Sunday, December 10, 2006

More Ornamentation

Mom grew up during the Depression, so she wasn't very nostalgic about old things. To her, things that were worn out needed to be replaced with shiny new things, so most of the ornaments of my early childhood disappeared when she passed into her "designer tree" period. Her house was always gorgeous at Christmas, but it was the kind of gorgeous you see in a Macy's window ... perfectly coordinated and themed. One year she decorated her tree with big white lights that looked like snowballs, white frosted glass balls and white silk poinsettias. The ornaments I inherited were her last "hurrah," so my first Christmas tree after she died was decorated with her things. The balls were a sort of stained glass montage of purple, blue and magenta in various shapes and sizes, and I was thrilled to find some very fluffy tinsel garland in the exact colors. When the whole thing was assembled it resembled nothing so much as a seven-foot-tall drag queen! Loved it!

However ... it's not really my style. I like old things, homemade things and a more rustic theme for Christmas. Instead of ornaments, I have a lot of memories tied up in the things I set around and decorate with, like the porcelain Santa my sister sent me nearly 20 years ago, and the ceramic Christmas village I painted a few years ago to put under the tree.

The one ornament I own that's precious to me is a tiny blue wooden angel less than an inch tall. Her paper wings are covered in silver glitter and her halo is pretty askew, but I've had her since I was six years old, so some wear-and-tear is to be expected. She was a gift from my first grade teacher, Mrs. Huey, and she came in a little red paper box that looked like a drum. I always hang her where I can see her on the tree, and she's always the first ornament I take off and put away so she won't get lost. I really loved Mrs. Huey! She was the kind of teacher you never forget, and I don't doubt for a minute that she was instrumental in the fact that I liked school and looked forward to it every September. I realize she gave little gifts to all her students, year after year, but I can still remember how special that gift made me feel.

So it's been a good day ... decorating the house, decorating the tree, stories and laughter, Katie and her boyfriend painting Christmas ornaments around the table ... all the memories of holidays past, the happiness of holidays present and the hope for holidays to come.



Carrie said...

I admire a girl who can persuade her boyfriend to paint ornaments.

Kwachie said...

And just to make it really Stepfordish, after he finished painting his ornament and putting his name and the year on it, which you know is one of your mom's rules, he was hanging it on the tree and found the one I painted last year. It was the same ornament and they were identical.

You can't tell them apart ... except, of course, my name isn't Dane.

Oh, and tell Robbie not to worry ... his "Pine Cone with Pipe Cleaner" is still the most popular ornament. : )

Anonymous said...

Picture por favore?

Ev said...

Well...the pictures have been backlogged a day or two. We apparently failed to get the box with the tree skirt out of storage, so until Lori goes to the storage tree skirt and hence, no picture.

You wouldn't want to see the tree without it's skirt on, would you?


Kwachie said...

Sadly, my foray to the storage unit produced no tree skirt. I did find the tasteful Santa tree-topper, a string of red lights, a piece of holiday yard art, the "Fragile" box containing Karen's Virgin of Guadalupe egg and the Nativity set from Mexico, and Ev's coffee press "to go" mug.

But alas ... the tree, she is still naked down below. : (