Our Birthday Tree Tradition stemmed from the desire to creatively document little things about Juner in combination with her intense love of the holidays (it's pretty next level).
Anything from what she loves to play with and stories she tells, to places she's traveled. and favorite foods is on the table with the idea of making ornaments from felt, recycled cardboard, old paint chips and clay.
What makes the birthday tree so special?
The big appeal is that it's a super inexpensive and fun way to document little things about your child that has an incredibly low environmental impact to boot. It's also an opportunity for your kids to take full ownership over decorating their tree and seeing your child light up as they unwrap each handmade ornament is about as priceless as you can get. It turns out it's also a really profound way for your child to feel seen too in kind of a unique way too.
Soooo what does it look like?
We have a special wooden box that we store our ornaments in. Each one is wrapped in a small piece of scrap fabric to keep it safe and our kids decorate their tree's on the eve of their birthday.
As they discover what's new for the year and find old ornaments we talk about what they mean and how much they have grown and changed over time. It's a gateway to funny stories, deep connections and an enormous amount of love.
As for for how many ornaments to make, three to four is a great place to start but it's entirely up to you, what works best for your family and the amount of time you have. The first year we did it I made about ten just to get things moving but this year I made 6 new ones to add.
I tend to work at night after my kids go to bed for a few nights to get them finished and this year I also let Juner help. She never saw anything completed entirely but she was so excited to be apart of the process and be able to give suggestions and stitch little bits and pieces together.
Don't have the space? Don't have a tree? Looking for an alternative?
Turn it into a birthday countdown! If you child is anything like Juner then how many more sleeps is a regular question you're getting!
Creating a birthday countdown to help give a visual and using little ornaments to mark each day is a wonderful alternative.
That's really all there is to it... just a really beautiful way to celebrate your kids and the things they love the most.
The ornaments will become something your child can take with them when they are all grown up, something to have long after you're gone that they know you made just for them, something that represents a small part of their lives... a little heirloom to be passed down along with the tradition.
Birthdays can get crowded with so much stuff that's long forgotten, I love having something that I know will endure and is filled with meaning.
-Bec (and Juner)