Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Decorating and Memories

I was late getting decorations up ...again.  I'm beginning to think that they just need to stay up...no I just need to set up a weekend that we can get it done after Thanksgiving.  This year that weekend, I was out of town teaching.  Next year I need to put it on the calendar and not schedule anything else, or we could do it Thanksgiving weekend.

Anyway, it was fun looking at the many ornaments and the joy I have remembering their meaning and where I received them.  

I have two that are very old and quite funny looking.  I guess they reflect the time they were made.  They belonged to my Great Aunt, she helped raise my mom and her twin after my grandmother died (the twins were about two and a half.)  The little elf/santa looking men are playing instruments and from what Mom said there were other players, but these are the only two left.

Aren't they cute and funny.  I love to get them out each year and remembering Aunt Louise.

 The red one seems to have some type of percussion shakers and the green one is playing the mandolin.  I wonder what the other instruments in the set were?  And why are they on ski's?

This wooden star was sent to me from Germany by my dear fiend Linda when she and her husband were stationed there.  She died three years ago after a ten year battle with cancer and I love having this memory of her.  At one time there were two stars, but some years back one got attacked and chewed by a cat.  

This little creche was one a a number that we had on my tree as a child.  It is only a couple of inches high and is a plastic piece, but it brings back memories of putting them up on our tree and each year seeing if we could glue back the small pieces that had fallen off in storage.

When we were first married (wow that was over 30 years ago!) I used to buy kits and make ornaments.  This was from a kit of plastic pellets and metal frames.  You put the pellets in the frames and then baked them to melt the plastic so it would  look like stained glass.  I had lots of fun making them and I have kept them all these years.

For many years when the children were young, we would go shopping for a new ornament for each of us.  We all developed large collections.  This year we did it again for the first time for several years.  So here is the one I added this year to my collection of interesting sheep.

A couple of years ago, Mom decided to stop putting up a tree.  She had down-graded to a small tree for several years and decided that there were enough decorations around the house that a decorated tree was not needed.  She decided to get rid of all the old ornaments, I that is where I got the old instrument playing elf's, and the little creche.  This was another piece that I got, actually I got several of these.  When my brother and sisters were young we used to make ornaments.  This group was made from plastic lids...we drew the designs on them and put them in the oven to shrink them.  There are a bunch that we painted.  It was so many years ago that I don't even remember the ones that I painted.  I took a few and then each of the siblings took some.  They bring back many memories of how we made things and all the ideas that my Mom had for us to do.

 This wonderful picture is about two feet square and a wonderful gift I gave to myself a couple of years ago.  I had loved this artist's version of his "Old World Santa" since I saw it in the 80's.  At that time he had prints of it.  A few years ago when my Mom and sisters went to an presentation of his and his daughter's work, they had the new print on canvas and I decided that at last I would get it.  It took several months of paying on it and the frame, so when I brought it home the first year it hung up all year.  Now I greet it each Christmas and spend some time looking at the wonderful face and details on it.

 This last piece is a felt advent tree that I made when the children were very young.  It is about four feet by two feet and I loved the pattern when I first saw it.  Because the children were so young, they didn't share well and we needed two ornaments a day so each could put one up.  
It took me a while to make the tree and body done, so I was spending each night desperately making the little ornaments so there would be two the next morning for them to put up.  I remember how thrilled I was when I got three or four done in a night because then I had a back-up in case I did not get the two required ones done each night.  Now I look at them and are amazed that I was able to do them.
I love looking at each ornament that I take out and we all still love putting them up.  We still have the rule that you don't look when reach in the bottom pocket.  No picking favorites, we just get what comes.

Anyway, there is a few of my memories that I enjoy each Christmas decorating season.  Do you have a collection of memories that you have built up over the years?