A tree full of Christmas memories

Ever since I can remember, making ornaments for our Christmas trees has been a family tradition. Walk with me down memory lane while I share some of the ornaments which grace my tree this year.

This ceramic angel is probably one of the oldest ornaments on the tree. There were 7 at one time, but one did get broken through the years. I don't remember how. I just remember that it did. There are now 6 of them on my tree. I made these when I was about 11. My mother took a ceramics course and I tagged along with her when she went. At one of the sessions, I was invited to participate and I made the angels with a mold. They were fired and the next session I applied the gold to them. They hung on my parents' tree until I had my own family, and have since hung on our family tree.

My mother is a gifted artist. She is also a gifted seamstress. She combined those to make many ornaments for us through the years. When my daughters were 2 and 5, she made them these beautiful, quilted stockings. It isn't Christmas without them. That's the first thing they grab EARLY on Christmas Day and delight going through now at 23 and 26 just as much as they did when 1 and 4.

Mother's also made many other ornaments on our tree through the years. Most have a special meaning. For instance, the quilted and stuffed cats and rabbits are reminiscent of my girls' love of animals through the years. They had many of each, and I'm surprised there aren't ducks, geese, turkeys, dogs, mice, hamsters, fish, chickens, turtles, frogs, and more. They had those, too.

Other quilted ornaments were lovingly made as the years went by. Quilt squares of all sorts, stuffed and quilted trees decorated with buttons, and many more. Each button on the trees has a story, too, and came from some garment of significance or were leftovers after making such a garment. I smile as I write this because it reminds me of the button jar my mother has full of very old buttons. I started to write I used to love to play with those buttons, but honestly, I still love to play with them.

The wooden ornaments were made with help from my dad. He cut them out for us to paint or decorate in some way. The angels and gloves were painted and/or decorated with fabrics. The doves we left natural and strung with ribbon. He also helped us with wooden clothespin reindeer.

A long time ago I learned to make beaded ornaments and string angels. Together the girls and I made enough of the beaded ornaments for a large extended family reunion many years ago. My mother's whole family gathered for an old-timey Christmas in the mountains of Gatlinburg, TN. We celebrated by sharing handmade ornaments and gifts.

There are also several cross-stitched pretties on our tree. Again, my mother spent many long hours on those. The angels were made for my girls, one for each. She used her embroidery machine to make some pretty ones, too. Adorning the tree are two sets of ballet slippers which remind us of the years those little feet tripped along the dance floor, gradually growing into much larger feet.

The stained-glass ornaments (see below) were made with kits bought for the girls one year. They glittered softly in the light and fascinated them after they were done. They had to place them "just so" for the most effect.

A long time ago, when I was a child, my maternal grandmother embroidered Christmas balls for each of us. Years later, we made Christmas balls using fabric and styrofoam.

And there are more...so many more. I feel so blessed this Christmas when I remember all the love, sharing, caring, and laughter that has surrounded my family. Our Christmas tree symbolizes that. May you be surrounded with love and laughter this Christmas.

God bless you.

Published at survive the journey


judycolby said...

My mom had a button box & I loved it. I think it may be in my posession now, but can't remember. Maybe I should make us all ornaments from them.
Love your ornaments.