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Traditions – A Walk Down Memory Lane

What kind of family traditions do you have at Christmastime? I know some of you may be disappointed that I’m not sharing one of our traditional holiday recipes but this tradition is even more special to me than food.  I know.  Can you believe it?  What can be more special than anything covered in chocolate?  

One simple word – ornaments.  One of our family traditions has to do with Christmas tree ornaments.  When our oldest daughter was first born and every year since then, the kids have given their grandparents a Christmas tree ornament that has something to do with being a grandparent.  I love going to their homes during the holiday season and seeing the different ornaments the kids have given them over the past 16 years. 

When my hubby and I married at the end of November, 20 years ago, several people had the same idea to give us Christmas ornaments as gifts.  Every single one of those ornaments still has a place on our tree yet today.  Now that’s a gift that keeps on giving.


My mom gives the kids an ornament every year and sometimes my hubby and I are recipients too.  Some years the ornaments have been from places she’s traveled.  Other years they have represented a sport or hobby the kids have.  So with 3 kids receiving an ornament every year, multiply that by 8 – 16 years, that’s a lot of ornaments on our tree.  I hate to think of the day when my kids leave the nest and want to take their ornaments with them.  That means my baby has left me, plus I will have a partially empty tree.  But on the bright side, each of the kiddos will have ornaments waiting to go on their first tree. 


Not only do we have ornaments from my mom but also my mother-in-law.  The ornaments she has given us represent something she collects.  Snow babies, Hummels and Lenox China.  They are absolutely beautiful additions to the tree.  Some I even have displayed on my entertainment center where they can be seen by all.


When we travel, the one thing we look for as souvenirs is Christmas ornaments.  Seeing these ornaments reminds me of vacations we took and the friends we visited.  We also have ornaments from friends and godparents.  And some ornaments remind us of loved ones passed. 


But I will have to admit, my most favorite ornaments are the ones the kids have made in school and have given to us as gifts.  If they have a picture on them – bonus for me because I can see the cute little kids they were and compare them to the beautiful children they have grown into today.  Makes a mama teary eyed.


There is not one ornament on our tree that doesn’t have a meaning of some sort or hasn’t been a gift from someone.  I love it.  It’s like a walk down memory lane each year when we pull the ornaments out of the box.  See what I mean about how more meaningful this tradition is than chocolate.   Who wouldn’t love faces like these?


Do you have a family tradition?

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6 Responses to “Traditions – A Walk Down Memory Lane”

  1. #
    Jim Gillen — December 22, 2011 at 10:13 am

    I have really enjoyed your blog. I can’t wait to see what you come up with next. At my last meeting someone saw it and asked what looked so good so I forwarded her you blog so she could enjoy it everyday just like I do.


  2. #
    Marina — December 22, 2011 at 10:30 am

    Merry Christmas to a great family and a wonderful friend! Thanks for sharing your traditions!
    Lovem Marina

  3. #
    Audrey (Mom) — December 22, 2011 at 11:41 am

    Mama has Grandma teary eyed too. Yes, my tree is also full of traditional ornaments, a greater share are from Kendra’s family, but I also have some from my other grandchildren (some homemade), daughter, step-daughter, sisters and brother, as well as from some of my travels around the world. My tree takes me down memory lane each year.

  4. #
    Amanda — December 22, 2011 at 2:42 pm

    Some things are better than chocolate. Although “Sissy” may have argued with you today. She was on the counter with a green face bowl of melted green chocolate. It seems as though we have many family traditions, black friday shopping, elf on the shelf, rotary lights with supper at Pizza Doctors, advent calendar…
    BUT my favorite of all, donating toys to the Children’s Miracle Network with the kids.

    Merry Christmas!

  5. #
    Paige Reber — December 22, 2011 at 3:58 pm

    Kendra I do the same thing with my kids. They each get a new ornament every year and we put their name and date on the back. They love it. I get some crazy one’s sometimes and try to have a new theme each year. I wrap it up and give it to them when we put up our tree. I told the kids when they get older they will get them to put on their tree. I hope someday they will carry on this tradition with their children. Hope you and your family have a Merry Christmas!

  6. #
    Melanie S. — December 24, 2011 at 8:28 am

    LOVE the traditions!!! We do ornaments every year for the kids, but never thought about THEM giving TO the grandparents!!! We might just have to start this one! I had to smile when I saw the “handprint snowmen” on the ornament balls! Matthew has one of those, too, and it definitely brought tears to my eyes! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your family Kendra!!!!