My Family’s Homemade Christmas Ornament Exchange

My family is scattered all over the U.S. now, but at one time we were all here in one place and we used to celebrate a homemade ornament exchange. I loved it. I mean, who wouldn’t love to get something homemade that you can put on the tree and think about the person that gave it you?

As we all grew up and scattered all about, we didn’t see each other at Christmas. So a few years ago I suggested a homemade ornament exchange with my cousins. I’ve talked about some of the ornaments I made (from CDs and scrapbook stuff this year and felt houses last year), but I want to turn the tables and show you all what a talented and hilarious family I have. I love my cousins. Truly!

Here they all are at my wedding a few years ago:

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I love these folks so much. A few years ago we all gathered here for a big family Christmas. That was so much fun. But it’s hard (no – impossible!) to do every year because we all live everywhere and have our own family stuff to do. So the homemade ornament exchange is nice because it makes me think of them each time I pull out an old ornament, and also gives me a virtual hug every time I go to the mail and open one of their new creations.

This year, my cousin Mary Jo gets the big prize for her beautiful felt owl. My Auntie is so wonderfully talented, too. She’s the one that always tells me to use my “creative gifts.” She’s crafty and an expert seamstress and just all-around wonderful person. This year she took old puzzle pieces, painted them white, and added beads.

One year, my cousin Shelly made up these cute (and pretty hilarious) paint brush ornaments. They’re green and gold for the Packers. Of course.

My cousin Deb is really talented, does all kinds of crochet and crafty stuff. She made one with a cookie cutter, and Eiffel tower (because I’m such a Paris/Eiffel tower freak) and stuff she found at a thrift store.

I love that people make stuff by hand. It really makes me feel like they’re right there with me celebrating Christmas all over again like we did as kids.

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