Christmas Traditions and a Family Ornament Christmas Tree

Dressed in tiny red velvet dresses, my then five week old preemie twins mostly slept through their first Christmas.

But it’s a day I’ll never forget and every Christmas, I search high and low for the perfect ornament to commemorate the year.

My friend Laura of Duke Manor Farm asked me (and a few other friends) to share their favorite Christmas traditions and I thought it was such a great idea!

We’ve created many memories over the years like having fun with Hot Tamale, our Elf on the Shelf as well as filling my girls shoes with surprises on St. Nicholas Day, but the one thing that has remained a constant is our family Christmas tree.

Hung from the tree, it’s fun to see each ornament and take a walk down memory lane.

An angelic baby for their very first Christmas.

Baby's First Christmas ornament

A little car ornament marks the year they got their driver’s licenses.

Volkswagon Beetle ornament

A felted Boston terrier was added to the tree the year our dog Sushi was added to our family.

Boston Terrier Christmas ornament

This year, my girls got their first jobs at a restaurant and I was so excited to find the perfect hostess ornaments.

Personalized salt dough waitress ornament

I said I was going to keep things simple this year and not add ornaments to our tree. My daughter was not happy about that and it made me realize that they do enjoy our tradition as much as I do.

Our tree will never grace the pages of Better Homes and Gardens and I’m ok with that. I’d rather hang mismatched and handmade by little hands ornaments then have a tree straight out of a catalog.

I have the best of both worlds because I added every single one of my vintage Shiny Brites to trees in my dining room.

Love this family ornament Christmas tree

One day, when they have their own place and put up their fist tree, I’ll give them a box brimming with their ornament collections so they can look back and remember.

Ok, now someone please pass me the box of tissues!

See some of my friends traditions …

 Duke Manor Farm 
Our Southern Home
Confessions of a Serial DIY’er
Town and Country Living
It All Started With Paint
Cassie Bustamante
Artsy Chicks Rule  
 Savvy Southern Style
Shop my house

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  1. Absolutely love your ‘memory’ tree along with your traditions. I used to do the same thing when our girls where younger. Each year I would have the girls pick out a new ornament for them to put on the tree, now in turn, they put them on their own tree. A couple years ago I went through old family pictures and made homemade ornaments of the girls of which I gave them to the girls as well.
    Beyond the showing of your tree and rest of the photos of your friends traditions didn’t come through. Just little ‘x’ boxes are showing.

    1. Thanks so much (I have a sister named Colleen)! I love that you made ornaments from old family photos (I have a few on my tree too). I fixed the glitch so you can now see my friends traditions too. Wishing you a very Merry Christmas

  2. I couldn’t agree more! We have one too! I even have a couple of my childhood ornaments on ours as well. We love looking at those old ornaments and enjoying all those wonderful memories! ❤️ Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  3. I gave my son an ornament each year and continue to do so. He is now 30 years old. This is his first Christmas as a newly wed. He and his new bride had me over for dinner this week. Their apartment
    was decorated for the holidays complete with a tree full or ornaments….each one I had given him since
    his birth, all commemorating a special event of that year, as your tree does! It actually brought me to tears when I saw the tree filled with those ornaments and memories! Both he and his wife said how great it was to have their first tree so full of memories to share with each other This is a tradition they plan to continue once they are parents.

  4. I adore your tree because it IS so personal! We have a similar type tree and it’s one that we treasure every year because as you say, each ornament brings back a memory of an event , a year.
    I also love how you did the pom pom ribbon around the tree, so cute! The old car and the cute dog are precious.
    Merry Christmas and thanks for sharing your pretty tree!

  5. Kelly, I remember when I first started reading blogs (before I was blogging myself) and saw your red truck in your Christmas tour. I always enjoy seeing it. What a special tree you have with ornaments that commemorate special events in your family’s lives. I can understand why your girls weren’t happy about not using them! Maybe one day they’ll blog about the ornaments from their youth that their mom gave to them!

  6. I love that your annual ornaments mark special milestones in their lives! And we too have a family ornament tree that will never, ever grace the pages of a magazine. But the kids (okay, now young adults) do enjoy the walk down memory lane as they pick out their favorites.

    🙂 Linda

  7. Those ornaments are worth far more than any others and so beautiful. I don’t remember who i have said this to and who i haven’t but whether the first or tenth time, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

  8. Since my children are adults now and they have blessed me with grandchildren and great grandchildren our family ornament tree is now totally dedicated to the grands and greats. When my adult grands got married I gave them all their ornaments I purchased for them throughout their lives so they could start their very own Family Ornament Christmas tree. The grands who are not married are young adults, 18, 21 and 23 and the greats range from 1 week to nine years old and believe me, they look forward to the new ornaments as much as they do their gifts! Memories are the best!

  9. I am starting this tradition this year with my little one. It’s her first Christmas and she’s 11months old. I still can’t find an ornament that I love for her and times running out. She already has 3 ornaments from her grandparents hanging on her very own tree. I love this tradition. And your girls will love these every Christmas when they place them on their trees. Thanks so much for sharing. Have a wonderful holiday!

  10. Kelly,
    I just love your tree. Like you our main tree is for cherished ornaments and not the perfectly decorated tree with matching ornaments. I adore your method of purchasing ornaments for your girls. Wish I had thought of that! I buy them a new ornament each year, but not necessarily something that makes it a significant choice. I am sure that Sushi and Bentley would be great playmates! Merry Christmas sweet friend! Treasure the holiday with them on break!

  11. Hi Kelly – When my girls were growing up I started getting them ornaments. They each have 2 big boxes full. This year they each have their own tree so I am no longer the keeper of their ornaments, although is does make me sad that I won’t be seeing some of the cute ones they made any longer on my own tree. 🙁
    I hope your Christmas with your family is merry and bright. XO

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