The first Christmas 5ohHubby and I were married (and not living in China) I bought a starter ornament set from Costco to fill our tree. But our tree wasn't as warm as the trees of my childhood. The trees of my childhood were full of memories. Every year we would pull down all the boxes, blast the Christmas music, grab our hot chocolate with tiny marshmallows , and talk about Christmases past as we pulled out (and laughed over) special ornaments one by one. All 5ohHubby and I had was an ornament my mom got us & a gift from a teacher when we were in China. We wanted a way to make memories on our tree for our family. That is when we heard about the "ornament of the year" from 5ohHubby's Aunt.
Every year for Christmas we get ourselves an ornament to commemorate the biggest event of that year. We could just add on to the wonderful ornament my mom got us and continue this as our family grew. As we have more kids we will probably do an ornament exchange with all of them since they will all have big events each year. As the quantity of our ornaments grow we will remove all the "starter set" ornaments until our entire tree is full of memories.
We already had the ornament from the year we got married. The next year when Hubby became 5ohHubby I found a toy policeman at the dollar store and turned him into an ornament. The next year I graduated from college and 5ohHubby got me a graduate ornament. Last year we were pregnant with 5ohBaby and we found a little pregnancy ornament on etsy.
This year our ornament is for 5ohBaby. I made one with her actual name on it but I thought it would be fun to show what I did, so let's just pretend her initials are 5-O-H. I hope you enjoy it!
Baby's First Christmas Ornament
Clear ornament (I got mine at Jo-Ann Fabrics)
Acrylic Paint (two colors)
Nail Polish Remover
The first thing I did was paint 5ohBaby's hand with the pink acrylic paint. She seemed to be really interested in it. She kept opening and closing her hand which was fine because all it did was spread the paint all over her hand. I made sure there was a good layer with excess on her entire hand to make sure the paint transferred smoothly. I then pressed her hand gently to a little paper so
I wouldn't have to pry her fingers open she would know what we were doing, then I placed her hand on the ornament, pressing down gently. I then made sure to thoroughly wash her hand with soap and water.
The resulting hand print is a little smudged and less than perfect. That's totally ok and more than expected with an 8 month old. To tweak the hand print I first used a q-tip dipped in nail polish remover to go around the finger prints and remove the smudges. The paint comes off very easily with the nail polish remover so be careful.
I also put a little paint on my pinky finger and rounded out the bottom of the palm print and filled in any places where the paint was very thin. I just gently tapped the ornament to fill it in. It worked really well with just minimal paint.
That's much better.
I let the paint dry for a few minutes in the ornament holder. Next, I took a tiny paintbrush and painted her initials and the year she was born over the hand print with the second paint color.
I had an extra birth announcement and thought this would make a great filler. I took the announcement and cut it into long strips. At the bottom there is a whole paragraph with our names, her name, her birthday, her birth weight, etc etc. I made sure to cut those strips carefully so on each individual strip you could read the information.
I opened the top of the ornament and placed the strips of birth announcement inside one by one. I made sure to place the strips with words on them in strategic parts so that they could be read. I also was careful to make sure the strips bent along the contour of the ornament so it wasn't just a tangled mess inside.
To finish things up, I tied an "its a girl" ribbon on the top and hung it on our tree. I think this is my favorite ornament of all. Well, not this one, but her actual ornament with her actual name on it.
What are your family's favorite Christmas traditions?