Those Ratty Old Ornaments

Do you have any ratty old ornaments on your Christmas tree? Something glued, sewn, crocheted, or otherwise crafted in the past by someone you love?

I jokingly call these keepsakes “ratty old ornaments” because of a funny story a friend told me years ago. Teaching a kindergarten Sunday School class, she described some of the handmade ornaments she hung on her tree every year, noting how long she’d had them and what they looked like.

When she finished what she thought was her heart-warming tale, a little girl in the class commented in that unfiltered way of kids, “Well, my mother certainly wouldn’t have any ratty old ornaments on her tree.”

Ha, ha. That kid couldn’t say that about me.  I’m a fan of ratty old ornaments. I have quite a few on my trees (yes, trees) each year. As I hang them, I think about the person who made the ornament.

For example, there’s not much left of this Popsicle reindeer crafted by my youngest daughter, who misspelled her name, leaving the final “a” off Paula in Paula Jo. The candy cane part melted years ago, but I can’t throw away that pre-school signature.

I love the beginner’s cross-stitch in this ornament once made in Girl Scouts by my oldest daughter. On the back is written: Brownies, 1985. Wow, 35 years ago.

The Popsicle sticks in the sled ornament may have been glued together by my middle daughter as a pre-schooler, but the writing and drawing are obviously her teacher’s. Still, it marks a moment in time, and I treasure the memory of the sweet three-year-old who proudly brought this keepsake home in 1984.

Grandmothers and mothers also made ornaments for my husband and me. Grandma Pridgen was the queen of crochet.

Years ago, my Grandmother Hinton stitched up this trio of gingerbread men. I hang them close together each year to keep each other company. (Just in case Toy Story is true, you know.)

I have lots of these beautiful, super-starched, crocheted snowflakes made by my husband’s mother.

Remember the decoupage craze of the 70s? My mother, ever frugal, cut out scenes from used Christmas gift wrap and decoupaged (is that a verb?) these onto oyster shells. Here’s one of my favorites.

I’ve encouraged a new generation of keepsake ornament makers. I have miniature drawings from  grandchildren that I’ve put in small frames to hang on the tree. They’ve written their names and ages on the back.

If you have any “ratty old ornaments,” go back to my Facebook page and post a picture. I’d love to see your keepsakes.

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