Every year when we put up the Christmas tree, Jarrett and I find ourselves doing a lot of reminiscing. Many of the ornaments tucked into tissue paper in the Christmas bin we have picked up on our numerous camping and touring adventures.
It’s a tradition we started 10 years ago on our honeymoon to the Great Smoky Mountains, where we picked up a little black bear ornament to remind us of that trip. On every trip since–most of which have been camping trips–we have continued the tradition by finding something we can use as an ornament to document the special memories made. Sometimes gift stores at state parks or attractions will have specially designed Christmas ornaments. Other times we have to get more creative, turning a key chain, bell, or small trinket into an ornament.
We have started sharing this tradition with the kiddos, too, and we try to find one ornament marking a special trip our family took that year. This year we gave them each a little fire engine model that we are going to use fishing line to make into an ornament. We found these at the Charleston Fire Museum during our visit to Charleston in March.
We have found this ornament tradition to be a practical way to bring home meaningful souvenirs–without cluttering up our home. And it provides a great launching point for memory lane conversations. Yes, our tree is a bit eclectic and won’t rival all those fancy magazine trees, but it’s a yearly reminder of how blessed we’ve been to enjoy so many adventures together.