Once upon a time my mother, two sisters-in-law, & I decided to start a new Christmas tradition. We would each craft a handmade ornament – four in total, allowing enough to gift one another & one to keep.
That first year, everyone made an ornament. We wrapped, ribboned, & readied them for their tah-dah moments, opening each with anticipation. Mother’s beauties, made of felt & sequins, sparkled with Christmas spirit. Pam stitched up a gingerbread man – which quickly became a favorite. Nancy’s cross-stitch stunner dazzled us. Each ornament 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. Ah…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 daughter ended up with a collection of Mother’s creations. Hours & hours of close work, she stitched far into the nights to keep her end of the bargain, though we didn’t keep ours.
We so miss her presence (& presents) since she moved on to heaven. But every Christmas, when we unpack the precious ornaments that remain, her blessings are enjoyed anew. And we remember the legacy of our Mother’s abiding love.