Memories to Heirlooms
Memories to Heirlooms
For my first nephew, John, I decided to make and purchase ornaments for his first Christmas. A tradition was born.
Yearly ornament offerings
From then on, ornaments have been my gift to him, his brothers, and his cousins each year.
For a while, I extended that to every child I was close to, including all my homeroom "kids."
Ornaments with meaning
Eventually, I only gave ornaments I made, and limited them to family and close friends. The ornaments became a celebration of significant family events (weddings and births).
Story Starter Ornaments
This past year I created a series of ornaments to honor family members who are no longer with us. They have the loved one's name, a favorite quote, and a charm that helps to tell their story. Attached is a picture of them with a story starter of who they were. I hope that it will lead to sharing many happy memories keeping their life story alive to new generations.
The ornament is one of the last gifts given Christmas morning. I have always known that a unique book or toy would outshine it that day, but each year another ornament arrived. Now that those children are adults, I often hear how I am part of their holiday. When I made an ornament for her wedding favors, my niece Abby wrote:
Ever since I can remember, my Aunt Jean has been creating beautiful, sentimental gifts for Gerdes family birthdays, holidays, and celebrations. Over the years she has made jewelry from my grandfather's cufflinks and teddy bears from his suits; custom clay portraits of beloved family pets, and personalized aprons for the time we spend baking together.
I treasure everything my Aunt Jean creates but I have always especially loved the ornaments she makes for our family every Christmas. Every year without fail, she crafts something special for us all to hang on our trees - an ornament that commemorates a significant moment from the year, imbued layers of symbolism and heartfelt detailing. I treasure these ornaments because collectively they tell a story of our family, a story we can look back on and celebrate each Christmas season.
It doesn't get better than that!
Jean is the owner and designer for Remember When Studio.