Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Christmas Ornament Program - Craft Day At The Warehouse

by John Aldrich

Saturday was Craft Day at the warehouse. This has been a tradition that has been growing in popularity and relates directly to the Christmas Ornament Program, an important feature of the annual Rug Show.

But let's start at the beginning and discuss what the Christmas Ornament Program is all about -

At the Annual Rug Show we bring a number of our Elders from the reservation to Park City. They bring with them many rugs as well as other crafts which they sell to the public. This provides them with much needed resources to help them through the upcoming winter months. Although the benefit of these sales is great for the families who come to Park City, the remaining 500 or so Elders in our program who don't come to the show can't participate in this source of support.

This disparity is what inspired the Christmas Ornament Program 6 or 7 years ago. We create an ornament for each of the Elders who are chosen to be a part of the program that year. Each ornament is made specifically for an individual Elder. The purchaser of the ornament can choose what and how much to give to that Elder.

The Christmas ornaments have a picture of the Elder together with some basic information about them and a list of their specific needs. Here is the starting point for the ornament that will be created for Celone Smallcanyon Dougi of Navajo Mountain.

The end result is a collection of highly creative decorations that adorn a Christmas tree at the rug show.

Show attendees can then select an ornament and make their donation. Gina Zimmerer, seen above with the tree, has been coordinating this program for the past three years.

The creation of the ornaments is what takes place on Craft Day at the warehouse. On a Saturday morning in June 30 to 40 volunteers gather to apply their creative energies to this task. It's a day of great fun and camaraderie with light refreshments provided.

Let's follow the creative process as Gina turns the materials shown above for Celone into a finished ornament:

Gina begins by selecting materials that complement the colors in the photograph; she adds a colored backing for the photograph and then adds a floral touch to finish.

Here she holds the finished ornament. Afixed to the back is the information about Celone and what can be donated on her behalf.

During the course of the morning 190 ornaments were produced by the volunteers. Last year we made 175 ornaments which sold out at the rug show. This raised around $14,000 which was used to purchase the food certificates and firewood that the donors chose to give to the Elders. This year should be even better!

Here's a look at some of the other things that happened during Craft Day - - -

This is one of the long tables where volunteers worked on their projects:

In the foreground are some of the completed ornaments while at the top are those yet to be done.

Shaun Acerson looks over the remaining Elder photos to see which one he will work on next.

It was a family activity for Bob and Dar Stack who brought two of their grandchildren, Pete and Mia.

Kathie Bridges and Virginia Aldrich were sorority sisters in college and enjoy this annual opportunity to see each other.

Food, of course, was something else that helped to keep everyone smiling.

The completed ornaments will be saved for the rug show. Unfortunately we can't let any of them go before the big event, but please plan to be there in November to help support this valuable way to assist our Elders.


  1. I am ready to buy them up!!!
    Thank you ornament makers.

  2. These are a wonderful idea and the artists get to show off their creative talent.