Ever since our kids were born we have given them a Christmas ornament for the Christmas tree each year. The year we went on a holiday to Florida I used the sea shells, added a bow and some gold thread to hang the shell with. I picked up key chains in the shape of little Cuban cigars, grass topped huts, and shakers when we were in Cuba.
Piano lessons were taken one year... so I found notes (1/4, 1/8). When they are playing football or soccer... I find football or soccer items. When we went to Dallas, Texas we brought back little cowboy boots and hats. The kids are always making Christmas ornaments in school. Each child has a separate box, with a recipe card inside of it to keep track of the description of the ornament and the year they got it.
When they leave home and have their own Christmas tree they will have something to decorate it with that means something to them.
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Every year since they were little I have given my girls a new Christmas ornament. We also have friends who have exchanged Christmas ornaments with the girls for years...