When I was growing up, each year I got to pick out a new ornament for the tree. When I got married, my mother gave us my ornaments during our first Christmas together.
Vinny and I have continued the tradition, both for ourselves and for Bella. We choose an ornament each year that signifies something we did during that year. When we had Bella, we started getting 2 related things, one for her and one for us. I write the year on each one in silver sharpie. I decided when we started, that I wanted our ornaments to have a cohesive feel, so our ornaments are all handblown glass. I'm hoping to continue this way for Bella, but we'll see. This year, to commemorate our first year full time in the Navy, we got a life preserver/anchor ornament and Bella got a teddy bear with a stars and stripes hat.
Because all of the ornaments on our tree are glass, the ornaments from my childhood (my favorite ones at least) are displayed separately. I enjoy getting them out each year and walking down memory lane. The light hit the 1989 disco ball this year and made them really shine:
Cause nothing says Christmas like a disco ball/smoke detector ornament!