Every Christmas season, a very special tradition unfolds in my parents’ living room. Once the tree has been set up and strung with lights, my mother brings out the “Keepsakes” ornament box.
One by one, she removes her favourite tree decorations. There is nothing elegant about these items. They are not colour coordinated or branded with the name of a television lifestyle guru like the fancy decorations that will fill in the extra spaces later.
No, these ornaments are made from styrofoam, toilet paper tubes, pipe cleaners, toothpicks, fabric scraps and finger paint.
It isn’t the ornaments themselves that make this part of my parents’ holiday so special. It is the memories they carry, which are revisited every single year:
- “Oh, Jim [my brother] made this one. He was only 5 or 6. So this ornament is 50 years old.”
- “I think this was Derek’s [my oldest nephew]. Yes, that’s right. He made this in Sunday school.”
- “When did we have pink egg cartons? I don’t remember that. Beth [my sister] did these ones. She was so proud of them.”
And it isn’t only my mother who benefits. When I walk around my parents’ Christmas tree, I am transported back to happy hours spent with friends, classmates or my family—covered in glue and glitter and delighted with my own creativity, and gleeful at the thought of presenting my creations to my mom and dad.
Simple Christmas pleasures to cherish year after year.
If you would like to craft some keepsakes with the children in your life this holiday season, you will find all the bits and pieces you need at The Reuse Centre.