Long Island Parent Talk

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Family holiday traditions: Christmas ornaments

Buy a special Christmas ornament to commemorate a

Buy a special Christmas ornament to commemorate a landmark in your child's life and set up a family tradition. (Credit: Sabrina Soto/Target)

Family traditions were big when I was growing up. The one I embraced most was the ornament my parents chose for my siblings and me each year.

In addition to the "baby's first" ornament that most parents buy, my mom thought it would be nice to give us each a special ornament every Christmas that was representative of the past year. For example, the year I took group cycling classes at the gym, I received a Santa ornament on a Spinning bike. Or when I started college and declared my journalism major, my ornament was a Snoopy figure using a typewriter. Another year I took a cooking class, so I got a bear ornament wearing a chef's hat. 

Now, I have a collection of ornaments for every year of my pre-marriage life. That last year was marked with a wedding chapel ornament.

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I never realized just how special those ornaments were to me until my husband and I decorated our first tree together. As we filled the tree with ornaments old and new, I shared the stories of my childhood and connected him to snippets of my past.

My mom, who understands the significance of holiday traditions better than anyone, was happy to learn I was passing this one down: Last year I bought my daughter her "baby's first" ornament and just purchased her second one this year -- a cow jumping over the moon, since she's all about this cute farm animal these days.

Although it may take her years to understand the importance of this family tradition, I hope she will continue her Nana's ritual and share it with her own children one day. 

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