My sister was visiting over the weekend. She’s nine years younger than I am, and the product of my dad’s second marriage, so we are halfsies. That’s a word.
Thanks to some happy remarriages among my parents, I am 100% biologically Jewish and 100% dedicated to celebrating Christmas. My sister Emily has decided that she doesn’t do Christian holidays as a Jewish adult, but we had many amazing Christmas mornings together as children, complete with Barbie jeeps and ribbon-decorated bicycles parked in the living room. We still received matching pajamas when I was in my 20s.
The ornaments that now decorate my tree are ones from my childhood, many of which Em recognized as a special piece of her own youth. Like many families, both my husband and I received trinkets that represented our hobbies or milestones as we grew up, and we have an abundance of ornaments with our names and years marked on them.
When we got married, our parents gave us all of our ornaments to keep in our own home. When we bought our house in 2002, we received this one.
At Heather’s house, I noticed she had the same thing going on: commemorative tree ornaments. I took a picture of this cute one.
I’m carrying on this tradition with my kids, and they have both modern and handmade ornaments for each year of their lives as well.
These two were handmade for my kids by my friend Jackie who sells them in her Etsy store. She personalized them with the initials and instruments I asked for.
As my sister and I stood before the tree in my living room, fingering the ornaments we remembered hanging in the 80s, I started to worry that the crocheted snowflakes and felt snowman were going to fade away. The ones on my tree were made by my great grandmothers, my husband’s grandmothers and older aunts.
My kids grandmothers don’t do much needlework. They workout a lot, sit on Boards, and Skype with their grandchildren. They buy Christmas presents from Amazon.com. And my generation? We’re more likely to be handy with Photoshop than with yarn. We don’t make pom-poms anymore; we buy them by the bag at Michael’s.
Who will know how to make these things? I am pretty crafty, and can crochet a big fat scarf, but not a delicate snowflake. Will everything on my kid’s tree when they grow up be products of Hallmark or Target?
My sister reminded me that we used to string popcorn and cranberries with needle and thread and wrap our tree with it. Eventually, her mom (my step-mom) bought a manufactured garland that looked like popcorn. While I’m grateful for the convenience and abundance of these premanufactured goodies, I’m also a little sad about it.
Do you have old homemade ornaments, made with craft skills you don’t yourself possess?
This post is sponsored by Hallmark, as part of the Life is a Special Occasion program. This is the last post in the series, which we have truly enjoyed writing.Read all the posts in the series.