Christmas ornaments – simple loving gifts

Love and ornaments on a shoe string.

When my husband and I first got married we were flat broke. But we made lovely Christmas celebrations on a shoe string. All of our ornaments were homemade and it was a great part of the celebration to make them. As the children came along, we’d make ornaments with them. Some years we’d put gingerbread men on the tree, other years we’d put strings of popcorn and cranberries. But always it was so much fun to figure out what we could make with what we had on hand in the cupboards.

My very favorite group of ornaments we made were parchment scrolls with scripture verses about Jesus. The top of the tree held the largest one “Behold the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” I made them with parchment paper burnt around the edges to look old, done by hand in calligraphy. Today you can use a fancy font on your printer, but this was long before personal computers and printers!


Remember those construction paper chains you make as children for Thanksgiving? Well, I would pay $2 and with a yard of Christmas fabric and a hot glue gun you can make some lovely fabric garlands. We have 4 different ones in different colors. They make any tree look old fashioned and homey!


Beauty from ashes.

A number of years ago almost all of our ornaments were destroyed . It was so heartbreaking, some of them were ornaments from Kevin’s childhood or that my children made when they were very little. In the scheme of life it was a minor thing, but to this Mama’s heart, it was so hard. Then some of my very dearest friends in the world sent me ornaments from their trees! Now our tree is covered with a huge variety of unique ornaments. That year was a blessing for all of us as we awaited the mail each day to get wonderful gifts from all over the world. And year after year since, opening up the ornament box and re-reading the beautiful letters of love that accompanied the ornaments still brings tears to my eyes. We spent many hours praying for all my dear friends who shared their lives and love with us.

How have ornaments helped to build traditions in your family?

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All Scripture quotations are taken from the NASB.
Unless otherwise indicated, photos from


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  1. Sweet story <3.
    Of course, this Moms favorite ornaments are the ones made by the kids. The second favorites are the ones I received from an ornament exchange I did years ago with some cyber friends. We all agreed to hand make them and there is a tiny note on each one. We ended up with close to 20 ornaments if I recall. So special to me.
    The Hallmark ornaments are fun in that we pick ones up that represent holiday movies we love to watch. But as "perfectly" crafted as they are, home made is really my favs :).

    • Oh what a sweet story, Donna!! And I’m with you on the homemade ornaments. The first Christmas for my newly married daughter, my son made her an angel for their tree. Only it was a biblically accurate angel with multiple sets of wings and eyes all over the place. It was SO much fun and I know it will be treasured by her for her whole life!

  2. Kate…our tree is filled with homemade, gift-given and store bought ornaments. We have so many that some sometimes don’t make our tree. And each one has a story that we re-hash every year. Some ornaments even have a favorite spot on our tree per our kids direction. 😉 I love our ornaments and always look forward to decorating our tree. Thank you for hosting friend. Have a blessed week.

    • Isn’t it sweet to have been blessed with more than you need? Another example of God’s abundance!! I’m with you – the re-hashing of the stories behind each ornament is the best! Have a lovely holiday season, sweetheart!

  3. Kate, I too love those homemade memories. My mil gave the kids ornaments every year and when I could I’d buy one for the family and one for each of them. When my children got married they each received an early Christmas present at their wedding- a box of all the ornaments accrued over the years that wee theirs. I still try to do it but one for each one is getting pricy so I’ve taken to buying one for their family instead that is a keepsake with their names and the year on them.

    • I think the ornaments my children made are the ones I miss most of all. I too had hoped to send them off with a box of ornaments to start their new homes with, but God had other plans. 😀


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