Mrs. Phillips' mom and other volunteers came into her classroom on Friday to help students make ornaments

ABERDEEN, S.D. – On Friday morning in Lincoln Elementary School, the steady whirr of a sewing machine could be heard in Jennifer Phillips’ fourth-grade classroom.

It’s the sound of a holiday tradition 20 years in the making. Mrs. Phillips’ mom, Mary Hornaman, has been bringing her sewing machine in each December to help students make quilted Christmas ornaments personalized with their picture.  

“My mom comes every year to do quilted ornaments,” Phillips said. “It’s something we started over 20 years ago when I started teaching here at Lincoln.” 

The tradition has grown to include Dawn Sahli’s classroom at Lincoln as well as additional volunteers—two of Hornaman’s friends, Winnie Kelly and Cassie Wilson; along with parent volunteer Jackie Beving, whose own children had Mrs. Phillips in the past.

 “We love doing it every year and it’s always a fun tradition,” Phillips said. 

The kids really enjoy making the ornaments, she said. Their families have grown to love the tradition as well—in fact, they’ve come to count on the tradition each year.

 “The families love getting the quilted ornaments, and they go on their tree every year,” Phillips said. “It’s funny because a lot of times we’ll have siblings of siblings that I’ve had and they look forward to having the quilted ornaments.”

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