Wednesday, December 16, 2009

My Life's Story on a Tree

For most of us, trimming the tree is a walk down memory lane. We have those "special" ornaments that mean something to us whether bought as a souvenir on vacation, received as a gift from a close friend or relative, simply indicative of something meaningful to us or handed down through the ages.

The tree this year is a little slimmer than the last few and holds way less ornaments. Each time I sit and admire it (as I tend to do often), I realize another "special" ornament didn't quite make it on the tree this year. But since all of our ornaments are memorable in some way, I love each and every one and like to simply look at them and think about their significance.

This is one of the oldest balls on our tree. There are about 4 of these left in my collection. When I was a little girl, my mom had a trio of these (in different colors) hung on ribbons (the old-fashioned curling kind) from a bow and a set hung in every window of our house. (We had a lot of windows back then, too.) For whatever reason, I adored these particular ornaments. We were constantly admonished to be very careful, as they were "very old." Since there was set for each window in that particular house I would assume she had specifically put these together when they moved there in 1953 or shortly thereafter. At one point in time, I had about 12 of them. In fact, one set was still tied in the little set of three until about a decade ago. Obviously, these remind me of Christmases at home so very long ago.

This tiny pink glass horn is another oldie but doesn't quite go back that far. I bought this one when I was still a kid in school and had started decorating a small tree in my room each year with my very own ornaments. I would put the card table up and drape it with a piece of Christmasy fabric. I had a small artificial tree that was about 3" high and I would go to town decorating it. This was one of the first ornaments I bought with my own money at the "after Christmas sale" at a huge Christmas specialty store that was in our community. Many of my friends and their families made a special trip to those sales to get the "fancy" stuff at 50% off each year. It was local tradition. It dates back to around 1970, give or take a year or two.

Yet another old one, this probably came to me in the 70's. I bought it simply because I liked it and it reminded me of so many of the old ones on our tree back home. The significant thing about all three of these is that they are a part of the small set of survivors that have made it through two major tree catastrophes when our tree fell completely over, smashing many an ornament.

Those incidents brought this beauty into my life.

It's a big glass ornament featuring a beautiful bright red cardinal with a bright yellow pear with a white flower. Green leaves add another touch of color. Again, we bought this at an after-Christmas sale for 50% off. At that rate, it was still expensive but I loved it. That was the first year the tree fell over. I was heartbroken at the loss of so many of my treasured ornaments and The Big Guy took me out in an earnest search for new ones. The cardinal was always my mom's favorite bird and it makes me think of her.

Lastly, this little guy is one of the newest members of the family. I collect reindeer and have over 500 in various forms. This is his second year with us. Plugged into the string of lights, he gallops constantly but never makes any progress. He gets a lot of attention by visitors so he smiles sweetly, too.

Well, we've still got houseguests so I really need to run. Just wanted to share some of these with you.

1 comment:

Tommye said...

I do the same thing with the ornies on my tree. So many memories and we rarely take the time to enjoy them. Shame on us.