Jamie and I were discussing Christmas traditions the other night. We both agreed that as far as traditions go, we both had the same one growing up for tree decorating. Our families put all of our cute, dorky, handmade ornaments on the tree. Jamie and I both "inherited" our respective ornaments when we got married. We have about 2-3 boxes of all of the ornaments we made or collected over the years. One year I did end up throwing away all of the tattered ones, or the ones that neither of us could figure out what it was supposed to be anymore! Now that we have our own children, our tree is beginning to fill up with their cute, homemade ornaments. I noticed this year that our tree is becoming overwhelmingly full of ornaments made from foam craft kits, paper, or some other brand of art. I really like the process of decorating the tree. I have memories tied to nearly every single ornament (except for Jamie's, of course), and it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy to reminisce over each ornament. My favorites have become the few that I made for Jamie during our first years together. After about year three, I became lazy and stopped making them, but I absolutely love the first one I made (we had only been dating a month). It looks like a snowball.
This year I decided that while it's nice to have a tree full of memories, I have been yearning to have a grown-up tree also. NOT a themed tree--I don't think I could pull that off, and I don't even want to--but one that is simply not full of homemade items made by 5-year-olds. Jamie agreed that it would be neat for the kids to have their own tree next year. I was at several houses this holiday season in which the kids playroom had a small tree with all of the cute, sentimental, homemade ornaments on it, and the grown-up, tastefully decorated tree was on display elsewhere. I thought that was a great idea! I know my children would flip over having their very own tree in the playroom, and they could touch all of the ornaments and move them around all they want. Lo and behold, Hobby Lobby is having a 50% off sale on Christmas trees right now, so I found the perfect 4.5 ft tree! Of course, it will be stored in the attic until next year, but I'm already excited about surprising the kids next year with their very own, pint-sized tree!
How about everyone else? How do you balance decorating the tree with sentimental ornaments vs. breakable, decorative items?