Matthew Shepard Christmas Ornament. This ornament was lovingly hand crafted within weeks of Matthew Shepard's death. The ornament is plum colored, with red lettering.

Christmas ornaments can be used to teach love in homes and in schools. Young children can make a simple Christmas ornament to one of the many victims of hate crimes. People who do not feel they can create their own Christmas ornament may want to purchase a personalized Christmas ornament with the name of a victim of a hate crime on the ornament.

Helping children make a Christmas ornament for Matthew Shepard would be a wonderful way to teach that gay people need to be treated as valuable members of society. Christmas ornaments can also be made for the victims of transphobia, religious hatred, anti-Semitism and racism. You may want to choose one of the victims of hate crimes found on the Stop Hate 2000 Memorials web page.

Each year the ornament is placed on the Christmas tree, the story of the person can be told. The story can be told in a way that is sensitive to the age and understanding of the children. Examples of how Matthew Shepard's story could be told appear below:

For Very Young Children. You might remember that we made this Christmas ornament. It was our Christmas project one year. The ornament says Matt on it and is made to honor Matthew Shepard.

Matt was a really nice young boy. He grew up to be a big kid. He finished high school and went to college. When Matt was in college he was robbed and beaten to death because he was different than most men. We are putting Matt's ornament on our Christmas tree to remind us that we should treat people who are different than we are with respect and love.

For Older Children and Teenagers. We made this Christmas ornament. Making the ornament was our Christmas project one year. The ornament says Matt on it and is made to honor Matthew Shepard.

Matt was a really nice young boy. He graduated from high school and went to college. Descriptions of Matt as a young adult make him sound like a caring person. When Matt was in college he was robbed and beaten to death because he was gay. We are putting Matt's ornament on our Christmas tree to remind us that we should treat gay people with respect and love. Everybody who is different than we are should be treated with love and respect.


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