Ornaments Are Full Of Memories

Every year when we dig the tree out of the basement, we face the daunting task of putting the tree together and putting the lights on. This part doesn’t thrill me too much but open the boxes of ornaments and I’m all there.

Memories you haven’t thought about all year come rushing back. Every ornament has a story.

A box of cheapo ornaments my husband and I bought when we were just starting out. They were mostly Victorian style and the entire set was $2.99 at Payless Drug Store. We still use them though because they are a part of our history.

Then when our daughter came along we got many ‘Baby’s 1st Christmas’, ‘Baby’s 2nd Christmas’ and so on. Those will go with her when she leaves us.

The most precious ones to me are the carousels that my grandma made. She used to tat, something you don’t hear of much anymore. She tatted two small pieces and then attached them together with pipe cleaners and filled them with small animals, angels, or trees and adorned the tops so they look just small carousels. I have 7 of them and I will pass those on to my daughter too.

I have made some too. Years ago I bought some plaster molds with 5 different patterns. They were easy to make; fill the mold, let dry, paint each one and then add an antique finish to them. They were time consuming but are some of my favorites.

I also love the ones that have a little hole in the bottom to slip over a bulb to it glows inside. The one that looks like a fireplace is one of those. I put those on the front of tree so the glow is always visible.

Other ornaments I made were origami lanterns made from squares of colored papers. Once they’re folded up, you blow in the hole to inflate and then slip it over a bulb. They are so pretty at night and I have been able to use them year after year by just folding them back up. The holes are getting a little worn so I may have to make more someday. Once I gave them to girls I worked with as a gift and even though I explained what they were, I know they were never used. No people, they won’t catch fire, I tried to explain. I had put them in tiny boxes that I made from Christmas cards. Sometimes homemade gifts are wasted on those that don’t appreciate the hard work involved.

And once I made picture frames out of plastic coffee lids and old puzzle pieces. Cut out the center of the lid, leaving a ring to glue on the puzzle pieces upside down. Paint the entire thing Christmas tree green and place red dots of paint on some pieces. Place a picture in the back with tape and add a string by melting holes in the top ridge. They’re a little big to be put on the tree but I do anyway.

My mom made some real pretty balls by taking clear ones and put shimmery paint inside. Roll them around until the paint totally covers the entire inside and then let the excess drain out. They’re especially nice when you use more than one color.

Oh, we can't forget the multitude of ornaments that were made in day care and grade school. She will get all those too, except for maybe the tiny little hand print one we made at home with cinnamon dough. 

I always try to find ornaments with my daughter’s name on it. It’s not a common name so when I find one, I’m thrilled. We have several now and yes, she will inherit those too.

We always buy an ornament when we go on a trip. The latest one is one from Leavenworth. It’s a beautiful and fragile chandelier. Another one we bought there was a small resin black lab that looks like our dog, adorned with tiny plastic lights. On one of our beach vacations we got a cute little starfish painted as a Santa.

My daughter and I have also picked some up at different craft fairs we have been to.

The rest were gifts from family and friends over many years. The ones that aren’t our favorites go on the back of the tree. Well, something has to go on the back, right?

Each and every ornament has a story, some may be sad, some happy. But nonetheless they are a part of us. I hope that when you decorated your tree this year, memories of years gone by came flooding back to you too.


Grumpy said…
My wife leaves the tree decorated, covers it with large garbage bags for storage and it goes back to the basement. Since I don't celebrate Christmas, I have no interest in decorating the tree and she doesn't want to do it over again every year.
Nezzy said…
{SIGH} That's why it takes this chick so long to decorate, I have to ponder over every dang ornament.

You have yourself a wonderful weekend enjoying the joys of the season!!!
ethelmaepotter! said…
Oh, I love this post; Christmas ornaments and their histories. I have box after box after box of ornaments, and each one has a story. Yes, I have those that go to back of the tree, too, and homemade ones, and those with the kid's names, and even some that were on our tree when I was a child. The ones that I most hated as a child are now my most beloved - fat fabric farm ornamnets, a cow, pig, barn, silo, horse, and rooster. I wouldn't trade them for the world.

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