This year I wasn't sure how it would work having "married" kids and Christmas traditions.  Well, Brit & her hubby were still in!  Chris, Brittany and Zeke weren't coming over until later because of work schedules so they got to enjoy the fruit of our labor and the Gator game :).

We used to always decorate the tree and play a CD of Christmas music.  Well, last year we started playing one of our favorite movies "Elf"while we decorated.  We can quote most of the lines of the entire movie. 

This year while in the attic I discovered a "treasure" that I'll share with you in pictures :)

Here is a photo blog of some old and new traditions.  

Note-I would like to demand suggest that you momma's mark the YEAR on crafts, cards, ornaments.  I am so disappointed that many of the aforementioned items I have NO IDEA when my kids made them. Decorating sounds something like this:  "AWWWW!!  Here is an ornament you made some year at church (or school); you were a very talented artist at the age of 'I don't know'" :)

Dad always strings the lights
He discovered going "up & down" was easier than going "around" the tree
easier on and off--that is a free tip :)

For the first year ever we put multi-colored lights on our tree {insert sound of shock and dismay from chilren here}!  I never, ever, put multi colored lights on my tree.  Typically all white.  I did do a blue and white tree for a few years and "blue" lights made it on the tree. 

I think it turned out lovely.  We did "just a touch" of multi with mostly white. 

Son-in law helping with the decorating before he had to go off to work
*I don't write his name as he is in a job where his identity has to be protected.  I share that so you don't think I regard him as "son-in-law"

One year my mother and daughter (around the age of "I don't know" probably 5 or 6) made Christmas ornaments for the family. They are extra special because they are handmade and my mom has passed. 

Ornament made by my mom that says "Mom"

Here is the finished tree though this picture does it no justice ;)

Polk Family Tree 2009

This is a mini-tree that always graces our home at the holidays.  It is from the year before my mom passed. She was in the hospital; and we got this for her hospital room.  

MoMo's Tree

Here are a few of my favorite "crafty" ornaments made by my kids "some year" I don't know when.  You may have my permission to copy them.  Because they are great, priceless treasure in our home.  They look easy to make. 

It's her hand traced, painted, then donned with cotton.  
Brittny's Santa Hand

This is an angel made with a spoon, wired ribbon, paper doily, gold pipe cleaner, and black marker.  Amazing crafters I marvel at your creativity! An all-time favorite of mine!

Hunter's Angel

Unfortunately, I have no hand made ornaments from Brittany. I guess when you are a teen (which is when she became a part of our family) you don't make ornaments anymore.  Well, maybe she will make me an ornament to add to the tree now that she is a crafty adult.  We'll see.  

I had the idea my first year of marriage to buy an ornament every year that would eventually make up the ornaments that the kids could take with them when they married.  Well that was a nice dream!  It happened the first year, then kaput! So as the girls got engaged I was like I better get on it and bought ornaments to begin their stash. 

I gave each girl (and Hunter's for future) some of the traditional ornaments that are on our tree every year.  The snowflakes, the crystal stars, and some other special things.  This year our ornament was a carved wooden cross.  

I expanded the tradition to include new baby grands!  I got Zeke an ornament that will go on our tree and the same ornament for his tree.  I imagine him coming to the house someday and scouring the tree looking for "his" ornament.   Who knows it may be a dream, but I like the idea and will continue it with all future baby grands :) I have been looking for a "first ornament" for some time now and haven't found anything un-cheesy.  Then walking out of the Cracker Barrel IT caught me.  There it was, the theme for his baby shower, the gift we got him to play with as he grew, a treasure of our own childhood memories...
 Zeke's Sock Monkey

Well, I told you about "the treasure" I found in the attic lugging down all those Christmas decorations.  I found our FAVORITE home movie!  The "Girls" as teenagers made music videos and it was amazing!  When we first turned it on "I cried" I know; for those that know me it is not a shocker.  Seeing the girls, so young, and knowing the beauty of their lives now... just a tear jerker! 

Well, when it got to their "RAP" Brit, embarrased, wanted to turn it off... this was the result...

Too bad he is now bigger than her! 

Too funny!  She lost!  We all laughed at the creativity and beauty of those two beautiful young women of God!  Priceless memories! 

Last year I made an album of "Christmas' Pasts" and it was a hit this year.  Hunter didn't help decorate the tree for the longest time because he couldn't put it down. 

Hunter marveling at how much he changed in one year

Our newest tradition: THE JESSE TREE

How did I not know of this when they were young?  Well thanks to some bloggy friends I now know.  You may notice the former "Thankful Tree" doing new duty as "The Jesse Tree"

In case you don't know about this "Like Me" here is a link to my friends posts. Thank you friends! We are loving this!!!!

Thread by Thread
Babe of My Heart

The site that I found "parent devotions" that we are using for Hunter since he is 15.  Parent Devotions @

To end,  just to be funny... I wanted to share one last "from I don't know when" Christmas Card Brittny made "Some year" and though it is difficult to see:
  • Dad is wearing a unitard with dark tights. 
  • She shows off my need for a new hairstyle so well. 
  • The girls are wearing high-heels.  
  • Brittny is buff! 
  • and our favorite (probably means something)
  • Hunter has no hands! 
Ha!  We love it!  Priceless! She was "young" but again I don't know how young so MARK THE YEAR! 

Merry CHRISTmas! 


Andrea said...

Beautiful memories in the making! LOVE IT!
Blessings and prayers, andrea

Janet (Latte Lady) said...

You were a hard working blogger this morning. Oh my goodness! You know there is some place that turns your blog into a book? (For you)

Beautiful traditions!


The Bryants said...

I love it Jen. It almost made me cry thinking about my shower for him. I was a little sad this year that we didn't get to decorate the tree with you guys. But the pics are just as good!!
Merry Christmas back in your face!