One of my most cherished family Christmas traditions is one that my mom started when I was very little. Every November, she would take my sister and I out to Hallmark to purchase one annual ornament. We had to choose something that reflected our past year. Each year our tree got a little bit fuller with these memories. When I got married I then had a full set of ornaments to take with me for my own tree.
We've tweaked the tradition just a little bit since the peanut was born. Mom and I still do our special ornament outing and luncheon with the peanut, but I have taken to documenting the ornament itself along with the memory that inspired it's purchase in a special little scrapbook. Every year I'll add the new round of photos and memories so that when the peanut is ready to take her ornaments on to her own tree, she'll have the written reminders of the memories behind each of them.
There are gorgeous ornaments that can be found in so many places, but I have to give a special plug to Hallmark for always providing such a wide variety. We've always been able to find rather odd connections between their ornaments and our yearly events. Take this for example:
This was the peanut's ornament from last year. When my mom and I saw it, we had a fit of giggles in the store and knew it was just the right one. One of the peanut's absolute favorite reasons for visiting Grandma and Grandpa has everything to do with their large jet bathtub:
Grandpa dons his swimming trunks, pours practically half a bottle of bubble bath into the tub, and sets the jets on high. They whip those bubbles up into a the highest foam you've ever seen. He creates "bubble fashions" including "bubble hats" and "bubble dresses" for one very thrilled little girl.
I love to think of a 40 year old peanut trying to explain this moment to her own little kids as they decorate their Christmas tree. I hope they all have plenty of laughter and joy when that time comes.