After visiting a few friend's homes I realized how bare my Christmas tree really is.  There are a few red Christmas balls from my childhood, a few handmade reindeer ornaments that my daughter and I made,  a few snowflakes that my Aunt crocheted and the shell casing Santas in the picture above.  I was feeling like I needed to put more things on the tree until my husband pointed out that everything on the tree had special meaning.  Especially the Santas made out of shell casings.

My husband lost his father when he was 32 years old.  He has a few pictures, tools and lots of memories, but his sister Lisa gave him a gift that not only showed her creative talents but we will cherish every Christmas for years to come.  Homie's dad was a war veteran and at his funeral he received a 21 gun salute.  I wasn't part of the family at that time, but every time they talk about it they mention they heard almost every shot. :/

Lisa was insightful and picked up the empty shells before she left the cemetery with the plans to do "something" with them and share with her siblings.  She didn't know what, until the idea of Christmas ornaments came to her.  What she did takes ALOT of talent as the faces are hand painted.  She crafted Christmas ornaments by painting the shell red (she said it took several coats to get the paint to stick).  Then crafted hats and hand painted the beard and faces to make little Santas.

A little foresight and talent from Lisa has created treasures that she shared with her two brothers.  When Homie opened the box containing the family heirloom it took a few moments for him to understand what they were. What a fantastic way to recycle something that is near and dear to all their hearts.