Since my husband and I got married last year on 9/10/11, I wanted to start a new family tradition symbolizing my Yamaguchi family joining with the Sandoval family. Christmas is my favorite holiday and I have gone to Christmas in the Park since I was very young growing up in San Jose, so I thought continuing this tradition with my own family would be perfect. This is why I called the tree The Yamaguchi-Sandoval Family Tree.
We are two families... my husband's family in Southern California, The Sandoval's, and my family predominantly here in San Jose, The Yamaguchi's. Decorating the tree for the past two years has brought our families closer together because I host Holiday Crafting Days on the weekends leading up to decorating at the park.
It is so much fun to create hand-made decorations for the tree together. For family members who live out of town or out of state, I have them make hand-made decorations and ship them to me before we decorate so that everyone is included. We also made decorations in memory of our grandparents who passed away to keep them included in our thoughts and traditions.
Every year I ask my family to help me think of a theme for the tree, and every year we create hand-made decorations. Our family LOVES Disney characters and with the new Disney movie coming out this holiday season, "Wreck It Ralph", we decided to make it a Sugar Rush-themed tree with the main characters from the movie featured. We handmade all the candies and decorations from the movie that were placed on the tree. Some items were made from Shinky Dinks, recycled craft supplies, pictures of my family members in candy-shaped ornaments, etc.
I hold Holiday Crafting Days on the weekends leading up to decorating the tree for my family to come over to my house to create hand-made decorations. It's a pot luck lunch and dinner event. If for no other reason, it's a great way for our families to spend time together and get into the spirit of the holiday season.