christmas in july: the ornament tradition

July 25, 2013

We didn't have many traditions growing up, but there was one my mom followed religiously: each birthday, we were gifted a Christmas tree ornament. We never managed to follow the tradition of when the tree went up, but you best believe that we all knew an ornament was somewhere in the stack of our birthday gifts.

This is the part where I awkwardly admit I went through a phase involving carousels/carousel horses.
As a kid, I really wasn't a fan of this. I didn't speak up as I didn't want to hurt my mom's feelings, but younger Bekah would have rather opened a new Barbie or boy band CD or whatever else was more personally relevant at a given age.

Regardless, I knew to expect the ornament each year. Some I loved, some I rolled my eyes.

There was a Tinkerbell phase, too. I'm still a fan. But those feathers? wow.
Of course, as an adult, I have to acknowledge that mom had the right idea. Despite Sean and I both bringing all our ornaments from our childhood plus some extras our mothers sent our way, our tree certainly seemed naked to us our first Christmas. It was my mom who took me to Wal Mart to grab some filler ornaments until we grew our collection further. Imagine how naked the tree would have been without her tradition!

In November of 2010 (our first year of marriage), we traveled to Boston where I interviewed for a teaching program. We didn't have much time for sightseeing, but we did make it to the Harvard Museum of Natural History (yes, we're nerds!). The souvenir shop was small and pricey, but we wanted some sort of memento. We settled on (you guessed it) an ornament: a jewel toned, flexible sea horse, to be exact.

That's right: aside from admitting mom was right, I have also realized Sean and I have carried on her tradition in another way. Our (probably only) tradition has become to pick up an ornament whenever we travel (at least as much as possible!) Since Boston, we have grabbed ornaments from a day trip to Hershey Park in 2011 and our vacation to Maine in 2012:

A light house, of course! What else?
Oh, and of course, the most recent ornaments that had me facing the truth: this summer from our trip to Harper's Ferry:

...and another to Hershey Park!

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  1. That's so cute. Or Tree has always been pretty fancy but that didn't stop my Momma form loving ornaments. My sisters birthday is two day before Christmas so every year on her birthday she got a new ornament. Like you she always thought it was cheesy. But looking back I think she appreciates it. Haha

  2. We have the same tradition! We have one from Maine and I just got one for Disney! How fun! Love it!

  3. We pick up ornaments from wherever we travel too. One of these days our tree will only have those ornaments on it. :-)

  4. We did the same thing but got our ornaments on Thanksgiving to start the Christmas season. It is something I have continued with my little ones and grandma does too. So on Thanksgiving we have all sorts of ornament action going on. One of my favorites! It is fun to look at them and remember your seasons of life.



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