I think I could write a whole book about family traditions and how important I think they are. A tradition is so much more than the tiny little thing it seems like on the outside. Traditions give you something to look forward to and make you feel like you're part of something special. That's my two cents, anyway.
A couple of years ago, Jeff and I decided to start a tradition for our family. We had been lucky and had done quite a bit of traveling in our short 1 1/2 years of marriage including trips all around the country - from Florida to Washington State and even a trip to China. When we came up with this tradition, we were on a trip to Brazil. The city we were in is called Belo Horizonte and it's a very special city to Jeff and I. I wanted to bring something home that really reminded me of the feelings we'd had that trip - visiting our close friends and seeing the places we both love - BUT the only things that seemed to represent my feelings were little trinkets...tiny statues and things like that. Fun to look at in the store, but I am not a trinket kind of girl. I have no idea what to do with them and think they just take up space and collect dust. As we were roaming around an enormous market in the middle of the city, lightning struck my brain. Our problem was solved and our tradition started.
We each picked out a couple of things we liked. Trinkets even. When we got home, Jeff drilled holes in the tops and added hooks so we could hang them from our Christmas tree, and wha-laaa! A family tradition.
Since then everywhere we go we pick something out that we can hang on our tree. We have written on the bottom of each "ornament" where we got it and the date of the trip so we remember. If you think it's fun to decorate the tree already, try doing it while unwrapping treasures from all over the world as you go. It is SUCH a blast and gives us a chance to reminisce about our memories and adventures. I love it.
This last weekend we went to Coeur d' Alene, Idaho for a few days with Jeff's family, and while we were there we bought a Christmas ornament in keeping with the tradition. I think it suits us perfectly, what do you think? :)