J and I try to collect a Christmas ornament that represents something big that happened each year. It started the first year we lived together. The first place we lived together was J's parent's house. We lived there during our summer breaks in college. There was this really cute Christmas shop with ornaments nearby and we got one that said "Our First". I'm sure it meant Our First Christmas, but it had two flamingos and a beach ball and looked like summer, so it kind of fit as a fun ornament to represent our first summer/living together. The next summer, I turned 21 and a friend of ours got me a 21 themed ornament for my birthday (he worked at the same shop). After that we started thinking it would be fun to start an ornament collection with all the big milestones.
So far, we have those two and an ornament of our school from the year we graduated, a proposal ornament, and a wedding ornament. The one we had the hardest time finding was an ornament to represent the purchase of our first home.
So, after finding her shop, I decided we really need not just one, but two. My childhood home was a huge part of my life, I met my four best friends in that neighborhood and I was just pretty sentimental when it sold. The sale of that house felt like a big chapter of my life closing. So I decided I really wanted something to represent that milestone, too.
I couldn't really justify the price of the ornaments for just an every day purchase because we are on a budget, so I asked J to get them as a birthday gift. My birthday is next month, so I told J even though I picked them out they'd still be a surprise because I wouldn't know how they'd actually turn out. He laughed at me and said you know your going to open them right away. I told him I'd try not to, but he knows me so well. They just came in the mail and I couldn't resist (I'm awful with surprises).
Even though I ruined the "surprise", they are still probably one of my favorite birthday gifts ever. I think they are also a fun idea for future housewarming parties or for a Christmas gift for new homeowners.
Did you do anything special to commemorate the purchase of your first place?