This winter, I’ve been hard at work in the evenings making crocheted snowflakes, a family tradition made famous many years ago by my grandmother and her sister. My grandmother was one of ten children, and I do believe the entire family tree is decorated with their crocheted snowflakes and angels every Christmas! As I struggle to get the hang of the tiny stitches, I remember how Grandma and Aunt Daisy could turn them out by the dozen, often making them up as they went along.
I’ve always loved to do things with my hands, but this year I’m especially savoring the chilly evenings by the fire and twinkling Christmas tree, working busily on something beautiful. No computer, no phone, sometimes an old movie and sometimes just silence – as the thread loops and twists, my thoughts straighten out into one long appreciation of the simple life. My ancestors didn’t have it easy, but they had a sense of fun, beauty, and family that holds us together to this day.
After decades of enjoyment, this year the old snowflakes are finally beginning to show their age, losing their stiffness and looking grimy from years of hands. Thanks to the modern connective threads of the digital age, cousins are exchanging a flurry of instructions for washing, starching, and blocking the snowflakes to restore their shape and sparkle. I like to think of all these cousins, each in their kitchens, carefully preserving our heritage. And I’m enjoying adding some of my own to the collection, hopefully in fine family style.