Wednesday, December 14, 2011

An Ornament a Day

I have to share one of my Christmas traditions with you. I just must. I thought I had already done this but I can’t find a post on it anywhere so if I am repeating myself….

Well you still have to read the post. You love me.

Many long years ago, 1981 to be exact, I was a poor nursing student slogging my way through blood and guts and gore.

Or not. They don’t usually let nursing students anywhere NEAR blood and guts and gore. But remind me some time to tell you about how I earned an instant A+ on my Senior nursing project. Deb Does Neurosurgery.

Where was I?

So, one day I come back from whatever it is that nursing students do all day and there was a package waiting for me. A package from Grandma Amsler. SWEET! I was the only granddaughter (always was!!!) and that afforded me certain extra privileges.

It is good to be number one and only.

I opened up the package and pulled out a rolled up piece of what looked like burlap with gold tassels sticking out the ends.



I unrolled it to find….


A felt Christmas tree sewed to the burlap and covered with gold ric rac and little hooks. There was also another package inside and a note from Grandma Amsler. In the note she explained that this was an Advent Calendar for me. Now I was confused for a minute (or more) because for an advent calendar to work you need to start on Dec 1 and go to Dec 24. This was mid-November and I was going to be back home for Christmas break long before Dec. 24 rolled around.

Never fear, Grandma had it all figured out. She had found out from Mimi what day I would be arriving home. She had counted back 24 days from that date and the letter informed me that this was the day that I should start putting ornaments on the tree.

Clever Grandma Amsler.

And the ornaments!!!


There were a number of ones that Grandma had knitted or crocheted.


There were felt ornaments. I still think that making the skate blades out of paper clips is one of the cleverest things!


This had cloves in it and it smelled fabulous. Technically it still has cloves in it but the smell is long gone.


Of course there had to be at least one of Grandma’s signature wheat weaving ornaments. These things still fascinate me.


A clever use of postage stamps. I am amazed that these things are still stuck together.


Several star ornaments that she had crocheted. You cannot believe how delicate the stitches on these are. And I sure wish I knew what she used to stiffen them.


A clothes pin reindeer!!!


Hmmmm, well he was OK when he arrived but time does wear on some ornaments.



And Grandma even put in one of her special bells that her sister, Margaret, brought back from Siam in the 1930’s. This is my favorite of all.


Every year since the first I have continued the tradition of hanging up my advent calendar. Grandma never meant for it to be a permanent thing, she was very surprised when I told her years ago that I still had it. She was pleased I could tell.

I remember how much it made me feel the presence and love of home.

It wouldn’t be Christmas without it.


  1. So sweet. I bet that Advent calendar livened up Bass Hall! My grandmother, Memaw, made the crocheted stars too. She stiffened them with sugar water if I remember correctly. Or it was Elmer's glue and water....

  2. That is sooooo awesome! I bet she was thrilled that you kept it. =)

    for stiffening the stars/snowflakes, this article has several of the old tricks for it.


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