You are joining us on the second day of the When Decorating for Christmas series. Click HERE for yesterday’s post Childproofing the Tree. Stay tuned all week for Christmas decorating ideas aimed at families with small kids.
I think it is so important to pass on pieces of your family heritage to your kids. Christmas decorating conjures up lots of fond memories of family tradition and is one of the ways that Mike and I intend to pass on a little of our family history. Our kids are young, so I’m sure we will add traditions to our decorating experience as we become more seasoned parents, but here are two traditions dating back to our engagement that we are excited to continue with our kids.
Yearly Christmas Ornaments
My Mom bought us our first Christmas ornament the year we got engaged and every year since she’s helped us add to our collection. The ornaments tell a story for every year we’ve been together . . . our first Christmas, the year we bought our first home, the boys’ first Christmas . . . and so on. Each ornament represents a special moment in the life of our family and as we put them up on the tree we are reminded to share those moments with our boys.
Mike and I admittedly tear up a little as we hang these little reminders on the tree. This is the first year Elijah could really understand and took great pride in deciding where “his” Christmas ornament was hung. I love it that this tradition is already so important to our family and I look forward to a very, very full tree someday :).
German Christmas Houses
My Dad’s parents and siblings immigrated to America from Germany before he was born. I grew up visiting an Oma and an Opa who spoke German around us when they couldn’t find the right words in English (which happened to be a lot of the time). Every year at Christmas they gave us pfeffernusse and marzipan with our Christmas gifts. Both my Oma and Opa have passed away, but I still love the traditions that come from my German heritage.
Sometime after Mike and I started dating, we started visiting the yearly Christkindlmarket in Chicago and fell in love with a vendor (Kathe Wolfhardt from Rothenburg, Germany) that sells ceramic tea-light houses in the form of popular German buildings, churches, etc. Every year since we’ve been engaged we select another German Christmas house. Since all of the houses are replicas of a real structure in Germany we are able to learn about the places that help cheer our home at the Holidays (decorational AND educational!).
I don’t think it matters as much what you do at Christmas to establish tradition, but that you do something that serves to create a framework for your family and the history you are making together.