Season’s Craftiness

BY ERIN CHAN DING ON DECEMBER 15TH, 2016

When she thinks about the Christmases of her childhood, Kate Guerrero doesn’t really remember the ornaments that glittered at department stores or the ones that matched tinsel with aesthetic seamlessness.

What she does remember is how, every year, her family would gather for a craft time around the holidays to make an ornament that symbolized the year.

“I remember the experiences we had together so much more than anything my parents ever purchased for me,” says Guerrero, who owns her own craft store, The Lemon Row, on Etsy. “Every year when we put up the family Christmas tree, each ornament had a special meaning.”

Her mom kept all the ornaments Guerrero and her siblings made, and when each of them moved out, they took their box of ornaments with them. The first Christmas after Guerrero and her husband were married, their tree was, of course, filled with her childhood ornaments.

Now a mother of two girls, ages 3 and 1, Guerrero, who lives in suburban Chicago, says her own daughters like playing with paint, dough and sensory materials more than any other toy.

“Making your own (ornaments) just adds to the meaning,” she says, adding that supplies can be purchased at hobby and craft stores. When you look at them, “you get to relive all the memories again.”

Idalia Farrajota, the senior vice president of merchandising and trend for Michaels craft stores, says “the best part about crafting ornaments is that there is not right or wrong way to create it. Rather, everyone’s ornament will be slightly different and unique, and that is what will make it special.”

These do-it-yourself ornaments are the ones that are hung year after year, that still go up on family trees after getting a little tattered and a little bent. They have stories to them.

There’s no reason to be intimidated by the prospect of making your own ornaments, Farrajota says.

“A simple craft project like making ornaments lets both kids and parents express their creativity; after all, anyone can do it!” she says. “Plus, these ornaments could become priceless treasures and valued as a family memory for years to come.”

And like Guerrero’s, they can move from house to house, from Christmas tree to Christmas tree.

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