S: 2014 Christmas Recollections
BC: It is Christmas in the heart that puts Christmas in the air. | Gifts of time and love are surely the basic ingredients of a truly merry Christmas.
FC: Christmas | Recollections | 2014
1: The phase Christmas Tree Ornaments contains the word ornament, which is defined as "an accessory used to beautify, enrich, or improve the appearance or general effect of an object." Ornaments on a tree are an adornment or embellishment. Decorated by nature, they lend beauty or attractiveness to the Christmas tree. In this book you will find recollections of our favorite ornaments and Christmas traditions from our families.
2: Our Humphreys Christmas tradition is to spend Christmas Eve at Grandma and Papa's house (Jan and Linda). We make cookies for Santa with Grandma and the grandkids all get new Christmas pjs from Grandma and Papa that they wear home to bed! Lynette Humphreys Ewy
3: Every year since Zach was born, my best friend Katie's parents Allan and Patti Quilty, make homemade ornaments for the boys. Now when they are ready to "leave the nest" they will have ornaments to fill their trees! Stephanie Humphreys Cihacek
4: A completely covered tiny counted cross stitch "NutCracker" handmade by my Mom, Betty Smith, is my all time favorite Christmas ornament. It reminds me of her impeccable attention to detail... the back of her needlework always looked as beautiful as the front. Jeanne Smith Curtis
5: I knitted these Christmas stocking for my kids and grandkids for their first Christmas. The pattern was from my Aunt Imogene Smith Robinson. She taught me to knit on one of those visits we took each summer as kids to her house in Lansing, Michigan. Curtis Family Tradition
6: Dexter Whitesell | PICTURES WITH OLE SANTA | Lentzes | Curtises | Jordan Klesner | Humphreyses | Crystal | Gotts | "Ole Santa" joined the JC and Betty Smith family back in 1962. He laid claim to the family on one of those non stop round trips our Dad would do when taking his Mom (Belva) to Michigan to visit Imogene (her daughter) during the holidays. Ole Santa can now be found traveling from family to family spreading Christmas joy each year. | Smith Family Tradition | Landon and Brantley Gott
7: Tucker Lentz | Vanessa Lentz | Curtis Grandkids | Stephanie | Julea and Jennifer | Jennifer | Jon Smith | Jennifer, Heindrick and Joanna | Crystal, Bethany, Brianne, and Brandon
8: Ole Santa....I always loved to have him setting by the Christmas tree every year. I remember one year we asked where he was and Mom said he was to old to set out, but Jon and I went and got him out anyway because it would not be the same without Ole Santa. The next year, Daddy made him a sled to set in. I had him last year for my first grandbabies Landon and Brantley, but I have to turn him over to Julea for her first grandbaby. Jeanan Smith Gott | Tucker Lentz | Landon & Brantley Gott
9: My kids Miranda and Josh made these picture pine cone ornaments when they were in kindergarten. I have them on my Christmas tree every year. | The Santa, Angel, Elf and Gingerbread Man ornaments are very special. They are wooden cut outs by Daddy and hand painted by Mom. | I started this tradition with my grandsons Landon and Brantley... a night before Christmas box. They receive pj's and a Christmas book, along with a few other things. Last year their book was "The Night before Christmas and Santa Paws." This year their book was "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and The Story of Christmas." | Jeanan Smith Gott
10: In 1993 I had just turned one year old and they tell me I was pretty active! We had these cute Elf ornaments that came as a set of three from Home Interiors. Each one of us received one, mine was holding a little doll. Grandma Betty had written our names on the back, so I knew this one was mine. Cleaning out the humidifier one day mom found it at the bottom; apparently I had taken it off the tree and dropped it in. The red paint on it had chipped away. Grandma offered to repaint it for me, but Mom said no, that was a memory of that Christmas she wanted to keep. We talk about what happened to that ornament every year as we decorate our tree and how Grandma offered to fix it. Vanessa Lentz | In 1978 Dan’s little sister Lynette made homemade salt-dough ornaments and presented him with this Santa cutout. We have proudly adorned our tree with this ornament every since his mother was cleaning things and found it. Thirty-six years later and it’s still in one piece! Dan Lentz
