January 03, 2014

A Christmas Tradition

I know, Christmas is well over and we're moving forward into 2014, setting goals and all that stuff. But I have one last Christmas post to share and then I'll join right in with the goal setting. After all, the linky for the first quarter of the Finish-a-Long 2014 opens on the 7th!

Every year I make one ornament for each of  my three boys that reflects something important about his year. The ornaments are cross-stitched, except for one of Aiden's, because I couldn't find a pattern at the time for a phone (his favourite toy that year). These are surprises that I hang on the tree Christmas Eve for them to find in the morning.
Here are Aiden's ornaments, in order from 2002 to this year. Some of them need a little explaining when people are looking at our tree. Like the big poppy with Lest we Forget written on it. Aiden has been interested in the military for years, especially military history and both World Wars, so his ornament for 2009 reflected that. The tent is the only ornament I gave all three boys the same year, marking the year we bought a tent and started camping. This year I made Aiden a set of drums to commemorate his love of drumming.
These are Zachary's ornaments, from the dolphin in 2004 to his love of science experiments this year. When I asked him what he wanted for Christmas this year, his response was, "Well, I like engineering." What were we supposed to do with that?? His love for insects made it onto the tree in the form of a spider (not your usual Christmas decoration, I know), and last year's obsession with reading mysteries resulted in the book with a ? on it.
These are Nathan's ornaments. You may have noticed that all three boys have the little chalkboard, which marks their first year of school. Being rather smart, Aiden and Zachary had already figured out that Nathan would be getting that this year. The worm in the apple for 2008 was because Nathan was the squirmiest worm of a baby that we have ever seen. He simply could not stay still unless he was sleeping. Plus, he loved to eat, a fact which was further noted with the seagull the next year. Remember the seagulls in Finding Nemo? "Mine, mine, mine!" That was Nathan's reaction anytime he saw anyone with food. Though he couldn't actually talk at the time, he toddled over to whoever had the food and made it very clear he expected them to share. Mine, mine, mine!

I started these collections thinking it probably wouldn't interest the boys much while they were kids, but eventually they'd grow up and their wives at least would be interested. Plus it was something unique I could give them. What I think is wonderful is how much they do enjoy their ornaments. Some years they start asking if I know what the ornaments will be as early as October. Other years they make suggestions for what they think they should get.

There. We actually took down our tree and all the other decorations yesterday, but I kept these out so I could take pictures to share. Now Christmas can be officially put away for another year.

By the way, this is my 100th post! Wow! Thank you so much to everyone who reads my little blog, and especially to those of you who comment. It is so much fun to share my quilting (and other stuff) and to 'meet' new friends around the world.


  1. What a fun and treasured tradition for your boys. I love this idea!
    Happy New Year :D

  2. I love how your idea documents the different phases each child goes through... what a neat idea! Kathi

  3. What a fun idea!! And they will have those memories to enjoy each Christmas when the ornaments come out. I bet it's fun coming up with ideas on what to cross stitch!

  4. Ahw, what a sweet and personal gift for them every year! Lovely tradition.

  5. Neat idea. I get my two kids a ornament and nutcracker each year, but I never thought about making them one. It may have to become a new tradition in our family as well......should I make some to catch up...no

    Thanks for blogging and congratulations on your 100th post.


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