Why My Favorite Christmas Ornament Will Only Get Better With Age

This handmade keepsake has procured preferred placement on my tree through the end of time.

First Married Christmas Tree Ornament

Tara Massouleh McCay

There’s something extra special about your first married Christmas. Outside of being the one time in your life when you can use the phrase “Married Christmas” on your Christmas cards, it sets the tone for holiday traditions that will last a lifetime.

On my first married Christmas, I admittedly went a little crazy with the seasonal activities. Despite the fact that my husband and I had spent the previous four Christmases together, this one was different. We finally had a home (albeit a rental) to decorate as we pleased, and we’d be waking up next to each other on Christmas morning for the first time.

With sugar plum fairies dancing in our heads, we set to work creating an ambitious schedule of holiday festivities … which we tackled with the fervor of a kid on Christmas morning. We decorated Christmas cookies, watched Christmas Vacation at a historic theater, and spent far too long picking out the perfect tree. We went on a Christmas lights tour and even wore matching pajamas. We celebrated the holidays like there was no tomorrow, and I have the album full of self-timer photos to prove it.

So when it came time to pick gifts for each other, there’s no surprise that my husband and I had the same theme in mind. When we peered into our stockings on Christmas morning, we were tickled to find that we each bought the other a “First Married Christmas” ornament. I found mine on Etsy and got it customized with our names and the year. He did something similar, and we both chuckled at the pair of delicate porcelain ornaments.

Later that day, when we opened gifts with my in-laws, we were gifted a third “First Married Christmas” ornament, but this one was unlike the others. After all the presents had been opened, my father-in-law pulled out one last gift—a small, simply wrapped box. Inside was a caramel-colored ornament made from the trunk of our very first Christmas tree. Earlier that season, my father-in-law had helped us take a fresh cut from the bottom of our tree. Instead of throwing the slice away, he saved it and created a keepsake that we’ll cherish for decades to come. He used a wood burning pen to inscribe “Out First Christmas Tree 2018,” on the precious disc, then shellacked the entire thing to create a shiny varnish and protective seal.

Every year when my husband and I decorate our tree, we use the time to reflect. And while we love reminiscing on past travels via ornaments collected from around the world, my favorite ornament to unwrap is always the “First Christmas Tree” ornament. Memories fade and pictures become stale, but having a tangible object to remind me of the magic of our first Christmas together speaks directly to my deeply sentimental soul. The keepsake is so special to me just five years later. I can only imagine how much more meaningful it will be in 50. Like good whiskey or a favorite pair of jeans, it'll only get better with age.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles