These ornaments will give you a story to tell the grandkids one day.

By Emily VanSchmus
December 04, 2020
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One of my favorite holiday traditions is getting a special Christmas ornament that commemorates the past year. Over the years I've collected ornaments to celebrate big milestones: I have an ornament shaped like the Eiffel Tower to remind me of a trip to Paris, a graduation cap ornament from the year I graduated college, and a state-shaped ornament to represent my first big move. Vacations, graduations, weddings, and births all have a place on my Christmas tree now, which makes decorating the tree extra special because my family can reminisce about all the experiences each ornament represents as we decorate the tree.

If you don't already do this with your family, consider starting a new holiday tradition this year. Start an ornament swap with all of your family members so each person gets their own special ornament, or choose a family ornament each year to represent the biggest milestones. Since so many vacations, weddings, and other events were postponed in 2020, you may be thinking you don't have much to commemorate this year—and while it's definitely been a tough year in many ways, you can still celebrate all the time your family has spent wearing fabric masks, sheltering in place, and waiting in line for toilet paper.

These may not be as glamorous as the ornaments I've purchased in years past (I would much rather have been exploring Paris again this year instead of working from home for 9 months), but in 20 years when I'm decorating the tree with my kids, I'll certainly have a story to tell them about the time I lived through a global pandemic. This Christmas, order a masked Santa ornament or one inscribed with "We survived 2020" to remember all the craziness from this past year.

Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

This handcrafted blown glass ornament features the classic Santa Claus figure decked out in a blue face mask. This option will blend in well enough with your other glass ornaments while commemorating the past year.

Buy It: Santa Blown Glass Ornament ($8, Amazon)

Credit: Courtesy of Etsy / iCustomProducts

If we had to pick one icon to sum up 2020, it would definitely be a face mask. To remember the months we spent making and wearing DIY fabric masks, we'll be hanging this 4-inch wood ornament on our tree. This seller has thousands of rave reviews about the quality of the ornaments, so there's no reason not to grab a few new ornaments for this year's tree.

Buy It: Pandemic Christmas Ornament ($14, Etsy)

Credit: Courtesy of Etsy / SandAndHands

If you're shopping for anyone who binge-watched Schitt's Creek during quarantine, this ornament is a must-have that perfectly depicts our feelings about 2020. Plus, this ornament ships free anywhere in the U.S., so you could easily order one for everyone on your holiday shopping list this year.

Buy It: Ew 2020 Ornament (from $9, Etsy)

Credit: Courtesy of Etsy / PostedFete

We typically buy a yearly ornament to commemorate a big event or occasion—but with so many vacations and events canceled this year, we'll be celebrating our time at home with this 3-inch wood house ornament instead. Each ornament comes with a rustic twine hanger and a festive striped red ribbon bow.

Buy It: 2020 Home Christmas Ornament ($10, Etsy)

Credit: Courtesy of Etsy / AdoreYourDoorDecor

If you're looking for a way to incorporate the mask and toilet paper themes into this year's ornament that'll also blend in with your classier ornaments, this engraved ornament makes a great option. It ships for about $5 and comes with a pretty satin ribbon for easy hanging.

Buy It: 2020 Coronavirus Ornament ($10, Etsy)

Credit: Courtesy of Etsy / iCustomProducts

If 2020 was an episode of Friends, the title would definitely be The One Where We Were Quarantined. Use this festive ornament to remember the days you spent quarantined at home over the past several months. This 3-inch porcelain ornament ships anywhere in the U.S. for just under $4.

Buy It: Christmas 2020 Ornament ($9, Etsy)

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