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Updated: Sep 16, 2023

"Some Christmas tree ornaments do more than glitter and glow, they represent a gift of love given a long time ago." - Tom Baker

Family ornaments from past years

Tis the season.. when everyone starts pulling out their holiday cheer, Christmas trees, know the rest. I have downsized the holiday decor over the years and no longer have a "fancy" second Christmas tree in the living room. These days only the “family tree” that has colorful lights or white lights, depending on my mood is put up and on it are treasured ornaments from over the years.

Some more family ornaments from past years

Our holiday tradition is to get a family Christmas ornament that represents something special that occurred during the year. It could be a trip, a special event, a childhood memory or anything that has sentimental value to our family. Over the years we have collected ornaments that represent our first Christmas together, baby on the way, Jermaine's first Christmas, first home, family trips, and the list goes on.

Jermaine's Ornaments from past years

My son Ryan (Jermaine to family and close friends) gets an ornament each year that represents something he likes or for an important milestone during the year. He loves popcorn, French fries, and ketchup, so he has ornaments on the tree for these items. He has a passport ornament from 2018 that represented his first international trip to the Bahamas. Jermaine used to play basketball, liked penguins, and likes video games - those ornaments are noted in the above photo.

As part of the ornament tradition, I always have a little gift bag for him under the tree with a note inside that instructs him to "find" his new ornament on the tree. He usually finds it with within a minute or two and is always pleased with his new ornament.

August June Desserts Ornaments from past years

I also select an ornament each year to represent August June Desserts. The ornament is usually something baking related (butter. mixer. cupcakes. etc.). and fun to add to the tree and keep with the ornament tradition. I haven't found my business ornament for this year, but I am sure that something will pop up before now and Christmas.

Daddy's Yellow and Apple Ornaments/Broken Ornaments

Over the years, a few of the ornaments have broken, but still remain in our hearts. The first ornament Ryan and I got together in 2003 at a brunch broke a couple of years ago. Jermaine’s popcorn ornament broke, but we still hang it on the tree. A music themed ornament from our 2019 trip to New Orleans also broke. Let’s pour some apple cider for the broken ornaments we have lost.

And I would be remiss not to mention two special ornaments that have been on the tree since 2013. My father always put these ancient yellow ball and apple ornaments on his Christmas tree. As a part of his memory, I always put up one of each on the tree for him. We love and miss you...Let's pour some Dewar's for Daddy.

2022 Ornaments - Mixtape Cassette (Family Ornament)/Jermaine's Ornament (First Job)

This year's ornaments represent our summer trip to Nashville and a special milestone for Jermaine. The family ornament is a mixtape cassette from our visit to the National Museum of African American Music. Jermaine's ornament represents his foray into the world of employment - he started his first job this summer.

It is my hope that Jermaine will continue the ornament tradition with his family in the future and that he holds tight to the ornaments we have collected over the years.

It’s always fun to find each year's ornaments and I always look forward to this tradition.

Check out the behind the scenes Instagram reel of me decorating the Christmas tree, with some spotlights on the family ornaments.

What are your holiday traditions?

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