Homemade Ornament Tradition


In the 1960s, when my parents were young marrieds, they had no money for Christmas ornaments. They made their own out of whatever materials they happened to have. One particularly memorable ornament was made from a toilet paper roll covered with fabric and tassels. Others were made by tracing cookie cutter shapes onto felt. These ornaments meant a lot to my parents. It showed ingenuity in poverty. They still put them on their tree to this day.

My grandmother, however, did not agree that newlyweds should have to scrounge around at Christmas. She vowed that her granddaughter (me) would not have that problem. She started making me nice ornaments on my first Christmas. She made one that first year, two the next year and so on up to my twelth Christmas. For the next few years after that, she made me a dozen each year. Now, all these years later, my tree is covered with memories. I have other ornaments that people have given me or that I have made myself, but those that Mamie made are the most precious. Some, like the ones made for my fifth Christmas made out of lifesaver rolls, didn’t stand the test of time. Others, like the salt dough ornaments from my seventh Christmas, are too fragile to put out while my children are young. Most, however, are sturdy and child proof.
There are crocheted angels:

There are clothes pin soldiers:
There are matchstick/christmas card stables:
There are also crocheted bells, felt soldiers, crocheted snowflakes, strange egg carton/foil stars and these ingenious tuna can/key chain creations made with ribbon and star stickers:
All combine to make a beautiful tree:

7 thoughts on “Homemade Ornament Tradition

  1. >What a great post and an inspiration! this will definitely be filed away for when my own grandkids come along. IN A VERY LONG TIME.

  2. >I tried to post a comment on your yummy looking cider, but it wouldn’t let me. Don’t know if comments are maybe broken for that post? Anyway, it looks wonderful for the holidays — thanks for posting!

  3. >Hi Kristen, you have a beautiful tree and lovely ornaments from years past to cherish. I love them! I remember making clothespin ornaments as well! Thanks for sharing.

  4. >I started this tradition for our children when they were little. Each year, I make them each a handmade ornament to add to their collection.

    They are young adults now and when they were ready for their first tree in their own places, they had Christmas memories to hang on the tree. And even now, each year they look forward to discovering what I've made for them.

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