Handmade Christmas Keepsakes Cross Generational Divides

A pair of needlepoint slippers hang on a Christmas tree.Although needlepoint has seen a fairly recent rise in popularity (thanks, Jonathan Adler and Taylor Swift!), some people have been stitching all their lives. Our own Laura Meyer (C&G Media Group account director) has a long family history with the artform. “My grandmother did beautiful embroidery, so our family has a tradition of handwork,” she says. “And my mother has needlepointed for as long as I remember. Every Christmas, my two sisters and I treasure the new ornaments she creates.” From ornaments and stockings to pillows and even a nativity scene, Meyer’s mother, Lou Jennings, lovingly stitches a growing number of these unique keepsakes. “I think she has lost count of how many ornaments she’s made, but she has eight grandchildren and five great grandchildren, and they each receive a special needlepoint ornament every Christmas,” says Meyer. “My own Christmas tree is almost entirely needlepoint.” Although some designs are from Jennings’ favorite needlepoint shops in her native Texas or near her current home in Mississippi, others are customized to represent a grandchild’s college or school colors. And the tradition continues with the next generation. “I love to needlepoint,” notes Meyer, “but I have many unfinished projects! My daughter knows how to needlepoint too, but she prefers knitting.” Meyer’s favorite piece in this collection that spans more than four decades? “I would have to choose my children’s stockings and the nativity scene,” she says. “They are exquisite.”

A version of this article appeared in the December 2016 issue of CTC&G (Connecticut Cottages & Gardens) with the headline: A Stitch in Time.