When I was growing up, my mother displayed the most embarrassing Christmas decorations. She had this hideous gingerbread man and candy cane fabric garland. She had ugly wooden ornaments, and atrocious golden sequined bell ornaments. There was the Rudolph made out of plastic melty… stuff for lack of a better word. And the cream of the ugly crop, the jewelry tree.
I was always excited to decorate for the season, and yet, I hated almost everything we put up.
Here’s the thing. I’m in my mid 30’s now and every year, I put up almost all of those decorations that I hated so much as a child.
Most of the ornaments and decorations mentioned were handmade. I think as a child, I associated homemade with cheap and being poor. Now that I’m an adult, I can look at the craftsmanship of each item and really appreciate the work that went into each piece.
Take that jewelry tree up there. That’s a picture of it as it hangs on my wall right now. I know detail is lacking, but hey, the shot was taken with my cell phone. What do you want. Looking at it now I see a very impressive work of art. It’s made with plywood, black velvet, Christmas lights and over 100 pieces of costume jewelry. They were laid out in such a manner that everything lines up and it’s an absolutely perfect tree. I have no doubt that it took hours to put together as well as time and money spent collecting all of the costume jewelry. Who know what the cost to make this project was. (BTW, this tree was created by my uncle for his mother, my grandmother, over 35 years ago)
I can tell you that I adore this piece. I think it’s beautiful and a fantastic way to recycle all that jewelry you’ll never wear again and doesn’t hold much monetary value. I love this tree so much that I’ve started my own collection of costume jewelry, so that in a few years when I have enough, I’ll be making one of my own. I really can’t wait for that day to come.
I’m not sure if I didn’t appreciate it because I didn’t actually see my mother working on the handmade decorations. I never saw her crafting. My kids always see me working on projects. Caitlin, my oldest daughter, has been bitten by the craft bug. She sees AND appreciates all of the work that goes into creating something beautiful.
In fact the jewelry tree is hanging up in our place right now because she specifically requested the jewelry tree.
I think Jessalyn is just as fond of it as the rest of us are.
Jessalyn and Jason circa 2005