Who knew that seventeen years ago a few days before Christmas, I would walk into a store in NYC, and find one of the best gifts I could ever purchase for myself.
On a whim, I decided to pick up the shiny silver ornament, that left room for a photograph in the center.
My heart was brimming with joy and excitement and a feeling of elation took over.
I knew exactly at that moment what I had to do...
I rushed home, briskly walking along Broadway, passing by families carrying their tree, tied up in burlap strings, hearing the bells of Santa ringing on the street corners, to cut out the most perfect photo of my first born daughter.
I knew, standing in my apartment as snowflakes fell outside, that a tradition had been born and one I would cherish for a lifetime.
As I look at the bins of ornaments laid out on the table each year, memories flood back. The ornaments are all based on certain times in our lives: who liked dancing, baking, playing the clarinet? Who liked to eat cheese, drink martinis, eat pierogis?
We have ornaments that have been passed down from grandparents who are now not with us and ornaments handmade by cousins who have also passed on.
And one I truly cherish... a green paper tree with my four year old handwriting, attempting to write my name.
But this tree is not the one that fills me up...
A small fake tree that makes my heart turn to mush each year as I set it up.
You see, the shiny silver ornament that I bought all those years ago, well now our tree is filled with one ornament each year, for each of our four girls and a photo each year for me and my husband.
Watching the girls separate their photo ornaments each year into their pile, picking out their favorite one to place on the tree first while giggling at all of the images of years gone by, makes my heart melt.
it is a tree filled with love.
So each morning, as I gaze at this photo tree, I am gently reminded that this is all Christmas in my home really needs...
And that is my greatest Christmas blessing.
May you all feel the blessings of family this Christmas...
This post comes from the TODAY Parenting Team community, where all members are welcome to post and discuss parenting solutions. Learn more and join us! Because we're all in this together.