Once upon a time my mother, two sisters-in-law, & I decided to start a new Christmas tradition. We each crafted a handmade ornament to hang on our trees. Four ornaments total. One for Mother, one each for sisters-in-law Pam & Nancy, & one for me to keep.
That first year, everyone made a beautiful ornament. We wrapped, ribboned, & readied them for their tah-dah moments, opening them up with anticipation. Mother’s, made of felt & sequins, elicited smiles from us as they sparkled with Christmas spirit. Pam stitched up a gingerbread man that quickly became a favorite. Nancy’s cross-stitch stunner dazzled us. Each one a treasure, beginning a family legacy.
Except for mine. Without going into detail, it was…unfortunate. My kind relatives uttered undeserved oos & aws over it, but I wasn’t fooled.
You might think these pictured are my handiwork. But no. They are more winsome than what I produced. Over the years, I tried to make an angel out of coffee filters, a salt dough ginger-boy (who was too heavy for the branch), a ball glitter-glued to gruesome heights, & a snowman who looked rather like Bumble, the Abominable Snowmonster of the North. But none turned out well.
Still, I yenned to fashion a gingerbread man as cute as Pam’s. Maybe a ginger-girl?
Oh, my goodness! It didn’t work out for me. (Sigh.) Another awkward attempt.
Eventually, we each fell away from the tradition. The task too time consuming, I fell first, followed by the others. Except for my mother, who faithfully crafted her ornaments year after year, gifting them to us joyfully, without comment on our lack of reciprocation.
We looked forward to receiving them & each ended up with a collection of her creations. Hours & hours of close work, stitching far into the nights to keep her end of the bargain, though we didn’t keep ours.
Every Christmas, when we unpack the precious ornaments, we enjoy the blessing anew. And remember the legacy of our Mother’s abiding love.