11: I remember growing up and Mom having these little Pixies sitting around the house during Christmas. They had been on our tree and decorating other arrangements around the house through the years during the Christmas season. I remember at least six of them. When Mom passed away and we were cleaning out her apartment, I came across this one Pixie and nabbed on to it. He sits on a branch on my tree every year now and reminds me of the Elf-On-A-Shelf that is so popular today. Julea Smith Lentz | This Santa ornament made from a gun shell by Grandma Betty is a favorite of mine... mostly because I LOVE to hunt! Steven Lentz | My Mom has a tradition of buying Hallmark ornaments every year and in 1995 she bought this Lego ornament. I love Legos and would usually get some sort of Lego activity as a gift from Santa. Nick Lentz
12: Steve and I received this handmade ornament four months after our wedding. My grandmother's best friend, Euline, had taken some of the wedding flowers from our centerpieces at the reception and made Christmas ornaments with them! One for my grandmother, mother, sister, Julea, Steve & I. This was one of the most surprising and thoughtful gifts we have received this year and will hang on our tree for many years to come! Sarah Sutterer Lentz
13: Like my older sister Jeanne, I learned to knit from my Aunt Imogene. I first made myself one before I got married and then made Dan one for our 1st Christmas together. Then came Steven, Nick and Vanessa. Having December birthdays I had to hurry shortly after they were born to put Steven and Vanessa’s name on in time for their 1st Christmas. The daughter-in-laws were excited when they got their own stocking as you have to be a family member in order to have your name on it. This year our first grandchild, Tucker, joined the family mantle! Stockings are always fun to fill and I try to find different and interesting things to put in them. One year the boys both got pocket knives (can’t believe Santa did that) and Vanessa always enjoyed jewelry or gift cards to her favorite store. Gift cards for date night, small tools, kitchen gadgets, sunglasses and beef sticks are things I like to fill them up with now that they are older. Whack and unwrap orange chocolates and round Coke ornaments have been used to fill the toe of the sock before. Our family is growing, but I have lots of mantles to hang them from. Lentz Family Tradition
14: One of my favorite Christmas traditions is the Pickle. Every year before we open gifts my mom (Carla Van Ingen) hides the glass pickle somewhere in the tree, and the person who finds it gets to open the first gift. The pickle has changed forms over the years, but the tradition and fun remains the same. | This straw angel is one of my favorite and most memorable ornaments. It is from Austria when my mom was a foreign exchange student there as a teenager. Each year while we put the ornaments on the tree we come across this angel and reminisce about my mom's trip and the wonderful family she stayed with. We are still in contact with that family today. | Mary VanIngen Lentz
15: I have several favorite ornaments. They are all handmade. The two in the lower right are made by a former preacher at our church. The boys made some ornaments in grade school. My daughter in law made the melted snowman ornament. My sister in law made the purplish swirl ornament. My mother in law put the cute lil reindeer on a Christmas gift for Jace with 1989, the year he was born, thus his first Christmas. The skinny lil snowman was made by a classmate of Riley's out of a tongue depressor stick. I always reach for these simple, made with love ornaments! Aunt Betty made the shot gun shell Santa. Jim's neighbor who still lives in the same house across the street where Dean and Mary lived in Trenton made the ceramic ornaments. | Misty Criswell Glidewell
16: Once upon a Christmas, brother Jon brought to our mother a shotgun shell ornament that he received (or found) thinking Mom could use it as a craft idea. Mom passed it on to me since she thought I might have an abundant supply of shotgun shells. She was right of course, not that Mike & his family were bad shots, they just shot a lot. At the end of every duck & goose season, when cleaning out & taking down the river blinds, 10's of shells are stuffed in a bag & given to me, mud & all. The Klesner Line of Shotgun Shell Ornaments were created. The first years were red Santas made with 3 & 3 1/2 in shells. Green shells were found, so that year green Santas were created & then Elves. Later, black & brown shells cluttered the blind and Penguins & Reindeer were born. Soon after, Snowmen & Angels were painted. In 2012, Jordan's basketball team went to state, so that following Christmas the entire Danville Bears team was designed out of blue shells. He played soccer that senior year so I made one of player #12, and also an