It’s a closely guarded secret each year what Christmas ornament Jerald Jones is making for all the members of his and wife Janet’s family. Back in the early days (he started making Christmas ornaments in 1994), their oldest son, David, asked what the ornament would be that year. Jerald told him truthfully, “A block of wood with a hole it in for hanging on the tree.”

MONKEYS – Jerald cuts out one for each grandchild then turns it over to Janet who sands, draws on features, writes the name on the back, stains then lacquers the monkey. They have made them for grandchildren , great-grandchildren and now a great-great grandchild.

And David opened the first present – a small block of wood with a hole in it. Then David got to open the real ornament. David still hangs the block of wood on his family’s Christmas tree.

This year at the family Christmas party a couple of weeks ago, Jerald and Janet gave away 50 of the handmade, sanded and lacquered ornaments.

Janet has added her own touch to the process. She finishes the monkeys Jerald cuts out for each small grandchild who he calls “monkeys.” Janet sands the monkeys and draws some features on them, then stains and lacquers the 1⁄4 inch oak. That’s the material Jerald uses to scroll saw the pattern of all the ornaments. Normally, he planes down sheets of oak he purchases, but this year his planer broke and he purchased a new one that didn’t do a satisfactory job. So he purchased a few pieces of 1⁄4 inch oak from a lumber company which he said got expensive. So, we’re  probably looking at a new bearings for the planer for later this spring. He and David rebuilt the one that wore out, David took it home and now it’s working fine.

ICICLE NAMES – Jerald does an icicle name for each member of the family. He’s holding the shortest and the longest name he did.

TOO MANY CUTS – Jerald only made one of this he found in a pattern book. It required him to stop, detach the blade, drill a hole and reattach the blade over 100 times.

Once Jerald asked an artistic friend to draw the ornament pattern. Most of the time, he just finds something he likes and goes from there. The first year he made a different ornament for each family member, including spouses and their children.

He said he soon sawthat wasn’t going to work and decided tojust do one ornament pattern for everybody in the family.

When the pattern on an ornament requires, he stops the scroll saw, detaches one end of the blade, drills a tiny hole where the next cut is to start, then insertsand reattaches the scroll saw blade.

He does do a special ornament for each new baby that joins the family.

But about March, Jerald will choose the pattern for the 2019 family Christmas ornament and start his labor of love in his workshop…in secret. No one except Janet will know.

JONES CHRISTMAS TREE – The ornaments are all handmade by Jerald and Janet.