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Christmas Memory Tree Ideas & Family Traditions

When it comes to Christmas... many people would say I tend to go "slightly" overboard... What can I say? I love ALL things Christmas!


When it comes to decorating, especially decorating a Memory Tree, the less rules, the better! Actually, 0 rules and unlimited creativity is all you need! A memory tree is a unique way to express yourself as a family and create a special tradition in your family that may continue long after the kids are grown.

Here are just a few ideas for memory tree ornaments to get your creative juices flowing!

  • ornaments from vacations

  • special memory ornaments

  • priceless home-made gifts/ornaments from the kiddos

  • ornaments that showcase your kids' hobbies and unique talents

  • ornaments that showcase parents' hobbies and unique talents

  • memories of monumental moments, awards, years

  • inside jokes

  • ornaments of family activities & traditions

  • pet ornaments

  • anything that is special, memorable, or unique to you and your family!

  • milestone events such as a sonogram, baby's arrival, baby's first step, special birthdays, child's first car/turning 16, graduation, college, engagements, weddings, etc.

  • places you've lived (pictures of homes, house keys, or state ornaments)

  • utilize the adorable picture frame ornaments with a picture of a sonogram, birthday, vacation, or special memory

  • favorite sports team or mascot

  • monogrammed anything

  • family last name initial

  • child's handprints or footprints

  • custom ornaments - Etsy is a great place to look for these as well!

You can even make this one of your Christmas presents to your spouse &/or children each year by selecting a unique ornament that represents that person, memory, or year and give it to them on Christmas Eve (or Christmas Day) to open up and add to the tree.

Do you have a family favorite restaurant or a restaurant that reminds you of a special trip or family vacation? Ask your server for a cardboard coaster, then punch a hole in the coaster and attach a ribbon for a free yet special ornament! We did this with a coaster from the Cedric's restaurant in the Biltmore Village in Asheville, NC.

Do you have a special craft or project you do with your kids? Find a way to make an ornament out of it! Kids love being involved so make it another memorable time for them!

Another idea is to purchase some craft clear ornaments from Hobby Lobby and add unique items into it to represent a memory. For example, collect sand and a few seashells from a treasured beach vacation. Then add the sand, seashells, and any other mementos to create your own one-of-a-kind ornament. You can always take a permanent or silver marker and write the destination and date on the ornament too. Start brainstorming now, and think of ideas throughout the year!


Establish a new tradition and continue the tradition by having the kids' not only contribute to the tree's ornaments, but also help decorate it. Make it a special night that the kids will look forward to each year with Christmas PJs, hot cocoa, Christmas tunes, festive treats, and more. Each child can take turns selecting an ornament and sharing their favorite memory associated with that ornament as they place it on the tree. This can be a precious bonding time for everyone as well as a way to reflect on the many wonderful memories created as a family. Maybe even top off the night with a fun Christmas movie or drive around to check out Christmas lights while listening to Christmas jams and sipping on hot cocoa.


Hubs and I started dating almost 8 years ago and started a tradition of collecting Christmas "memory" ornaments back when we were young-ins. Even despite a couple year hiatus, I held onto the ornaments we had collected over the years...including this little gem from our very first Christmas in 2010. (FYI: Penguins have always been "our animal" if you were wondering for the reason behind the ornament).

We have gathered ornaments on various vacations as well as ornaments that represent different memories created together along with some of our favorite hobbies. We plan on continuing this tradition and are excited to one day have enough ornaments to retire this baby tree and decorate a full-size tree. We also plan to add to it when (future) kids come into the picture with family vacations and new memories (and of course feature those special home-made ornaments that you just can't put a price tag on...)

Here are our new ornaments for 2017. Pizza: because this is a staple meal in our least once a week, but I could honestly eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Duke basketball: because my hubs is OBSESSED with Duke. Kind of like I'm obsessed with pizza... Nebraska football: I'm originally from the 'good life' state and a Husker through and through... Even though this season was a 'tad' rough for us and hard to watch, there's hope with a new coach and new year in 2018... GBR!!

Christmas Tree: HomeGoods

Silver Mirrored Tray: HomeGoods

Ornaments: Everywhere! (Including a few from pottery Barn & Hobby Lobby)

Rustic Coffee Table: Our Custom Creation

(Check out our Furniture Makeovers page to see more!)

Pizza Ornament: Target

Sports Ornaments:

Check out my Christmas Decorating page for other ideas and "how-to's" including a wreath making tutorial!

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This lifestyle blog is a sampling of my many passions and interests that are a reflection of my soul essence.
There's something for everyone here to inspire and channel their inner soul essence.
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