(This is an edited re-post from Christmas Eve 2008)
The holidays always draw out memories of years past or of the Christmases of my childhood. This time of year I get all nostalgic not only for holiday's gone by, but of travels and homes once (and still) loved. I have several holiday traditions that I grew up with like baking cookies with my Grandmothers' recipes or putting toothbrushes in the family stockings, but since I got married I have created my own traditions that I thought I would share. I can't wait until our baby is born to begin new traditions as a mother!
First, every year my husband and I take a photo in front of our Christmas tree. Then, I stick that picture into my special "Christmas Album." This is a photo album in which I keep only pictures (and cards) from Holiday's past. Each year I take it out at Christmas time and we can reminisce about the gifts we got or where we lived; then I pack it away with the Christmas decorations and save it for next year.
Next, each year I make different ornaments to hang on my tree. Along with those ornaments hang trinkets and ornaments that I like to buy while traveling. I love that my Christmas tree has decorations that I got all over the world, from Delft shoes, to Kokeshi dolls, to Hawaiian quilt prints. I have found that sometimes I'd like to have a little reminder or souvenir from a place I've visited, but I don't want some obnoxious kitsch thing, so ornaments are excellent keepsakes. If I can't find locally made or traditional ornaments I have even used key chains (and removed the ring and added a nice hook) or little figures (to which you can attach a hook), pictures from our travels in tiny frames, and even paper luggage tags can be prettied up and hung on the tree.
This year, I made three ornaments by repurposing some metal cookie cutters I got while we lived in Germany. (And, it was those cookie cutters I used to make Christmas cookies for our first married Christmas). I realized they were getting rusty when I packed them up to move here to Mississippi a few months ago, so I stashed them away for a future project. All I did was simply add some glitter and some pretty ribbon and TA-DA! Cute ornaments--with a sentimental meaning.
So, I hope you have your own holiday traditions to enjoy! Have a wonderful Holiday Season and peace, creativity, and light in the New Year.