The village of Essex Jct. is holding out hope it can find the owner of a lost handmade ornament picked up off a discarded tree.

Public works employees found the ornament during the annual Christmas tree pick-up and, noticing a small handprint on the back, figured it was handmade and may have special meaning to someone. They brought it to the village offices for safe keeping, and a post on the village’s Facebook page asking for help in finding its owner has been shared over 1,000 times over the last two weeks, with commenters commending public works for their thoughtfulness in keeping the ornament safe.

The front of the all-white ornament shows a Christmas tree surrounded by the words, “Merry Christmas, Love Me,” and “Child to Cherish,” while the backside shows an indent from a handprint – likely made by a very young child.

Darby Mayville, the village’s economic development and community relations assistant, will store the ornament with the rest of the village ornaments for the office Christmas tree and will revive the post next December when residents will again be decorating their own trees.

“They may not have realized they lost it,” Mayville said.

Worst case scenario, she added, the ornament has found a new home with the village.