Each year it was always something different and always in a variety of craft forms--sometimes cross-stitched or something done on plastic canvas, an angel made out of a variety of pasta noodles, or something ceramic, there was always something new, and always one done for each of us. The majority of our Christmas tree was handmade ornaments, added to yearly by Granny. It wasn't just ornaments she made either--each of us had an original stocking made by her hands. My sister and I had similar ones done in needlepoint, mine was red with a little girl on it, hers light blue and proclaiming "Noel." My brother Jared had a simpler stocking because that was the year Grandpa got sick and she didn't have the time for fancy work. And my youngest brother Lukas had a dazzling one with a snowman and lots of sequins that we all admired. These all hung in a row, pinned into the woodwork between the living room and dining room.
When I got married my mom let me pick a few of my favorite ornaments for my tree. These are the ornaments that yearly tug at my heart. They link me back to childhood and back to her. They inspire me to create special memories for my own children. When I think of her I always recall busy hands. She never visited without some project she was working on. Cross-stitching, knitting, crocheting, plastic canvas--she was always working on something. And I was always at her side watching. And I get it. I think of the verse from Proverbs 31 " . . .She works with her hands in delight . . ." I have been blessed many times by the work of her hands--a beautiful cross-stitched picture for my wedding, a crocheted blanket when my first baby was born, and so many, many other items, too numerous to list. I understand her need to be making and creating. I understand the joy in finishing something for someone else. I understand how "right" it feels to have something forming in your hands. It is truly a delight. I am so thankful for her and the example she has been to me. I am thankful for the creative legacy she has left me, a legacy I hope to pass on to my own girls. So, Granny, if you get a chance to read this, thank you for the special memories, they are treasured in my heart always. Merry Christmas.