When one 23-year-old rocks around the Christmas tree, he sees a memory from his teen year's most kids are happy to forget.
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An image of a boy with braces.
Credit: Getty Images.

Holiday trees are often trimmed with sentimental decorations. We cherish the ones commemorating Baby's First Christmas and long for the littleness of the children who proudly brought home the snowflakes they crafted in school. But one mom decided to get extra creative with her teen's former braces. The now 23-year-old man from southeast Michigan took to TikTok to explain last August, and the video went viral with more than 1.9 million views.

He recently reposted the video just in time to give crafters an idea to chew on this holiday season.

"So, I had braces when I was a kid," begins Austin, who goes by @austin9943 on TikTok. "After four and a half years, I finally went to have them taken off. And the dentist popped them all off and then put the braces on the tray. When we were done, she [picked] up the tray and [started] to walk away. My mom stops her, and she goes, 'Uh, no.'"

Like most teen boys would be, Austin was mortified and says he muttered to his mom, "What are you doing?"

Mom had her reasons, and she made them known. She apparently said, "Austin, we paid $6,000 for those braces. I'm not letting her throw them away."

But Mom didn't just put them in a bag in the attic. The braces are forever immortalized as an ornament on Austin's family tree. Austin showed the decoration to viewers—a tree with the braces serving as tinsel. On the back, Mom wrote, "Austin's braces removed, 12-16-2014."

To this day, Austin is a little bewildered by the whole thing. "Are you kidding?" he says at the end of the video as he shows off the ornament.

Oh, Austin. Don't be embarrassed. It's like Baby's First Christmas—with a teenage twist.

In the reposted version, Austin asked people to comment with their most personal Christmas tree ornaments. Some responses proved Austin's mom might be onto something by repurposing "sentimental" treatments.

"I guess now I know what to do with my IUD," wrote one person.

Another user's mom has a special ornament that pays tribute to modern medicine—and brings a tear to our eyes.

"My mom kept the breathing tube that saved my life when I was 14 months old and puts it on the tree every year," the TikToker wrote.

Others just wanted to give props to Austin's super creative mom.

"That's a cool ornament," said one.

"I love your mom," wrote another.

If you don't have any old braces lying around, you can still get fun and festive with your kids. Creating homemade ornaments can add to the excitement of the holiday season. Some are simple to make using items like pom-poms, tassels, paper, and string. Floss is absolutely acceptable too.