From what I recall, my Grandma made or bought an ornament for all the grandchildren every year. I don’t ever remember opening these ornaments. Maybe she just handed them out? I don’t know how it all happened; I just know we got ornaments every year. I’m sure I wasn’t impressed. I’m fairly certain I was polite and thanked her for them, but I doubt I got too excited.
I don’t know what her intention was giving out these ornaments every year. I never bothered to ask her why. I don’t think it was about her – so that we’d remember her every time we decorated the tree. (Although, that’s exactly what they are about.) Was she thinking about our trees in the future, the ones we put up in our own homes with our own families? Was she thinking about those first few Christmases and how our trees might be a bit bare? I wish I knew what she was thinking; I wish I could ask her.
I didn’t start to appreciate these ornaments until they were handed back to me from my parents – when I realized I didn’t have any ornaments to decorate my tree. There were a few years when I didn’t have a tree but I still put these ornaments up, decorating a plant stand in my studio apartment.
Now that I know more about sewing I’m very impressed with her work. I mean, one is a mini-mini quilt! And the cross stitching – it’s beautiful. So, year after year, I pull out these ornaments and decorate my tree. I think about my Grandma and the thoughtfulness she had to gift these year after year. She was a smart, caring lady.
Last year, around this time, I bought myself a new sewing machine for my quilting business. It’s programmable and can sew letters. I was testing it out and decided to make little ornaments for our nieces and nephews. Each one had their name and the year. Something like this…
I didn’t intend this to be a tradition, but as Christmas approached once again, I decided to make ornaments. I missed the first few years for the first four, but for Ivy, Hudson and Maggie I’m two-for-two! As I’m making these, I think about them a lot. I think about how some day they’ll need ornaments on their mostly bare trees. I think about how much I love them. And then, it dawns on me why my Grandma did that year after year – love.