Melrose–White stitched ornaments hang on a Christmas tree in the Lilac Lane dining room at Pine Villa Nursing Home in Melrose.

Each ornament is a Christmas scene, like a poinsettia, snowflake, Christmas tree, bell or Nativity scene.

All were made over the past six months by resident Maria Hoppe—on her Pfaff sewing machine that sits in a corner of her nursing home room. 

“I just love making these,” she said holding one of the ornaments up Thursday afternoon. 

It reminds her of the years she did hand embroidery work, like doilies, while living with Virgil, her husband of 29 years, in their Melrose home and even dating back to when she was a young girl. 

The project keeps her hands busy and mind sharp. 

This is the first year Maria has tackled making these ornaments. Her sewing machine does the embroidery work. She ordered computerized designs for the ornaments and had someone install them on her machine. She presses a button and within a short time the ornament is complete. 

“Some take one hour and others an hour-and-a-half to make,” she said.

All Maria needs to do is be there in case there is an issue. 

“It’s not as hard as it seems. You just have to stay with it in case the thread breaks,” said Maria.  

This religious lady, who still occasionally wears a chapel veil on her head when attending morning Mass, treasurers the true meaning behind Christmas—Jesus’ birth. In her room she has a Thomas Kinkade illuminated musical tabletop Nativity Tree that plays the song “Silent Night.”  

It helps put her in the mood when she’s making the ornaments.

Maria does have a favorite ornament. 

“My very favorite is the Nativity one,” she said.  

Others who have seen her ornaments are intrigued.  

“People have asked if I could make ‘em some,” she said, smiling. 

The ornaments were piled high in a plastic container until she could place them on the Christmas tree. 

“I made them all white because I thought against the tree it would look really nice, and we put colored lights on the tree,” she said.  

Staff Kathy Nix and Jenna Middendorf helped her trim the tree just in time for the nursing home’s Dec. 1 Christmas party for residents and family. 

“Jenna got red balls, and Kathy put eucalyptus that was sprayed silver on the tree,” said Maria. 

One by one the homemade ornaments were hung on the tree. 

Maria’s oodles of ornaments make Christmas special, and she loves sharing it with others.