Adoption · Linkup · Musings and Personal · Writing Prompts

Personalized Holiday Traditions – Adoption Talk Linkup

Today I am linking up with Erin Bohn’s Adoption Talk writing prompt. Click here or on the Adoption Talk badge in my sidebar to check it out.

Today’s topic is Holiday Traditions.


Traditions are important to me but rather than follow, well, traditional traditions, I like to give them a personal spin.

When Payten spent her first Christmas with us, she was 3 1/2 years old. She was enough to notice things but not old enough to understand them.

I wanted her to feel like part of the family!

Christmas Ornaments:  Each year someone gets a Christmas ornament. Sometimes we make them, sometimes we buy them, and sometimes we give them as a gift.

Our Christmas tree is full of ornaments from past years, with lots of memories.

We didn’t have any of Payten’s ornaments and I felt sad that she had no memories hanging on the tree.

I asked the family to give her an ornament as a gift or along with a gift.

My brother gave her a star with a picture of him and his girlfriend. (He’s not with her anymore but I can’t figure out how to change it!) IMG_0911

My sister-in-law took her shopping and let her pick one out. IMG_0910

My parents sent an ornament from my childhood to all of us. Not only was Payten given an ornament, she was given family history. IMG_0912

Advent Calendar: We had the same one each year when I was a child. It was paper with windows to open, each getting bigger as we got closer to Christmas.

There were a lot of windows with tape…

We did something similar for my son except each window had a piece of candy behind it.

I decided to make an Advent Calendar for the kids!

Trust me, it’s hideous…

I let them each pick out a piece of fabric. I used fabric glue to glue them together.

Sewing on a button is the extent of my needle and thread talent…

Then I took socks, mittens, booties, etc. that the kids had outgrown, and pinned them on. Although we didn’t have anything of Payten’s from her baby years, we did have the things she had already outgrown.


This is the fifth year we’ve had the homemade Advent Calendar. Payten doesn’t remember it was made for her first year with us; however, I will tell her the story someday.

As the years go by, we still add more ornaments to the tree. I am happy she has those memories as well, and her family history to go along with it.

What are your holiday traditions and how did they get started?

4 thoughts on “Personalized Holiday Traditions – Adoption Talk Linkup

  1. That ornament from your brother is too funny! That’s the kind of thing that would happen in our house. Since we adopted firsts, I had never considered how it might feel at Christmas to not have ornaments from over the years. Love that you guys filled it in! Also, small world, but my husband had that same rocking horse ornament as a child and we still hang it every year!


  2. I wrote a post about not having family traditions at Christmas but I guess maybe we do have a few. We do get our kids’ ornaments every year, although I don’t think we’ve done such a great job at keeping who’s is whose separated. And your brother’s ex girlfriend ornament made me laugh. They say tattoos are forever….

    Liked by 1 person

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