52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – Homemade

Fifty-four years ago this February, I married my high school sweetheart. I turned twenty-one that spring, and he turned twenty-one that fall. We were very young compared to the parents of today.

I have always been a crafty girl. I learned how to sew in high school during my home economics class. I made my wedding dress.

My homemade dress

The money we received for our wedding went into purchasing furniture for our apartment. And adding a baby to share in our lives meant we had little disposable income to purchase ornaments for our Christmas tree. We decided to make our own ornaments.

Back then five-and-dime stores were the go-to place to purchase items for homemade ornaments or homemade anything. Off to the store we went. We loaded ourselves up with Styrofoam balls, sequins, cotton balls, and glue. We spent an evening gluing and creating. We were proud of our masterpieces. Fortunately, we only have one of the original ones we made hanging on our tree (Santa pictured on the left). What was a masterpiece to us then would be tacky by the standards of today.

Through the years our Christmas trees haven’t been glamorous or glitzy.  They have been hung with ornaments that the kids made in school, ornaments that were given to us, and ornaments we purchased on trips. Some were made by my mother and brother. Some hung on the trees of my husband’s youth. Some are dough ornaments that I made to sell at a craft bizarre. One was made by my husband (pictured right) that outshone all of the ones I made. Our tree is a tree of memories. As I hang the ornaments on our tree each year, I remember how we received each one.

My love for homemade crafts began as a child.  We didn’t have much money so we would string popcorn to make a garland for our tree every Christmas. Our ancestors made homemade items out of necessity. They most likely had little time to express their creativity. I feel fortunate that we live during a time when we can devote many hours to activities that make us happy.  And, apparently, others feel the way I do. Why else would we have successful stores like Michael’s and Hobby Lobby?

Yes, I am a crafty girl. I make my Christmas cards and send them to friends and family.  Everyone is filled with love and wishes for a Merry Christmas. Perhaps that is why I like homemade items so much. They hold the love and care the maker puts into them.

My blog is a way of sharing my love of family and genealogy. It is a homemade quilt of words surrounding my ancestors bringing their lives to the light. God willing, I hope to have many more years to create my homemade creations.