I remember a Christmas ....
Actually this story involves two Christmases. The first was when my son was two and a half. We were still "poor" or at least we felt it at times. As a young married couple we were not doing badly, but there wasn't a lot left over for extras. We had gone from the tiny little tree that sat on top of a table to a regular, full-sized tree. It wasn't huge, but large enough to make it clear that we needed more ornaments. Yet our budget was tight enough that I couldn't justify spending much on the additional decorations. I could buy a few each year, but it would take about three years to properly dress the tree.
Finally I came up with an alternative to have in a half-nekkid tree. I had some craft supplies, and with just a little expense I added a few more things to my supply. Then I sat with my son and we began to create ornaments out of felt, sequins, beads, feathers, rick-rack and glue. I cut triangles for Christmas trees, glued the edges of two together, and let my baby glue whatever he wanted onto them as decorations, while I did some more elaborate designs. Then I stuffed a little cotton inside to give some depth to them, added a short piece of yarn as a hanger. Together, we created enough ornaments to make our tree not just full, but very personal.
We continued to add a few ornaments each year, some store bought, others homemade. As his skills improved, the ornaments did also. Later, when my little girl was old enough, she began to add her touches, too.
I was divorced and remarried. The first year with my new husband and step-children was a challenge of prevailing traditions. He always decorated his tree very modern chic. He had tons of powder blue and silver glass balls. I had a collection of old-fashioned, handmade, folksy stuff! His kids were 15, 14 and 12, and were fascinated in our simple decorations and wanted to make some, so we did. The tree was decorated with some of the silver and blue and the homesy bright colors. We made a few more the following year, but by this time, to be honest, the tree was absolutely loaded. Rather than making more, we simply enjoyed talking about each as we hung them on the tree from then on.
As the kids left home they took a few of their handmade ornaments with them. I still have a few left.
The children were often very creative. The blocks were fun to make.
Do you see the little Ojo de Dios on the extreme right? Made with toothicks and yarn. The needlework ornaments on the left side were gifts from an aunt who appreciated our homespun tree.
Now, 42 years later, some of the decorations glued with those little not-yet-three-years-old fingers have fallen off. But I still have the little trees.
Hint: Elmer's glue doesn't last forever! Memories, however, do.