Day Two of our ornamental adventure showcases a very special gift made by a very special woman. Handmade ornaments made with love and intention are some of the most beautiful ones to unwrap every year. Sometimes they even carry the most precious of stories and memories. These two particular ornaments I’m sharing today are a set that we hang in a very special place on the tree each year. By doing so, we can admire them with each and every glance, reminiscing about the very special family member who took the time to create them.
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Twenty-Five Days of Ornament Memories
Day Two – Handmade With Love
So, here we are at Day Two of this holiday series. I’m still hoping and praying I can make it through all twenty-five. Today, I want to focus on a very special set of handmade ornaments made by my mother-in-law, Margot. When I married my husband, I had no idea how crafty my mother-in-law was. She was a beautiful, well-put-together, poised and classy woman, but I had no idea at first just how creative she could be.
A Little More About Mom
To know Margot is to know that she was the epitome of strength. She fought hard for the people she loved and the things in which she believed. Her family was her sole focus. Everything she did was intentional to ensure that her husband, sons, daughters-in-law and grandsons were well-cared for, loved and had a reason to smile. She was very curious and quite involved, too. It was important to her that things were just right and at peace whenever possible.
Of course, Margot was also a woman who overcame tremendous odds. She had this immense courage and strength about her that, to this day, I still personally respect and admire.
So, when I think about the time “Mom” spent creating these two gorgeous ornaments for her oldest son and his wife, my heart beats a little harder. She gifted us with these tokens of her love over the course of our first few years of marriage. Fortunately, we have been able to keep them in perfect condition for over two decades. Yes – even through twelve moves around the country!
The attention to detail and the love that she poured into these crafty gifts meant the world to us then…and mean even more to us now.
Now that she’s gone…
Sadly, we lost my mother-in-law to cancer back in 2008. Each and every year, her presence is always and tremendously missed.
When Hubby, the boys and I unwrap these two handmade ornaments the day after Thanksgiving each year and place them strategically on the tree, our hearts are flooded with memories and stories about her.
- We envision her sitting comfortably in her easy chair with the blanket across her lap on Christmas morning.
- While everyone opened the mountain of gifts left by “Santa” on the couch, she would sip her coffee and wear a smile on her face that stretched from ear to ear.
- During Christmas dinner, she would place herself next to one of the grandsons so she could feed them – no matter what age they were at the time.
My husband, having more memories of her than the rest of us, fondly recalls:
- His mother hanging out with him and his brother in their bedroom as “Santa” dropped off their gifts.
- Singing Silent Night before opening gifts on Christmas Eve (he even remembers bringing out his trumpet a few times to play)
- Attending Midnight Mass together.
I remember the love she had for all of us – every…single…one of us.
Her smile glistened and brightened the room as radiantly as the star situated at the top of the Christmas tree. Her hugs were full of warmth and unconditional love – wrapping us up as if we were each a gift ourselves. I think that right there – that unconditional love – was what I cherished most about her. No doubt, she saw me as “complicated” and there were times we did not see eye to eye. However, I knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that she loved me anyway. Her heart’s desire in life was to see her family together and happy – Christmas brought her so much joy, as it does me.
So, these two ornaments will always be physical extensions of her love for us. We’ll cherish them each and every holiday season, remembering the time and heart she put into creating them just for us.
Do you have a handmade Christmas ornament made for you by a family member?
I’m not talking about the ones made by the Littles. I’m leaving that one for another post. No, I’m talking about an ornament that someone took the time to make with their own hands just for you. I’d love to hear any of these stories, so feel free to share below!
Check out this beautiful engravable keepsake ornament my father-in-law gave each of his two sons’ families the first Christmas we spent without Margot. For more details on how you can order this ornament yourself, here’s my Amazon affiliate link:
Whether you celebrate Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa or just the idea of being with family and friends this time of the year, we all have traditions. We all have those things that bring us back to holidays from times past. My hope is that these posts bring you back to a place in your life where you smiled, felt joy and experienced happiness.
Did you miss Day One of this Holiday Series? No worries – you can catch it here: The Story Behind The Ornaments – Day One, the Beginning