December 26, 2019

Ornaments for 2019

Every year I make my boys Christmas ornaments that reflect something about their year. It's one of my favourite traditions and, surprisingly, it seems to be one of theirs, too. Every year they ask what their ornament will be this year, even though I always give the same answer: "A surprise!" 😄

Here are this year's ornaments.
Ornaments |
Nathan's is the baseball gear because he declared himself to be Paul's baseball buddy this year and the two watched a lot of Toronto Blue Jays games together. He also thinks he has a shot at making it to the major leagues himself someday...never mind the fact that there's no organized baseball here so he has never played an actual game, lol.

Zachary got the airplane because he took two big trips with a school group this year. One was to Ottawa, Canada's capitol, and the other was to British Columbia, which is the opposite side of the country (and continent!). All told, I think the two trips combined involved 13 different flights.

Aiden's ornament couldn't be cross-stitched this year because all of those words would have made the ornament too big. Stormblessed is the name of the EP put out by Edgedancer in July. Edgedancer is a band made up of Aiden, Zachary and their friends Ben and Sam, who are also brothers. Aiden and Ben wrote all of the songs and Aiden fussed over getting all the different parts recorded. The EP was like his baby for a good portion of the year, so I was thrilled to be able to stitch it into an ornament for him. If you're interested in hearing their music, you can find them on Spotify, Apple Music, Google Play...and all the other streaming services I may not necessarily have heard of.

I didn't actually finish the ornaments in time this year. I had the fronts stitched and Christmas Eve morning I took the time to get the fronts and backs ready to be stitched together, but I didn't do that assembly until today. I didn't want to go away from everyone on Christmas Eve to do the secret stitching, so instead I just nestled the front pieces in the branches of the tree before I went to bed. Then I finished them up while having my tea today. I have a tutorial all about how I assemble the ornaments here.
ornament |
When I started these ornaments back in 2002, I wasn't sure I'd actually keep it up since I have a habit of starting long term projects and then abandoning them, but I now have one finished set. My plan all along was to make ornaments until they finished high school, which means this is Aiden's last one. Maybe...Paul pointed out that it doesn't seem right not to have an ornament about graduation, so there may be another one stitched and added in the spring.
Aiden's ornaments |
2002 - Noah's Ark, because we had a few Noah's Ark things for his room when he was born.
2003 - a phone because he pretended everything was a phone. This was before we even had cell phones, lol. It's not cross stitched because I couldn't find a pattern. Instead I used the phone from Sandra Boynton's book Hippos Go Berserk!, which is still one of my favourite board books to read.
2004 - a tractor because he loved all kinds of big machinery.
2005 - an elephant because that was his favourite animal.
2006 - a bike for when he first learned to ride.
2007 - a chalkboard for when he started school.
2008 - a police car for his fascination with the police.
2009 - a poppy for his interest in military history, in particular anything about WWI or WWII.
2010 - a pirate ship because he was so interested in learning about pirates.
2011 - a tent for our first summer spent camping. This was the only year all three boys got the same ornament.
2012 - a snow shovel because he has an incredible work ethic, which was really evident every time it snowed. He would often be the first one to go start shoveling the driveway and never, ever complained about getting it done, no matter how much snow there was.
2013 - drums. He had been drumming for a little while at this point, but the interest was more pronounced in 2013 and that was the year he upgraded his drum kit, by buying a used set.
2014 - a football because that is his favourite sport.
2015 - a guitar because that was the year he learned to play. Though he informed me on Christmas morning that it's a bass guitar since it only has four tuning pegs. I didn't point out that I don't think there are even four lines to represent the strings, lol. I'm pretty sure there are only three 😄 There's only so much you can do with needle and thread!
2016 - the word music, unfinished, with a pencil poised as if it's writing. This is to show that he started writing music. Paul was the one who figured out how we could represent that one.
2017 - The logo for The Gathering, a local music festival held in August. 2017 was the first year Aiden played as part of the band for Sherman Downey. It really amazed us that a professional musician would trust a bunch of young high school students to be his band, but the kids did great and Sherman has had them back each year since.
2018 - an approximation of our van, to commemorate him getting his driver's license.
2019 - the Stormblessed EP.

Phew! I really love this collection 😊 Do you have any long term handmade Christmas traditions?


  1. This is such a sweet tradition! Hippos go berserk was a favorite of my sons!

  2. I like this tradition and it may be one I might want to do for my grand kids although like you thought you where, I am not that great at long term projects.

  3. What a fabulous tradition and beautiful keepsakes for your children!!

  4. I love this tradition - and especially the Music ornament!
    We bought ornaments for our kids every year, until they went to college / university - the same idea though - something that interested them. Part of my motivation was that it would be a bit of a time capsule and partly to give them a head start on their own Christmas tree ornament collection!

  5. Those are great ornaments. Happy New Year.


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