Each December I take my kids to the Hallmark store and
spend far too much money let them pick out a new ornament for the tree. The idea is that when they each leave my house, they will have approx 2 dozen of their very own, hand-selected ornaments to decorate their Christmas tree. It’s a tradition that I have carried over from my own childhood and it is honestly one of our favorite parts of the holiday season.
It’s great fun to look back and remember previous years’ selections. There are some that are always favorites and others that may someday be a bit questionable (Swan Lake Barbie with the ridiculously large skirt, I’m talking to you). But one thing is for sure – these ornaments provide a snapshot into each child’s preferences and interests at every age.
The funny thing is that each year I find myself at the store trying to talk at least one kid out of their selection. They have their hands on an ornament they are sure they are going to love and cherish forever – while I look at it and see a ceramic unicorn.
Let me explain… when I was 11 years old I picked out a ceramic unicorn ornament. Oh – I remember that I was thrilled to pieces with my selection. I found it fanciful and lovely and totally awesome. Now I look at it and I see a large, heavy, ceramic nightmare. It has never hung on my tree as an adult and never, ever will. It’s at the bottom of the box and there it shall stay:
So you’ll have to forgive my inner control freak for trying so hard to talk J out of his choice this year. I tried to sway him towards one of the fun snowmen or Snoopy on his doghouse – complete with miniature Christmas lights, or the Mickey Mouse ornament that would help him forever remember that this year was his first trip to Disneyland. He would have none of it. Instead he proudly came home with this:
And for all I know it will hang in a place of honor on his future Christmas tree. But if not, future daughter-in-law of mine… I tried my best.