As we tear November off the calendar and reach the final page, we may realize another year and another decade are coming to a close.

During this season, many of us find ourselves reflecting on opportunities or experiences that this year has brought us.

What better way to memorialize those experiences than to create a permanent reminder that we see in the mirror daily—a commemorative tattoo.

What did 2011-2019 mean for you? Close 2019 out and usher in the new decade with a new tattoo.

Commemorative Tattoos—Telling Your Story

One of the best things about commemorative tattoos is that they invite conversation. They open the door to dialogue.

People often will take a look at your expressive, impactful body art and feel compelled to ask about the story behind them. You get the opportunity to share how the events of the last year, or the last decade, have shaped the course of your life.

The tattoo and the story behind it are extremely personal—yours to share with those you choose.

I’ve written previously about memorial tattoos and popular symbols people choose to remember friends’ and loved ones’ passing (read about those here), but those aren’t the only type of commemorative tattoos out there.

New Tattoos for the Birth of a Child

The birth of a child is an awesome reason for a commemorative tattoo that most people consider a celebratory occasion—a new beginning.

Few events change a person’s or couples’ life more than having a child, and the number of parents opting to get commemorative tattoos to mark those occasions continues to increase.

Some popular designs that are chosen to represent these lasting memories include:

  • Names spelled out in baby blocks
  • Baby handprints
  • Baby footprints
  • Baby portraits
  • Timelines
  • Babies surrounded by angel wings

These designs often include birth dates and years.

Among the most sentimental tattoo designs possible, baby-themed tattoos are just one example of the many forms of commemorative ink.

Military Enlistment or Achievement

Enlistment into the military is a life-changing decision that many people choose to commemorate with new tattoos.

Tattoos have long been associated with military service, particularly the navy and marines. Originally becoming popular in the 1500’s, the British Royal Navy adopted the anchor to symbolize membership and commemorate its victory over the Spanish fleet.

In the U.S. Navy, the anchor tattoo is used by sailors to  commemorate a successful crossing of the Atlantic ocean.

Learn more about the anchor tattoo here.

Sports Tattoos—Commemorate Your Championship

Whether you’re an athlete or a diehard fan, many people want to commemorate athletic championships with ink.

A popular design is the World Series, Superbowl, or other championship trophy combined with the team logo and year.

Some people even get “predictive” tattoos, ink that claims a future championship in a certain year for a certain team. These can be fun, no matter if they go right or wrong.

After all, cover up tattoos can be arranged—learn more here.

Commemorative Tattoos—All About the Symbolism

At the end of the day, any tattoo can serve as a commemorative tattoo. It’s all about the symbolism, being happy with the design, and the story you attach to your ink.

If you’re strongly considering a commemorative tattoo, memorial tattoo, or any other deeply meaningful ink, I highly recommend a custom tattoo design.

Start with arranging an appointment to have a face-to-face consult with your artist to talk over the overall design and the important elements you want to include.

Come prepared to describe what you want in detail, and supply reference material or examples if you possibly can. This greatly increases the likelihood of success.

If you’ve got memories of the past year or decade that you’d like to commemorate with some custom body art, let’s get the conversation started—the year is almost over, and time is running out.