Chip Gaines‘s mom started the sweetest Christmas tradition — and his wife Joanna has made a point to carry it on.
The former Fixer Upper designer, 40, shared the ritual that has become a centerpiece of the holiday season for her kids Drake, 13, Ella, 12, Duke, 9, Emmie, 8, on her Magnolia blog. (The HGTV stars welcomed their fifth child, Crew, in June.)
“Chip’s mom started a fun tradition when we first got married, where she would give all of us an ornament at Thanksgiving,” Joanna writes. “I loved it so much that I started something similar.”
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“Every holiday season, I get Chip and the kids an ornament that goes along with a memory from that year. I write their name and the date on the bottom, so as they get older, each one of them has a little collection that’s all their own,” she explains.
“Every Christmas when it’s time to decorate this tree, the kids can’t wait to hang up their personal collections, as well as any handmade ornaments they’ve made throughout the year,” Joanna adds.
On Wednesday, Crew geared up for Christmas by making an ornament of his own.
On her Instagram Story, Joanna shared a video of Crew pressing his hand into clay. “Just need his thumb,” Joanna says. Crew nearly knocked a bowl of water off the counter, making her laugh..
“Crew’s first ornament!” she wrote over the footage.
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Every year, the Gaines family decorates two trees. The first tree, which stands in the dining room and this year is 13 feet tall , has “a simplistic approach,” Joanna says. The ornaments that are collected over the years go on the second one.
“The second tree we call our ‘family tree,’” she explains. “Since we’ve lived at the farm, I’ve placed this one in the den, which we’ve always used as a second living room. The colors, stories and ornaments that go on the family tree are snapshots of the life that we’ve shared over 15 years.”
Joanna loves the look of the special ornaments on the personal tree. “It’s those moments, all of us looking for the perfect spot to hang our favorite ornaments, that has made this tree one of my favorite things about the holiday season,” she says.
Since the den is now Crew’s nursery, the family tree is in Chip and Joanna’s master bedroom for the first time. Though she was initially unsure about the unusual placement, “there’s nothing quite like falling asleep to a lit Christmas tree every night,” she reflects.
On Monday, the glow of the family tree was particularly cozy when the whole family gathered on Chip and Joanna’s bed as a fire in the fireplace kept them warm.
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“Movie night,” Joanna shared on Instagram.
Joanna has been in the Christmas spirit since October, when she posted a video captured at her sister Mary Kay’s house, where the fire was lit, carols were playing and the Magnolia Christmas candle was already burning.
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