Thursday, December 10, 2015

Wehrheim Family Ornaments - 1977 thru 1986

The tradition of our family ornaments began in 1977 when my sister, Jane, bought a pair of socks for each person who would be celebrating Christmas at my parents' home on Christmas Day.   We had two new babies in the family (niece Trisha and nephew Phillip).  They each got a small pair of socks with a squeeze toy stuffed inside.   I don't remember all the socks but do remember striped toe socks for my mom and her sister, Aunt Ruth.  Most of the boys got tube socks. I think everyone except the two babies got candy in their socks.  We stuffed one sock inside the other then added the treat.  They were hung on the mantle with thumbtacks. 
It was so much fun on Christmas morning to hear my mom talking about it and trying to figure which of us had done it.   Unfortunately I do not have a picture of that - not sure if Jane does.

The next year, Jane and I planned together.  We got an engraved ornament for everyone.  Mine was Sally from A Charlie Brown Christmas.

1978 Engraved Ornaments

The 1979 treats were small wicker baskets with some candy. They were a variety of shapes and all different shades of brown.  We placed them on the hearth in front of the fireplace.   I don't have a photo of those either. 

In 1980, Jane got married and moved to Michigan, 13 hours away, so I took over the tradition.
1980 Felt Mittens
 I decided to make felt mittens and our mom helped me by doing the stitching on  the mittens for Aunt Ruth, Uncle Les (they always spent Christmas at our house) all 7 siblings, in-laws, and 6 grandchildren.  A candy cane placed in each made them more festive. 

In 1981, I made everyone a needlepoint box using plastic canvas and yarn.  I chose a design for each person.  Some were Christmas emblems like an angel or a star.  Others were something that was specific for that person.  I collected rainbow items so I stitched a rainbow on mine.  My sister, Carol, liked butterflies.  She recently gave her box to my daughter who also likes butterflies.
1981 Needlepoint Boxes
So, it did not begin as ornaments but just a little treat for everyone from Santa. In 1982, I stitched a miniature stocking for each person.  The back of the stocking is red gingham. They were really cute!  I lived in a mobile home and did not have a lot of space for a tree so I made a macrame tree that hung flat on the wall.  I put lights through the opening and hung all of the miniature stockings on it.  I will have to see if I can find a photo of that.  There were 6 different designs in the kit I bought to make these - Angel, Train, Tree, Poinsettia, Raggedy Ann doll and Raggedy Andy doll.  I had to plan ahead to get them all done by Christmas.   I have often thought I should make some for those family members that have come along since 1982 - maybe some day :-)
1982 Cross Stitched Stockings

One of my favorites were these cute little snowmen.  There were six different colors for the hats and I made sure each family had a different hat for each person.   The snowmen are made with 2 styrofoam balls and a knitted tube. I did a lot of the knitting on my lunch hour at work.  I even made some to sell to co-workers.
1983 Knitted Snowmen
Another favorite was the crocheted rings with the cross stitch insert that I made in 1984.   As I recall I made each insert different using a book that had all sorts of miniature Christmas designs.   I did the crochet trim in several different colors.  The crochet stitches are done around a gold curtain ring.  I have since misplaced the book with the pattern (I think I loaned it to someone but never got it back).  I have looked for patterns like this but no luck.  I think I could make up something similar if I just take the time.  I would like to do something like this again. Maybe do them in green like a wreath and add some red beads, leaving the center open.

1984 Crocheted Rings
The 1985 ornaments took a lot of time.  First, plastic canvas was cut into the pieces for the sleigh using a pattern from the kit I bought.  Each piece was stitched and then all joined together using yarn.  The pattern also had a large sleigh to use as a centerpiece.  I planned to do that too but pretty much did not want to see another piece of plastic canvas or red yarn by the time I finished the sleighs.   We added a couple in-laws and 4 grandkids to the family since 1981. 
1985 Needlepoint Sleighs
Another favorite was the Mary Jane (for the females) and tennis shoes (for the males) with long socks.  These were filled with some sort of candy.   These were the ornaments for 1986.  By now, it was pretty much an ornament tradition. I only have the Mary Jane one so will have to see if  I can get a photo of the tennis shoes from one of the men in the family.
1986 Mary Janes and Tennis Shoes

  I figure this post would be too long if I cover the almost 40 years of ornaments so I am breaking it up into 10 year sections.  Be sure to check the following posts for more.

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