Christmas beauties of the day.
Red gingham bows.
It was 1963, and I was eight years old. Our Christmas tree was certainly not a decorator's tree. The ornaments were mostly homemade -- like the Christmas card I cut out and put into a cottage cheese lid during the school year.
Mom had an idea, and it has lasted 54 years. She had a yard of red gingham, and she carefully taught me how to use big scissors and cut it into strips. She then taught me how to iron, and I ironed all of those strips -- several dozen in all.
We tied those on to the tree, and all of a sudden it became very festive!
Those strips of red gingham have followed me for 54 years -- from when I grew up here in Mansfield, to when I moved to Akron at age 18, to when I moved to the Washington, DC area in 1977 and met and married Kerry, and back to Mansfield in 1979.
They are not fancy, by any means. But, they have been on every tree I've ever had in 54 years. As I was ironing them, I could tell my childhood cuts from my mother's experienced ones.