Saturday, December 3, 2011

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories: Ornaments

Prompt for December 3 - Christmas Tree Ornaments -

Did your family have heirloom or cherished ornaments? Did you ever string popcorn and cranberries? Did your family or ancestors make Christmas ornaments?

I don't think they were heirloom, but definitely cherished on our family Christmas tree growing up were the fragile glass "Old World" style ornaments, often in unusual shapes and/or with indentations, like the one pictured above in 1979. In the upper left corner, you'll also see a diamond-shaped ornament. I think that is a mirror, as I remember our tree having some of those, to help reflect the colored lights.

Heading for heirloom status is the tree skirt (above) my paternal grandmother, Elizabeth Massmann Pape, made for us when I was growing up. The decorations have sequins sewn on by hand. Below is some detail:

Our tree growing up was an eclectic mix, as is ours today. Pretty much every ornament on our tree today has a story behind it. I like to buy ornaments when I travel to remind me of places I've been. There are some ornaments on the tree that my son Eric made when he was little. Unfortunately, those are still in the box, but here are some photos of some of my other shiny ornaments. Even today I have a strong preference for sparkly stuff.:

Stringing popcorn or cranberries was not part of our traditions, but I know my siblings and I made some ornaments as kids, and I've made a few since then. But that's another possible post.

(This is post 3 in the Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories hosted by This post was originally published December 3, 2009.)

© Amanda Pape - 2011 - click here to e-mail me.


  1. Beautiful tree skirt! Sewing cequins by hand must have taken a lot of time .

  2. Thank you Wendy! Knowing that Nana spent so much time on the tree skirt is part of what makes it so special to me.