I was just chatting with our friend Linda who lives with my parents; she is an international student from Germany, studying at Trinity Western University and has grown to become part of our family. We were staring at our Christmas tree a few days ago and she commented on how many different ornaments we have. She shared with us that in Germany, her family would typically decorate their tree mostly with a few coloured balls to create a cohesive look. However, she noticed on our family tree, it is filled mostly with ornaments and then the balls fill in all the empty spaces.
Here's why.... growing up, our family had a special tradition. Every year at Christmas we would receive a new ornament that symbolized something from our year that had significance. My collection included piano players, ballerinas, ornaments with the word hope, Baby's 1st Christmas, Tigger for my Kindergarten class, a wedding chapel and many more throughout the years. Each ornament is a treasure and holds so many memories and stories within a simple object.
I even remember one year our mom wrapped up a gift that said "To: Chelsea, Bryce, and Lauren". Inside was a mommy bear who has pregnant. This was how my parents told us they were expecting baby #4! It was an incredible moment and every year when we hang that bear we are reminded of that special time that we were told that Denham, our younger brother, would be joining our family in July.
We have continued the tradition with our own families and this year we chose ornaments from the Hallmark Keepsake Collection. Whenever I am doing Christmas shopping in the mall I always have to pop into Hallmark. Their ornament collection that is featured along their wall catches my eye and there are so many different themes and ideas to choose from.
Hallmark offers childhood classics like Bambi, Thomas the Train, etc. but also keeps up with current favourites such as Elsa, Star Wars, etc. They even have special ornaments for those memories you want to honour such as Baby's First Christmas, First Christmas Together, First Home, etc.
Right now, our ornaments for each child usually is something they have loved from that year. However, as they grow up I am excited to look for ones with special meaning that honours their character, heart, and passions, and I know Hallmark will make many appearances on our tree for years to come! What new ornament are you adding to your tree this year?