Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Thanksgiving Ornament

 I love how excited the boys are.  (Okay, after awhile it can drive me nuts, but it's a good thing, really!)  Their anticipation is contagious.  And it starts at Thanksgiving, with a couple of family traditions.

I don't want to slight Thanksgiving.  As Christians, we should be living lives overflowing with Thanksgiving, in response to God.  And in our house we hope that Thanksgiving is just a more overt expression of what we're doing every day.  But after Thanksgiving... well, after Thanksgiving dinner, anyway, we're thinking Christmas!

And the boys each receive a gift.  This is why...

When my mom's (older) sister was newly married and preparing for Christmas, she realized that she didn't have any special ornaments of her own.  A Christmas tree with lights and plain balls just doesn't 'sing' to our family, and she didn't want anyone else to find themselves in this sad situation, so Aunt Judy hatched a plan.  Every Christmas, from when we were born until we were 21 (and sometimes later, too) we received an ornament from Aunt Judy at Thanksgiving... so we could have it on our tree for Christmas.  Every one is different and special.  When we grew up and moved out, we had our own unique collection to take with us.  Though a couple have broken, I still hang most of mine on my Christmas tree, with happy memories :0)

When Wyatt - my first, was born - Aunty Tami picked up the reins, and now my boys are receiving ornaments on Thanksgiving too.  I'll try to go back and attach a photo later, because I don't have one handy, just now.  The boys already have many special ornaments and they love it.  Of course, they've received ornaments from others, too.  For several years we've displayed their ornaments on little decorative trees  that I keep out all year.

But we've had to face the reality that their collections just can't fit anymore.  So this year we are having TWO Christmas trees.  Their ornaments fill the 6' artificial tree we inherited from my Nana, which we've put in the dining room.

Beautiful, meaningful, and FUN!


leah said...

We do something similar- we get an ornament for each boy at Christmas time, representing something from that year. Dennis's parents did this as well, so we have a wonderful collection of ornaments that are rather unique (Dennis was into aquariums for a while, so we have several fish ornaments)!

We also try to pick up an ornament when we travel anywhere- we remember the vacation every time we put the ornament on the tree. We have one from the Tower of London, one from a tourist store in Ireland, a White House ornament, etc.

Sorry this got so long. I LOVE CHRISTMAS!!

susannah said...

this is such a great tradition! we will have to incorporate something similar..i love learning new traditions! trying to find some new ones that also help us teach our daughter to celebrate advent/the birth of Christ and not just all of teh stuff of christmas.

tammy said...

Love it! I love hearing other's traditions and was just thinking today that we need a new one in this household. My grandma and I went on for years seeing who could buy the other the wackiest ornament, which is always fun trying to find. She also bought me an ornament "stand" and every year buys me a new heavier ornament to put on it.

I love the idea of having a smaller "kid" tree with all their great decorations and ornaments!