The left one is mine and the right one is Grams...duh.
There are things we teach our children without even knowing it. My Grandmother taught me a small but valuable lesson about Christmas without her even knowing it, in fact, I learned it after she had passed on.
When I was about 5 or 6 years old I was staying at my Grandparents house in Ripley, Maine. It was a very large old farmhouse three generations had lived in. One morning it was snowing and my Grandpa had gone into Dexter to work. It continued to snow all day and at the end of the day when work was finished the roads had gotten so bad that he could not get back home. He called Grammy and told her that he would be staying in town until the roads had been cleared. She did not think much of it since it had happened before. She knew that usually it would stop snowing and the roads would be cleared by the next morning. When next morning came around, we got up and went downstairs and it had snowed so much that we could not open any windows or doors – they were completely covered. We were stuck!
For the next five days Grams and I were stuck in the house and every day we would make something. One day we made cookies, another day we would make popcorn balls and another day yet something else. I can remember this time very well. I loved making things. Grammy also loved hand crafts and her house was full of all kinds of odds and ends. We both had something we loved to do and loved to do together. One of the things we made was a small Christmas tree ornament.
Even though it was many years ago, I can still remember making this particular ornament. I don’t know why I remember this one while other things are faded memories but this one always stayed clear in my mind. It was made from an old spool of thread. Grammy would make one step by step and I would follow her. When my ornament was finished I realized the picture I had so carefully chosen from tons of old cards and magazines had been glued upside down. My ornament was ruined. I threw it away and like most 5 or 6 year olds went on my day with something else and I forgot about the ornament.
Twenty years passed by. I had gotten married and moved to Europe. I had my first baby and went back to Maine for his first Christmas. My grandmother had died the summer before. The last few months of her life she was very ill so she had started going through her things to give away or simply get rid of. When she came to the Christmas decorations she gave them to my brother. He had a growing family and she felt she was helping him, so when Christmas came and I went to visit my brother I saw Grammy’s things in a box. I mentioned this to my sister-in-law and she said if I wanted anything I could have it. I went through the things and low and behold I found the very Christmas ornament that I had made with Grammy. I even found the one she had made with me.
I realized that all those years before when a I had thrown away the ornament Grammy had taken the time to find it and save it. Every Christmas she must have come by that same decoration and thought of her granddaughter and the time they were stuck together by the snow.
Now I have the decorations and every year when I put them on the tree I remember my Grammy and the love, patience and understanding she had with a small child. And when I look at the designer trees in the shop windows I wouldn’t exchange those fancy decorations with the ones Gramms and I made…EVER!