Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Great Annual Ornament Search

2007: Our house was 3 months from being finished,
but we'd promised the kids Christmas in the new house.
It seemed cute...and easy...and affordable (Ha!)  When our first 2 or 3 children were very young we started a fun tradition.  We decided to buy each child an ornament a year, based on a specific theme for each.  That way, by the time they have their own homes and trees, they'll have special ornaments, and special memories, with which to decorate --not just whatever is at the local variety store at the time.
These are the themes:
Princess Bossy...Ballerinas
Prince Stoic...Trains
Princess Sassy...Angels
Prince Inventive...Stars
Princess Artiste...Christmas trees
Prince Go-for-It...Boys and their Toys
Princess Eager...Snowflakes
Prince CuddleBunny...Snowmen
Our 3 miscarried babies were remembered once each with Unopened Gift ornaments.
At the time each was chosen, they seemed like ornaments that would always be available in some variety.  But not so.  It seems ornaments have 'on' and 'off' years.  Princess Eager's original theme was "hearts," but for a couple years, there wasn't a heart to be found, so we changed to "snowflakes."  This year, there are hearts everywhere.  Trains, very big in the early 90s, are tough to find in recent years.  I tried to talk Prince Stoic into changing his theme to the broader "transportation," for which trucks, planes, etc. would also apply, but no dice.  Only trains would do.  It's a challenge to find one not too like one he already has.
"Boys and their Toys" seems like the easiest, since it seems so many things would work with it.  However, that was another misconception.  I find that I am picky about the ornament fitting that theme...It must have a boy on it, or be a classic, unmistakable toy, not just something that 'could be' a toy, like cars or dinosaurs. And really, a dinosaur on a Christmas tree?  Not mine.
Now our older girls think a couple of special guys should have ornaments...
Prince Helium (for keeping Princess Bossy floating on air, while also having the ability to keep her grounded) has "Balloons, or Floating/Airborne Things"...This year it's a blimp.  (Good thing Prince Stoic kept to trains!)
Prince Steadfast, definitely a sweet guy who is not swayed from his affections, is supposed to have "Gingerbread Men."  
It's presented some challenges I didn't foresee, but this tradition means the world to our kids, and they plan to continue it with theirs.  It really is fun for all of us.  Now there are so many, they hang their newest one, and choose only a few from previous years.  The 3 unopened gifts are on the tree every year.  When they move out and take their ornaments, they'll leave one favorite to represent them on the tree.
So... Yet to be found for this weekend's tree decorating are one gingerbread man and one boy with toy.  Wish me luck!
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