December Ditties – 2018 Blog(mas) – My first Christmas tree

I moved out of my parents home when I was almost 22.  I wanted to do the “adult” thing.  Of course, I made sure I could afford it but I forgot to add things like Christmas decorations into the budget. 

Fortunately for me my oldest sister, JoAnne, was very crafty and resourceful.  She invited me to her house one Saturday and we sat around her table and made some ornaments using pieces of felt, socks, bits of jewelry and even paper clips!. 

See the candle?  This was made from a couple of pieces of felt and stuffed with cotton. 

It has definitely seen better days but here it is on our tree a couple of years ago.  It is well over 40 years old and yet I remember so clearly the fun my sister and I had that day.

This little snowman was made using one of my brother-in-law’s old socks turned inside out.  It, too, is still adorning our trees all these years later.

Every year when I put this Rudolph on the tree I think that I need to at least put his eye back on.  How can he see to lead the sleigh with only one eye?  

She had some broken pieces of jewelry that she used to decorate this tree.  
One of the ones that I thought was really clever was making an ice skate using a paper clip for the blades.  JoAnne was a teacher so of course she had plenty of those around.  This one could also use some TLC: 

For a while I was trying to get or make a new ornament for the tree every year but little by little that practice stopped.  I’ve even stopped decorating as much as I used to, but it wouldn’t be Christmas to me without these special ornaments.
My sister, JoAnne, was 12 years older than I so I barely remember her being at home with us when I was young; she got married when I was 8.  As I got older we became really good friends and it is times like this when I miss her the most.  JoAnne passed away at age 59 in 2002.  Way too young.  


Do you make your own ornaments?  Have any special ones from your first Christmas tree?  Love to hear about it!

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About scr4pl80

I'm a 60-ish, married, mom to 3, creative soul looking to make the world a better place one smile at a time.
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21 Responses to December Ditties – 2018 Blog(mas) – My first Christmas tree

  1. ghostmmnc says:

    Wonderful treasures and memories. So sorry for the loss of your sister.
    I still have a few really old ornaments that were used on my parent’s Christmas trees, and I’ve made a few of my own over the years. It’s fun, but we don’t really decorate any more.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. joey says:

    At least once a year, the story of my lost ornaments comes out. I had some special ones, from when I was wee. One of them was a porous block of some sort, cut in the shape of a man and decorated with pinned silver sequins and a red heart — the tin man. 😦 😦 😦 That box, one lil box never made it to my house in Georgia. That, a hairbrush, and a saucepan. Who knows.
    Your handmade ornaments are a treasure and I hope you never lose them. I love the sock-inside-out snowman! So creative! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • scr4pl80 says:

      Oh, so sorry about your tin man! Do you have pictures? I think that’s why I take close up pictures occasionally of them, just in case. Wish we had had cellphones back in the day that my sister and I were doing the ornament making. I’d have some great selfies! Interesting combination of things to be in one box πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      • joey says:

        I don’t. 😦 I didn’t have a digital camera for several more years. Sometimes I think I will remake him. Perhaps one day I will. Bless him, I hope someone found him and loves him.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. John Holton says:

    Mary and I have never had a Christmas tree, can you believe it? We just don’t want to deal with the hassle of buying it, bringing it into the house, putting it up, decorating it, keeping the cats out of it, taking off the decorations, packing them, and putting them away, and disposing of the tree. Having an artificial tree isn’t a whole lot different, either. We never had kids, so we didn’t feel like we were depriving them.

    59 is way too young. How did she die, if you don’t mind my asking?

    Liked by 1 person

    • scr4pl80 says:

      Heart attack. She had had one about 5 or 6 years before she passed and she said she was not going to live to be 60! She was very overweight and although she quit smoking after the first heart attack, she didn’t really watch her health much. She always said she wanted to live how she wanted to live no matter what. I was surprised because her husband had multiple sclerosis and was bed ridden at the time of her death. They were so much in love that I thought she would take care of herself so that she could be around to take care of him. I still get mad at her sometimes because while she may have lived her life the way she wanted to, she deprived us of her company! Thankfully, she passed in her sleep so didn’t suffer.


    • scr4pl80 says:

      And, no, I can’t believe you never had a tree. How do you know it is so much work if you’ve never done it? LOL The one year I didn’t have a tree I was depressed the whole month. Since then no matter what I’ve at least had a small one.


  4. I’m so sorry about the loss of your sister. What lovely memories and keepsakes!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. LA says:

    My ornaments are mainly cats, and a couple of dogs. They make me smile!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Shelley says:

    Aw, such beautiful memories – your sister would be so proud of you remembering her and sharing how much you treasure the ornaments and thoughts of her. Hugs to you xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • scr4pl80 says:

      Thanks, Shelley. I like to think that she is up there watching me. I know she would have had a blast with the whole blogging thing because she was a writer at heart.


  7. Ally Bean says:

    You’ve written about JoAnne before and I’m sorry for your loss. It’s wonderful that you still have some of those ornaments you two made for your first adult Christmas. I had a friend who was wise beyond her years and when she set up her bridal registry she asked for Christmas decorations. She could see an empty tree in their adult future together and she was having none of that!

    Liked by 1 person

    • scr4pl80 says:

      Thanks, Ally. She was really a special person. We were the most alike even though there was such an age difference. That was a smart move on your friend’s part. Not many newlyweds think of that.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m sorry about your sister, Janet. That is way too young. I do have some special ornaments from my first tree, but I didn’t make them…I’m not crafty like you!

    Liked by 1 person

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