One of my favorite things about Christmas is the beauty of carrying on family traditions. Every year, it brings me joy to open up the boxes of the many ornaments, each with a special meaning.
Many of these ornaments were given to me by my mother, and I now carry on that tradition by gifting ornaments to my girls each year so that one day, when I am not around they can have the same warm feeling I get each year when decorating our tree. This way a piece of me will always be with them.
Here are a few of my favorites:
1. Our dear friend Sherri came over to one of our Christmas celebrations and gave us this ceramic ball to celebrate Declan's Journey. Now we will always remember not only Declan and his journey, but the journey of so many others who are suffering as we celebrate Christmas each year.
2. E for Elizabeth.
3. Our tree is adorned with butterflies.
4. My Baby's First Christmas ball from 1977.
5. A shell ornament that we got this year in Venice, it makes me think of the drowning incident, and how lucky we are to have our Lou Lou bug.
6. Another gift from Mom- a life preserver that says Siesta Key, the place where Mike and I met.
7. My family used to receive White House Christmas ornaments each year from our friends in the FBI. Once we were married, Mom started passing them along to us. A reminder of just how amazing it is to live right outside of DC.
8. A pisanki ornament that we bought when we went to my brother's wedding in Poland.
9. A for Anna.
10. Anna's Baby's First Christmas ornament from 2008.
11. A Christmas ball that I bought when the Ya's and I went to St. Maarten to celebrate our 30th birthdays.
12. A ZTA ornament given to me by my mom.
13. Bailey's Puppy's First Christmas ornament from 2001.
14. Given to us by Mom- a replica of our china pattern.
15. E's Baby's First Christmas ornament from 2005.
16. An I Love My Daughter ornament, given to me by Mom. I will never forget, when she gave them to my sister and I we made fun of her for how cheesy they are.... now I am so grateful to have it.
17. A crystal angel given to me by my amazing mother-in-law in 2005. The year that Mom died, and E was born. It reminds me that we now have our very own guardian angel.
Another family tradition in my family was that my father would read The Night Before Christmas each Christmas Eve... Even when we were in college. Now we all snuggle together as Mike reads the story to our girls. What makes this so very special, is that I have this copy of the book given to me when I was 17 by my parents. Notice that it is complete with a note from Mom.
So no matter how difficult and stressful it can be to think of these little things, make sure to give your children the gift of traditions so that you too will always be with them on Christmas.