Each year, when we were growing up, my parents would buy all of us daughters a new Christmas tree ornament. They were always careful to select an ornament that reflected something meaningful about each daughter’s life in the past year, and the goal was to have each girl equipped with a stock of ornaments big enough to decorate her own tree when she moved out.
I loved this idea.
My parents’ plan to have each ornament signify both a certain year and specific daughter always got me excited to open them. ‘Oooh, I wonder what they picked out for me this time!’, I would think. There was the racket ornament for the year I joined my school’s badminton team, the saxophone one when I wowed the Jr. High PTA meeting with my stirring rendition of ‘Let’s Go Band!’, and the wind-up Noah’s Ark one for the year when I, um… had a penchant for wind-up Christian-themed toys (??! Sweet Jesus!) That one still mystifies me...
Overall, I think my parents succeeded at their goal, though the passage of time has meant that my youngest sister (the interminably cute one) is now strapped with many bunny and baby animal-themed decorations—on top of the more recent editions like the frothy mug of beer—and that I (the one who liked our orange cat, Cheddar, the most) somehow ended up with more Garfield ornaments than I care to admit (she was an old cat before she died, OK?)
Now that I have moved out, I have continued this tradition with Marty by buying a special tree ornament each year, even though we don’t actually have a full-sized Christmas tree anymore. Last year, we picked out a classy, urchin-like star decoration from a store called Kalidoscope in Calgary. I’m sure we were drawn to it because of what classy stars (or urchins) we were that year…
This year, we became smitten with the String Doll Gang ornaments. They’re made out of one continuous piece of string!! I picked out Monster Man, and Marty decided upon the Mummy. Each one represents something, though I didn’t realize it until we came home with Monster Man. (As you can tell, we've kind of strayed from the whole "make it symbolic of the past year" clause...)
“Monster Man helps you to see the beauty inside the not-so-beautiful”
Aww.... countdown to a Merry Christmas, everyone!