The year that Ryan studied in Ireland, I found an Irish snowman with a shamrock on his hat. (Yes, the search can sometimes be challenging!) Ryan also has several black Lab ornaments in honor of his faithful pal, Buster. And last year, I was thrilled to find that Hallmark made an ornament of the Fisher Price barn—a tiny replica of the very barn that Ryan had played with through his childhood, the very barn that we had just given to him for his own daughter, Eve! (What perfect timing!)
Kati treasures her “bookworm” ornament, given to her the year that she began to read for pleasure, and as a nod to her bird watching hobby, she has several birds and nests in her collection. This year's cupcake ornament represents her year of learning to decorate cakes.
One year, Bekah’s ornament had a baby Jesus and was inscribed with John 3:16, a Bible verse she had had me read to her over and over. Both of my piano-playing girls (Kristin and Bekah) have tiny pianos in their collections. And there are a few frou-frou ornaments in Bekah's too. ;-)
I also have made hearts embroidered with each child’s name.
But, this collection of Christmas ornaments is “for keeps.” When each child starts his/her own home, they receive their box of ornaments to decorate their own Christmas tree. We have (a bit tearfully) sent two boxes of Christmas ornaments on their way to new homes.
We continue to have fun with it though...because now, not only do we search for special treasures for each of our four children, we have six grandchildren for whom we carry on the tradition!