This post is my 21st "Contributing Angel" post (Thank you again to my friend Angel for allowing me to contribute to your amazing blog!)
I started this tradition about 12 years ago when I made enough scrapbook ornaments for my parents entire tree. I included pictures of family and friends from every important event in my parents lifetime - it is essentially genealogy in pictures as ornaments. Since then I have made some for my mother-in-law's tree and then finally for my own tree. I know that times are tough for many today and this is such a precious & inexpensive gift idea.
It is so much fun every year to relive every moment captured by these photo ornaments. My nieces enjoy helping my parents decorate their tree because they learn so much about our history: what life was like for my parents or for their mom (my sister).
If you scrapbook at all then I recommend doing this for your tree also. And, it is very inexpensive. You don't have to buy $10 ornament frames for each picture you want to hang on the tree - instead you could spend a total of $30 for 30 ornaments!
You will need:
- Your own scrapbooking tools (punches, stencils & knife for cutting)
- Scrapbooking tape or glue
- Photocopies of old photos (ALWAYS GET A COLOR COPY- even if you are copying black & white photos. You need to get a color copy to show the depth and dimension. I go to my local Office Max and pay 10 cents for a color photocopy & I can fit 5 to 7 pictures on one page! Use the thicker paper but NOT photo paper )
- Then, buy some scrapbooking paper (try to stick with a variety of 3 or 4 patterns/colors that compliment each other).
Now, get creative, use your imagination & make ornaments!
Later string with twine or embroidery thread or ribbon - whatever you have around the house.
Below I have shared some of my favorite Christmas Family Tree Ornaments from my tree - 2 memories & 2 stories:
Dad's Work Christmas Party - I am 5 years old in the picture above. Every year my dad's employer had a work Christmas party for the employee's and their families. They gave the most wonderful gifts! All of the girls were given the same type of gift and all of the boys where given the same type of gift for their age group (maybe the color varied depending on what the gift was that year but they were all the same thing). That year I received the Barbie Beach Bus!! Also, an important part of these work parties was the open skate - that is where I really learned how to ice skate and enjoyed every bruised minute! (you will only understand what I mean if you remember learning to ice skate). This is a great Memory Ornament.
The live lion cub at the mall - In the picture above my little sister is on the left and I am on the right. In the 1980's there was a little temporary photo kiosk in the mall where you could have your picture taken with a live lion cub!! This would never happen in today's society with all of the liability that would be necessary for this photographer. The picture was taken at the exact moment that the cub started flexing her claws INTO MY LEGS!! You can see by the expression on my face that I was shocked & did not know what to do to stop the pain. (Actually there were only a few scratches - no real skin penetration - but still very scary). My sister was oblivious & didn't want the photographer to take the cub away (my little sister was in her own little world at that age - hahaha). This is a great Memory Ornament.
My Husband the "Punt, Pass & Kick" Champ - My husband is the boy holding the football in the picture above (The other kids in the photo are his siblings & then of course his dad behind him). Often, during the Fall he would compete in what was then a Ford Motor Company Competition called "Punt, Pass & Kick". After winning the local competition he would then go to Detroit for the state competition - he always placed first or third overall. This is a great Story Ornament.
My mother-in-law in the U.P. - My mother-in-law is the little girl in the picture above. She is in the "U.P." (Upper Peninsula of Michigan) with her Swedish grandparents. She has many wonderful stories of life in the U.P. (too many to recant in this one little post). But this picture is so darling - just look at that cute little doll and those wrinkly pantyhose! Her grandparents were wonderful people & you can tell that she was enjoying every minute with them by the expression on her face. This is a great Story Ornament.