Jon Stolpe Stretched

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Our Christmas Ornament Tradition

My first Christmas ornament from 1971

I love this time of year when we break out the family traditions related to the Christmas season.  One of the traditions that I love is when we put up the Christmas tree and decorate it with special ornaments.  Each year, we give our kids a “special” ornament that represents something about their year.  This year, our daughter received a canoe ornament from the Christmas shop in Mont Tremblant.  This ornament will help her remember the fun we had on our family vacation to Canada this summer when she paddled around a small lake in a canoe with her brother.  Our son received a ski gondola ornament also from the Christmas shop in Mont Tremblant.  This ornament will help him remember our hike to the top of Mont Tremblant and the easy trip down in the gondola.

We’ve been doing this tradition since the kids were born, so they are starting to develop quite a collection of these “special” ornaments.  Each year when we set up the tree, they take turns hanging up their ornaments and reminding us all about their ornaments and the memories that are associated with each of them.  It’s a fun tradition!

They're almost as tall as the tree! How did that happen?

I can’t tell you that Leanne and I thought of this on our own, because that wouldn’t be true!  My parents actually carried out the same tradition for my brothers and me.  I still have all my ornaments from when I was a kid, and yes, I still hang them up every year.  And I think my kids actually enjoy hearing the stories associated with my ornaments.  As we were hanging up our ornaments this year, we wondered if the tradition would carry on to our grandchildren some day.  I hope so!

Do you have any tree trimming traditions at your house?  What is one of the “special” ornaments that you hang on your tree every year?


December 6, 2011 - Posted by | Christmas, Christmas season, family, family traditions, first Christmas ornament, Mont Tremblant, parenting, thoughts, tradition


  1. Almost all of our “ornaments” are of the homemade kind. No, none that we have done. A Smiths Dairy milk carton from the mid 70s (friends gave it to me since she worked there and I loved their chocolate milk). Several homemade ones from our kids while in school. a paper mache type angel that is getting sorrier and sorrier our youngest girl made. A bicycle ornament I was given. A “it’s a Wonderful Life” one that was given to me over 15 years ago.

    Comment by bill (cycleguy) | December 6, 2011 | Reply

  2. Jan and the kids do most of the decorating. I put a nail, representing the nail that pierced Christ’s hands and feet on the tree.

    Comment by Larry The Deuce | December 6, 2011 | Reply

    • I love the ornament. It definitely reminds us why the birth of our Savior was so important.

      Comment by jonstolpe | December 8, 2011 | Reply

  3. Love the ideas! I shared my family’s Christmas ornament traditions here:

    Very similar. Enjoy the holidays!

    Comment by Jeff Randleman | December 6, 2011 | Reply

    • Thanks, Jeff. I think I commented on your post actually. These traditions are great!

      Comment by jonstolpe | December 8, 2011 | Reply

  4. No real Christmas tree traditions. Just get it done while having fun. And with no one getting into a fight.

    Comment by seekingpastor | December 6, 2011 | Reply

  5. Jon, it’s great to read about this wonderful tradition that you are following down through generations – and it’s all about Christmas! Surely you all are having a great time!

    We don’t have such traditions here in our place in India. But we do spend time as a family, sometimes with extended families, and we enjoy wonderful times together. It’s awesome to think about our Savior during such times!

    Comment by Joe Abraham | December 6, 2011 | Reply

  6. We do the same thing. It was funny because after a few years, it started to get tougher to come up with ornament ideas. But then we started getting married and having kids – then it got easier again!

    Comment by Loren Pinilis | December 6, 2011 | Reply

  7. We have the same tradition – right after Thanksgiving we buy our kids an ornament that represents their past year. Hopefully by the time they are married and off, they’ll be able to start their own tree off with a bunch of their own ornaments!

    Comment by Dustin | December 7, 2011 | Reply

  8. […]  If you missed it, please stop by and add your recommendations.  On Tuesday, I shared about our families Christmas ornament tradition.  I really appreciated hearing about your favorite family ornaments and Christmas tree traditions. […]

    Pingback by December 10th, 2011 Week In Review… « Jon Stolpe Stretched | December 10, 2011 | Reply

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