Main image for Annual Christmas Tree Ornaments Time to Read: ~4 min

We've been making homemade ornaments for our family since we were married. We skipped 1998 and 1999, though. We were newly married then, moving to apartments in Waltham, Massachusetts and Fairport, New York. As we had kids and built a home, our ornament streak remained intact!

Calligraphy Heart

Amy and I started dating on Columbus Day Weekend in 1996. I found these hearts in a craft store. I took a calligraphy class in college, so felt comfortable scripting our initials and the year on some parchment.

Holly Leaves with Berries

We thought it'd be fun to make a festive ornament with Sculpey Clay. What's more festive than holly leaves with berries?

Ho, Ho, Ho

We bought a clay book for ourselves. Sculpey Clay in hand, we had a lot of fun learning new techniques. It was a double-ornament year!

Christmas Tree

More Sculpey Clay fun to accompany the "Ho, Ho, Ho" ornament. I guess we thought that the year 2000 was significant enough to warrant two ornaments!

Clay Heart

Again with the clay? Yes! We had fun fashioning this heart with a festive braid of red and white.


We'll forever remember the process of building our first home together. We bought land in the Village of Trumansburg, picked a house plan, customized the heck out of it, and engaged a builder to make it a reality. We put plenty of sweat equity in, too, and the result was oh-so-sweet.


Our son Xander was born in 2003, so definitely a cause for Joy! This was a pre-made ceramic ornament. We painted on it with ceramic paint and affixed a laminated picture on the back.

Cornucopia with Holly

A few minutes in a craft store was all it took to find this year's ornament. We assembled this with an off-the-shelf ceramic container, some artificial foliage, and a custom tag.

Paper Accordions

The kids, ages 2 and 5, really enjoyed cutting and folding paper into accordions.


This was the year that we added a custom deck on the back of our home. We had some material left over, so thought it'd be cool to create Trex ornaments with a picture of the completed deck!

Sea Glass Photo

We collected the sea glass and seashells for this ornament during a summer trip to Cape May with cousin Cassidy. Such fun in more temperate weather!

Flower Pot

Were we thinking of spring when we made this clay flower pot? Perhaps.

Hiking in Oregon

We created this to commemorate a really fun trip to Oregon. Over the two weeks, we hiked 75 miles with an elevation gain of 18,000 feet. Amy's sister Sarah and her boyfriend Adam took us up Old Snowy Mountain (in Washington) and up South Sister (near Bend, OR).


Both kids were really into reading so we made a miniature bookshelf. The book covers are titled "Frog and Toad are Friends" and "Little House in the Big Woods."


We used a softer no-bake style of clay for this delicious looking cupcake ornament.

Angry Bird

Xander was OBSESSED with all things "Angry Birds" this year.

Honda Pilot

We bought our Honda Pilot this year and immediately drove it cross-country to Oregon. Plenty of fun on I-90! Elizabeth (age 12) made this ornament by herself out of clay.

Mickey Mouse

We saw these on our Disney trip this year and thought it'd be the perfect ornament to share with others.

Music Notes

Both kids really starting to get into music this year. Simple, yet thematically appropriate!

Snowball in the Pool

Our beloved rabbit, Snowball, swam in a pool for the first time this year. His fragile ears didn't last long on the ornament, but the memory of him swimming will last a lifetime.

Cork Grapes

We drink wine and save the corks. These ornaments are a nod to our local wine region. We were inspired by a Pinterest idea for using corks for these bunches.

BodyPump with FLX Fitclub

Chantelle Farmer opened FLX Fitclub in March 2017 and we were enthusiastic joiners from the first day. We love all things LesMills in her fitness club, including BodyPump!

Oregon Pine Cone

Amy and I had just enjoyed a morning coffee at Sisters Coffee Company when we came upon these perfect pine cones on the walk back to our rental. They were appropriately located on South Pine Street in Sisters, Oregon.

Piano Keys

When Scott's Korg 01/WproX piano started to bite the dust, he tore it down to be recycled. It seemed appropriate to upcycle the keys into ornaments, given that 7 octaves contained the requisite C/D/E combination for this ornament. Also appropriate since Elizabeth began her college education this fall as a music education major with a concentration in Piano.

Pottery Vessel with a Yellow Rose

Elizabeth made this year's ornament to remember her grandma, Diana Bradham. Elizabeth threw, glazed, and fired all of the pottery vessels (20 in all) and placed Diana's favorite flower (a yellow rose) in each.


We call this the "Saxy"-est ornament on the tree. 2021 has been all about the saxophone (well, flute and clarinet, too) for Xander as he auditions for music school. He also was the principle saxophonist at the NYSSMA All-State Music Festival.

A College and a Conservatory

It's a two-for-one year with a reversible ornament that Elizabeth purchased from Amanda Colunio. Elizabeth graduated from Ithaca College and Xander was a freshman at Boston Conservatory in 2022!

Explora I

Xander was a working musician on Explora Journeys' Explora I for much of 2023, so we commemorated the occasion with a nautical ornament we purchased from a Christmas shop in New York City's Little Italy.

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