986); some are from special places (like my Figment ornament from our 1991 Disney World trip and my shamrock from a band trip to Ireland in 2000); and some have special meaning for that year (like the clarinet, drum, and Nebraska ornament from my first year of college). For any ornament without the year on it, my mom wrote the year on the bottom.
The tradition continued up until I got married. For that last year, some type of engagement ornament seemed perfect. But, at the time, we couldn't find anything. So, my mom surprised me by making one. Using the picture of the proposal (my husband proposed to me in one of my graduate school classes, so there are pictures), she did her best to recreate the scene:It's one of my very favorites! This year, Big Brother noticed it and said, "look, it's Mommy & Daddy".
The first Christmas we were married, my parents gave me all my ornaments (and we received my husband's ornaments as his grandma started the same tradition in their family when my husband was about 10 or so). We continued the tradition and each year (even before kids) we got an ornament for us. Now, we've started our little guys' ornament collections as well.
It's such a simple tradition to carry out and one that is so sentimental. Each year, I love getting out all these special ornaments--bringing back so many wonderful memories of years past.
Do you have any ornament traditions or ones with extra special meaning?