"Every Christmas for more than half a century, many churches have decorated trees with symbols from the birth and life of Jesus, instead of secular Santas and snowmen. It’s a good bet that many of these now-familiar ornaments were inspired by the late Frances Kipps Spencer, creator of Chrismons.

Here in Rowan County, the Rufty family helped spread that tradition throughout the Southeast and, later, worldwide. Fifty years ago, Rufty’s Garden Shop started supplying beads and materials for Spencer’s Chrismons. Today, Rufty’s Chrismon Shop is still creating patterns, and supplying beads, so that churches, missionaries and people of faith can create images for different seasons of the Christian year.

With their own line of Christian Symbols branded ornament patterns, Melonie Rufty Beaver and others in the family have drawn from both the Old Testament and New Testament to help people express their faith. In addition to beads and patterns, Rufty’s Chrismon Shop offers classes to help people learn to make faith-filled ornaments. It’s more than just a craft project, Beaver said. It can be inspiring, and even therapeutic."

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