annual ornament selection

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.

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5 thoughts on “annual ornament selection

  1. We do the same thing with the ornaments as my mother did with me. I sometimes pick out theirs as they have told me what they would like, or I let them. We hit the disney store so with 2 boys I have an array of Indiana Jones , Princesses,cars or the Nightmare before Christmas characters. I think it is entertaining that in 4 years he will be like ,what??and you can explain to him this , this is what you picked out. Hockey is cool! It is exactly what christmas stands for, thankyouverymuchhallmark.
    p.s.I have unicorns too from my youth. ;)they were VERY cool at the time.And what did you pick out? I picked Elvis. Again. hahahahaha

    1. Oh Amanda, we are children of the 70s. I didn’t pick an ornament this year – there’s not enough room on the tree for the ones I have already. But if I were picking one – it would be a santa.

  2. How well I remenber the unicorn. You told me it was the most beautful thing in the world and you would want it forever. At that time it was and you were so excited… it still makes me smile. (:

  3. We do this for Jake every year too. I mark the bottom of each ornament with the year so we know what year he picked out! I can’t wait to send him off with the Barney ornament!

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