I remember how thrilled I was about Essley’s first Christmas, which took place when she was just a few days shy of turning one. (Her birthday is December 28th.) I was indescribably excited about having a child with whom I could share the magic of the holiday season. Everything wonderful about it was amplified. And every year since then, it’s only gotten better. She and her little brother make the holidays so full of wonder and light! This year has been especially fun because Essley is now at an age where she is remembering holiday activities we did in previous years and asking to do them again, which means we’re able to establish traditions. When it comes to enjoying the holidays, I wholeheartedly feel that it’s traditions that make them the most special.
A couple of weeks ago, I was talking to Essley about traditions, what they meant, and which ones we’d already done this holiday season. I told her that I thought it would be fun to make a new tradition that we could continue into future years, and asked her to think about what she’d like to do. Unfortunately, her first choice (taking Santa’s reindeer to the swimming pool, in the snow, while wearing our bathing suits) didn’t pan out (I know; bummer). But her second idea sounded pretty great to me – making our own holiday ornaments for the tree.
To this day, my favorite ornaments on my mom’s Christmas tree are those that my sister and I had made. Looking at each one instantly invokes a flooding of the most treasured memories, and that’s just something you can’t beat with store bought ornaments. I honestly couldn’t think of a better tradition to start with my Essley this year.
I had actually just received the coolest craft kit from Moose Toys called Oonies, and when Essley suggested ornament making, I instantly thought about how perfect that would be for making our own ornaments (or as Essley ended up calling them, “ooniements.”). So we put on the holiday music station, poured a couple of glasses of soy eggnog, and got to work. And we had the best time. Oonies are seriously the coolest way to create, you guys. To make them, Essley just takes an Oonies pellet, places it in the inflator, and we watch it magically grow in to an Oonie. She thought this was profoundly thrilling. She was mesmerized. What I personally love the most about them is that the Oonies stick to each other, so there’s no mess. Did you hear that? No mess. With a four year old who is crafting. It was so easy and fun for us to make little animals and a snowman together, and to immediately get to place them on the tree without any wait time. We’ll definitely be using our Oonies to make tree ornaments again holiday season, but I know we’ll be creating with them throughout the year as well. So fun.
I actually feel emotional looking at these photos and thinking about how special it was to take this time together to create these ornaments and start a new tradition that our family will always be able to look forward to. The best.
What holiday traditions do you love the most? Have any of your made your own ornaments this year?
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