Personalized Christmas Ornaments

As I mentioned briefly in my post about this year’s budget Christmas tree, we don’t have much of an ornament collection right now, so we decorated our tree with some inexpensive shatter-resistant ones from Home Depot. They don’t have any kind of story behind them (except that we got them cheap), but they do a good job of adding some red, green, and gold shinyness to an otherwise plain Christmas tree.

We’d been talking about starting a tradition of adding an ornament each year, something personalized and with the year printed on it, so that as time went by we’d slowly build up a collection of unique and meaningful Christmas tree ornaments. We were speculating on where to obtain such a thing this year when a mysterious package arrived in the mail — and it turned out to be a surprise gift from Joe’s stepmom Julie:

Personalized ornament featuring the Hart family as penguins!

Isn’t it cute? I love how happy and lighthearted it is, and I can imagine Lillian being amused at the sight of her family as cartoon penguins wearing hats and scarves in a few years. And just like that we have the first annual family ornament to add to our collection. Huzzah! (And a big thanks to Julie for the gift!)

Speaking of personalized ornaments, I’d really like to make one specially for Lillian this year — something involving her baby handprint, so she can look back on how tiny she was on her first Christmas as she grows. Does anyone know of any good ideas or tutorials for baby handprint craft projects? I have an idea or two in mind, but I’m worried it’ll turn into some kind of super-messy train wreck, haha…


  1. I am so glad that you are enjoying the ornament! We thought it was adorable, too! Your father-in-law and I started that tradition two years ago after we got married, and I believe that he and Joe’s mom did it as well while they were married. I guess it’s a Hart family tradition! :) We just thought it would be a great way to help celebrate Lillian’s first Christmas (and your first Christmas as a family of three).

    As for the handprint ornament, I found this:

    I’m pretty sure, though, that Joe’s mom and grandmama can give you some even better ideas on that! Love you all!!

  2. Thanks again for the ornament! And a kit like the one from that link would probably be the safe way to go, especially if it comes with detailed instructions on how not to mess it up horribly. :)

  3. Neat ornament! Reminds me of the ducks on your wedding cake! I like the Hallmark kit, too. Most of what I’ve seen with handprints involves paint and making impressions on fabric or paper, suppose you could try making an impression in wet clay. Hardest part will be getting Lillian to hold her hand still while being printed, pressed, or other wise manipulated!

    Getting excited about seeing all of you!

  4. Sarah – cookie dough ornaments are really easy and don’t require anything other than normal baking supplies (and you could make one that has her handprint, or that you cut around her hand). We have some on my parents’ tree that we made when I was 2 – just before my brother was born. They’re still some of my favorites.

  5. As cold as it is in Chicago, those penguins would probably be right at home! Absolutely adorable ornament! As for the print, I’d use the kit, and dress it up a little – say, glue some lace around the edge and write (or get someone else, if you don’t have good handwriting) Lillian’s name and the date in metallic marker. I did that (sort of) with Geoffrey’s first ornament, a ceramic rocking horse. Joe and Rachel got metal ornaments, engraved at the store, but I couldn’t find any similar for Geoff.

  6. Thanks for the comments and ornament suggestions everyone! I’m thinking of trying something with paint, but I’ve found a couple of neat-looking examples involving the dough option, and then of course there’s clay and plaster… I should write up a post about all these great ideas. :)

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