Crab shell heirloom

This crab shell Christmas ornament has survived over 30 years. The wife of a waterman, Nancy Parks of Morattico, would soak steamed crab shells in bleach and water to remove stains and odor, then cover them with a clear coat of paint and glitter before placing tiny ornaments inside. The ornaments are very fragile but about a half dozen still remain with her daughter, Lorraine Dixon of Alfonso, and granddaughter, Lisa Valdrighi of Weems. There was often a crafting night before Christmas when Nancy, her daughters, the late Bonnie Hinton and Dixon, and Valdrighi would make crab ornaments. This ornament and other holiday heirlooms treasured by local families are featured in this week’s Christmas Greetings section of the Record.