Iowa Hawkeye for the university he attended that Fall. Nicole was sad that she didn't have any representation in ornament form, so an Iowa Hawkeye, UAMS students, HS Homecoming Queen, and HS Quiz Bowl participant were created just for her. Well Mike & I needed to be part of the story, so FM Bloodhound meets Grundy Panther at NMSU Bulldog's tree branch. Favorite team players were made, including St Louis Cardinal Yadi Molina #4 & KC Chief Smith #11. Requests from friends inspired Colts, Vikings, K-State, and yes, even Cyclones & Cubs. But you won't find them on this Klesner tree. A young lady who joined a trap shooting team shot pink shells and saved them for me. Little dolls were crafted. To counter the girls, small toy soldiers were made from smaller yellow shells. 2014's new line included Gingerbread Men and Dad w/dog and Mom w/rose. The nativity figurines I had before Dad's manger, didn't quite fit, so 3 Kings bearing gifts, a Shepherd, Mary & Joseph along with Ox & Lamb now inhabit the barnboard shelter. I couldn't make myself make a baby Jesus out of used ammo, but maybe I'll make a crib out of one next year. To ask me to pick my favorite... God loves all his creations ...and so do I. | Jennifer Amy Smith Klesner
17: With so many shells, not much else gets put on my tree. 81 was the count for this year.
18: Christmas Bingo Tradition I always looked forward to the family Christmas Bingo at the Stoneking Christmas, later at the Smith Family Christmas and now getting it started this year at the Curtis Family Christmas. I was three at the time of this picture. As you can tell by the expression on my face, I'm not at all about letting anyone take my gift from me if they BINGO... it obviously worked. My Mom displays the Santa Stocking Bingo gift each Christmas along with the photo. Maybe someday she'll let me have my gift back. Brandon Curtis
19: B I N G O THROUGH THE YEARS
20: When Adam and I got married, we received this Lenox wooden advent tree from my parents for our first Christmas. Every December we bring it out. I love the porcelain ornaments that each have a tiny sparkling crystal. Now that the kids have come along, I no longer get to pick the ornament each day. Instead, Reese and Dexter take turns each morning picking out and hanging up their ornament. Bethany Curtis Whitesell
21: Growing up I always looked forward to Mom hanging up my Christmas stocking with my name on it. When Adam and I got married, I didn't think it would feel like Christmas unless I had a stocking with my name on it. Since I did not inherit the ability to make anything, I had to have some help. So, with the aid of online shopping from Pottery Barn, Adam and I each had our own stocking for our first Christmas. I have continued the tradition with the addition of Reese and Dexter. Now, one of our family's favorite parts of Christmas is hanging up our stockings on our fireplace mantel. Whitesell Family Tradition
22: I have always loved this angel! As a young girl I remember my Mom cutting up this old quilt and then putting it together at the kitchen table in our old farm house. I vividly remember the pile of dried grass for the angel's hair, the different colored ribbons and the stuffing. I always loved when we got to do crafts at the table that involved my Mom's hot glue gun and that we always managed to burn our finger! It goes on my tree every year and I'm reminded of all the talented women that I am lucky enough to have inherited a few traits from. Brianne Curtis Sears
23: Since our kids were born we buy them a nice ornament reminding us of the things they did or things they liked that year. I then write a little note to them about the memories of the year and wrap it all up! My plan is to give them their box of ornaments the year they get married or have a tree of their own! Usually I am a year behind and end up playing catch-up every couple of years! I am excited for them to open these and have a glimpse at their personalities as they were growing up. Sears Family Tradition
24: I made this old felt hanging several years ago. All the kids enjoyed watching me put it together. Then later on the grandkids loved seeing it. It always hangs somewhere in the house. This year it was down in our family room. | These little ornaments have hung on our family tree each Christmas. Mike and Jim made them in Sunday school class. Jim says the white one is his. He was to young to be turned loose with much paint at that time! I just love hanging them out each year. | Glidewell Family | Dixie and I gave this angel to Betty when she was in the hospital. She loved angels, they are my favorite too. Now each year this angel goes on my tree in memory of our sister Betty.
