So this year is the first year my husband and I put up the tree and decor with no kids around...my older daughter moved to Birmingham UK with her new husband a few months ago and the younger daughter is in Springfield MO. We got the job done--and along the way, decided to get rid of some older ornaments and decor no longer needed...we know the kids don't want our old stuff!
But one thing we will never toss is our Christmas Memories book. I ordered this from Land's End when our first child was 2. This was way before camera phones and computers. Every year I would write in a few memories and add a photo of the family. This first book was started in 1996 and went through 2016..then we started a second one.
Sometimes the girls would scribble in a few sentences but usually it was Mom (of course) that kept up the tradition. I added the girls' written lists for Santa (sample requests: "clicky clack shoes" "Barbies" "Princess clothes" ) and special meals we shared, who came to visit, funny moments that happened over the holidays, movies we saw, important events that happened during the year.. Every Christmas season, the kids will take a few minutes to read through the entries and laugh over how we've all aged the past 20 years.
When each of my kids were born, I had NO time to make a traditional baby book. I was too frazzelled -- and just not that crafty. But starting this Christmas Memories book is the best thing I ever did to preserve special family moments. Having pictures and videos on line is fine..but there is something unique about physically taking this book out of storage every year and looking through it. While we are starting to downsize, and know that our kids don't want our old 'stuff' --- I do know they will treasure this book long after we're gone.