Let’s Talk with Cheryl Hollon

The perfect decoration for the Holidays!
By Cheryl Hollon

This is the first holiday season after my beloved mother passed. It is a bittersweet joy to hang this treasured banner on my wall to celebrate the twelve days of Christmas.

It’s a fascination we shared from my childhood. One year, my mom’s sister-in-law gifted her with a kit to make this simple green felt banner.

It took Mom about a month to cut out, stitch, and decorate each figure with sequins, glitter, pearls, and rhinestones.

She also left me the pattern! I’ve started to make tree ornaments for family presents, starting with the partridge and the pear tree. Of course, I’ll make a dozen of each.

I love the way the banner looks perfectly at home in my little condo. It has its perfect place next to my bird lamp. Mom and I also share a deep love for birdsong in the mornings.

The banner now joins my Twelve Days of Christmas dessert plates, cookie cutters, napkins, tablecloths, and very soon, ornaments.

What family heirlooms come out for display during your holidays?
~

My Paint & Shine Mysteries are set in the Daniel Boone National Forest. My parents were born, raised, and now rest in the Adams Family Cemetery in Wolfe County, Kentucky. The characters spend a lot of time preparing traditional southern meals along with creating moonshine cocktails. Please consider buying local. Independent bookstores need your help during this challenging time.

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Comments

  1. Diane A.S. Stuckart/Anna Gerard says

    Those “firsts” with holidays are hard. I love your banner — felt was a big thing back in the day, as I remember from childhood crafts (my mom made felt ornaments one year). I have one item I do like to put out every year. It’s a small, simple wooden creche from Poland (we’re of Polish heritage) that my mom picked up years ago and displayed every Christmas. That’s one of her things I took when we cleared her house, and it reminds me of her when I see it.

  2. I love your banner. I collect sequin and felt items of all kinds. My treasure is a little styrofoam angel our nextdoor neighbor gave my mom.

    • cherylhollon says

      I have inherited my mother’s sewing box with the leftover beads and sequins. I hope to start making a banner for each of my sons and their families.

  3. Love the banner — so much love and time went into it. I started a new tradition for Chanukah this year… one I wish I’d thought of earlier, but who had ETSY 18 years ago? I sent my youngest granddaughter a menorah made from blocks with her name spelled out. It will always be hers.

  4. Our tree is filled with handmade ornaments created over the years by our kids, grandkids, and friends, as well as many ornaments I designed for kit companies and publishers back in my days of working in the consumer crafts industry.

  5. I put a little tree up in my office each year that has ornaments that my late husband and I gathered from our travels together. It’s very western/cowboy themed with a few oddities thrown in. Fortunately, I put the dates and placed ont eh back of each one. Of course many say where they came from. The one’s from our trip to Calgary and then to Montana for the wedding are the most special.

    • cherylhollon says

      What a lovely way to remember trips. We also try to get a tree ornament for souvenirs. They’re usually quite portable and give you something to look for during your trip.

  6. I have all my mother’s recipes and that’s my most precious treasure for special events. No heirloom artwork around here, but I do have my mother’s afghans that she made and use them to warm my feet!

  7. Maggie Toussaint says

    I love this family heirloom! We have ornaments for our tree that our kids made decades ago as well as two palm-sized rocks, one per kid, decorated with stretched cotton balls, a tiny plastic tree and other small plastic vegetation. They are very homemade-looking and yet I treasure them more than gold.

    • cherylhollon says

      Hi Maggie. I feel the same way about those precious ornaments. As each year goes by, they mean more and more to me.

  8. What a nice idea. I’m an author of cozy mysteries that include lots of references to food and recipes (for fudge, booyah, and more), and I find it fun to look through my deceased mother’s cookbook and think about all the wonderful things she made for holidays and the family. Mom and Dad passed away not long ago. Perhaps I need to do artwork that involves reproducing those favorite recipes and hang those in my office or home. Thanks for this lovely post.

    • cherylhollon says

      Hi Christine. What a great idea to reproduce those favorite recipes. My sister has my mom’s Betty Crocker Cookbook with all the butter, flour, and vanilla stains added to her favorites. Happy Holidays!