25: My favorite Christmas ornaments all these that Dean and I had on our Christmas tree when we were first married. They are very fragile so I keep them in this glass container now. I bring them out each year and enjoy decorating with them. These Christmas balls bring back lots of memories! Mary Stoneking Glidewell
26: My favorite ornament is a two inch adorable little porcelain angel that I received from my Mom & Dad for Christmas in 1997 that my Mom found in Jefferson City. She is so delicate, has a beautiful little face with angel wings, a glittery white halo and is holding a Christmas bell. She never gets stored away with the other ornaments. I keep her out all year on a shelf among my other precious collection of keepsake angels! | A tradition I have done for years is my white ice skates from my childhood that I display at my door. Tawny Glidewell Epperson
27: The Epperson kids family tradition... their mama (Tawny Glidewell Epperson) made each of their stockings the year they were born, (1984, 1986, 1989) and it's a good thing they were all born in March because the fine embroidery/cross stitching took hours to complete! They have grown to look forward to Santa filling their stockings every year because that's where the best gift is always hidden ($$$), along with the chocolates. The size always fits and they have never asked for a gift exchange ;). My family keeps growing but these three stockings are special and will be used many years to come! | Epperson Kids
28: My favorite Christmas ornament is actually on my Mother-in-law's (Jeanan Smith Gott) tree. My Mom had started this collection for me in 2000 and I am missing the first one in this series. I've always wanted this 1999 Hallmark Harley-Davidson series ornament to complete my collection. Maybe if I'm nice to her it will be on my tree someday! Brett Heuett | My Favorite ornament is a wooden painted Angel that my Grandma Betty and Grandpa JC made for me in 1996. Miranda Gott Heuett
29: Dixie Stoneking Ruhnke | My special ornaments from my daughter Joanna Ruhnke Dixon and son Brian Ruhnke. | This Christmas ball is my favorite ornament. I purchased it on a holiday visit to Las Vegas.
30: Smith Sister Tradition | The Annual Smith Sister Cookie Bake has become a well known tradition to many. We even had a few crashers this year that helped with our baking. It is a weekend full of baking and reminiscing. This was our seventh year! | This was a holiday family activity that began this year with Dixie Stoneking Ruhnke and her granddaughter Amara. (Brian Ruhnke's daughter). Unlike the Annual Smith Sister Cookie Bake these treats are for our furry friends. They had a busy day, making cinnamon Christmas decorations, bird balls and dog bones. They got all the family animals taken care of that day! | Ruhnke Tradition | The Humphreys Grandkids have a little Gingerbread House baking activity. Humphreys Tradition
31: I've had a lot of fun pulling together this book of "Recollection of Ornaments" and traditions of our families. Between Aunt Mary Stoneking Glidewell and myself (Jeanne Smith Curtis), we think this Holy Family ornament might have been one of Granny's favorite. It was always hung on Grandma Carver's (Nancy Alice Callahan Carver) Christmas tree, then Granny's (Pebble Carver Stoneking) tree and now Mary's. | Pebble Irene Carver Stoneking aka Granny
32: The "Stoneking Grandkids" minus Brian Ruhnke (not born yet) and Stephanie Humphreys Cihacek (baby) first great-granddaughter. | WWI Memorial Brick Kansas City, MO | A little STONEKING Recollection | Some of the Stoneking Great- Grandkids and Granny
33: Mack and Pebble met, married and lived in Kansas City until Betty was 4 or 5 years old. Mack drove a trolley car and later a laundry truck. Mack was born and went to school, until 8th grade, in Warrensburg. Mo. He joined the Navy 1917-1918. Pebble was born at Osgood, MO, moved to Kansas City in her grade school years, as her parents purchased a three story apartment house there. In the same block as the apartment house, Pebble attended & graduated from a Catholic high school. They were married at the apartment house and lived on the 3rd floor. They went on a honeymoon to Three Lakes, WI for a month. Mack's brother Clark and family, a sister Mary and husband lived there. Betty was born in the apartment. They moved up north and had 3 more children. Mary, Dixie and James Owen (deceased).