Christmas Past

“When Christmas is over we take down the Christmas tree.”

That was my line in the Christmas program at church when I was in second grade.  I don’t remember much else about that program, probably because I was concentrating so hard so that I wouldn’t forget my line.  And that’s also probably why I still remember it today!

I’m always very busy with my consulting business at year end so I don’t worry so much about taking down my Christmas decorations.  Plus, I hate how bare the house looks when I do.  My goal usually is to have everything packed up and returned to the attic by Martin Luther King Day.

I love my Christmas tree.  Every decoration has special meaning.  As I was taking it down this year, I decided to take pictures of many of the ornaments and document their origins.  I’ve become very involved in genealogy this past year and one of the recommendations I’ve uncovered was to create some sort of written legacy for family heirlooms.  When we decorate the tree, it is a family event and I repeat the stories about the ornaments as we hang them on the tree.  However, years from now will my children and grandchildren remember them?

I decided to start with the ornaments that I hand made myself.

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I made quite a number of these felt ornaments from scraps and sequins I had on hand when I was still in school.  I didn’t have a lot of money so my Mom and Grandmothers all got half a dozen or so different ornaments similar to these for their trees.

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I searched and searched for patterns and when I finally found them, I hand crocheted these snowflakes.  They were then dipped in fabric stiffener to hold their shape and pinned to wax covered cardboard to dry.

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This little fan was made from lace from my first prom dress.  Again fabric stiffener was used so that the fan would hold its shape.  I got the idea from my Mom who at the time was making adorable floral hat and fan magnets that she was selling at a craft shop.

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Another felt ornament.  This was from a much larger pattern that I reduced in size.  I think I made 100 of these the year my daughter was born.  I put one in every Christmas card that I sent out.

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What crafter hasn’t done at least one project with plastic canvas?  This was a little gift box with a flocked teddy bear that I copied from another crafter.  I made a number of these which I gave as gifts.  I also made some of those “squeeze my cheeks and I’ll give you a kiss” ornaments.  When he was little, my son fell in love with that one and absconded with it for his own tree.

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This is a set of hand painted ceramic ornaments I made when I was doing ceramics.  The workshop where I spent a lot of my time allowed crafters to pour their own ceramics.  I made these right about the time my friends and I were all getting married.  I gave several sets of ornaments that I had made as wedding presents.

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This is set of those stained glass style ornaments where you fill the sections with colored pellets and then bake them in the oven.  I made these the year we were living in an apartment while our house was being built.  We originally had a contract on a different house that was supposed to be finished well before Christmas.  When that didn’t work out, we ended up living in the apartment much longer than expected.  All our Christmas decorations were in storage so we made do with a small tree my parents gave to us and decorations that we made.

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This little Santa was made from a kit at one of our Girl Scout Troop meetings.  We made a number of ornaments over they years and my daughter has several of them in her collection.  Some, such as the reindeer made from dog biscuits, didn’t survive.  One year, much to my dismay, moths somehow found their way into the ornament box and had themselves a feast on the biscuits.

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