Saturday, December 02, 2006

Special Ornaments

Michael and I were shooting the breeze about our ponds and decorating with our great neighbors early this evening. Suddenly, I quickly apologized to them for leaving. I had to get my camera for this. Probably one of the most colorful sunsets I've noticed since blogging. Even Michael, who isn't nearly as observant as me, was impressed by it.

The temperature reached seventy-six yesterday and even though I'm a summer lover, I was more than happy to see the thermometer read thirty degrees lower this morning. It was a sunny day with a crisp nip in the air...a perfect day for upholding my tradition to decorate for Christmas on the first weekend in December. I love December. The name of this special month sounds like music to my ears. This afternoon I decorated my first tree of two. It's a narrow tree that lights up my dining room and serves as a decoration in the window to be viewed from the front of the house. It's also my "memory tree". For many years, our main Christmas tree had a miscellaneous theme, loaded with special memories and gifts from years gone by. Now I proudly display it in the front of my house.

See the macaroni bell? It's my favorite ornament of all. Gina made this ornament in the second grade. She couldn't wait a moment to bring it out of her bookbag on a Friday near Christmas and, on that same evening, we went to a "New Kids on the Block" concert in Baltimore. Does anyone remember the rage? We got all poofed up, she with "Mall Bangs" and me with a curly perm to die for, and had a great mother-daughter night. Remember Joey-Joe? The tree ornament below the macaroni bell was her gift to us in the first grade. I have saved everything and this tree, in particular, boasts so much joy including photos of pets we loved and lost, too.

The ornament above is very special to me. If one of my dogs eats this one, I'll be a freaking maniac. I attended first grade in an old Catholic, four-room school house with wooden floors. My teacher, Ms. Griffith, cried a lot because she had charge of fifty (yes, I said 50) first grade students. Our class had a live Christmas tree to decorate and we were asked to bring one ornament from home as our offering. This is the one I chose to bring from home. I was the first kid in my class to show her my beautiful ornament and I will never forget how lovely I made her look that morning. This pink, disco-ball type ball was brighter back in 1960 (eeeeks!), but I still have it. And I have many other ornaments from my parents, vintage 1950's, that I show proudly on this narrow, special tree.

Tomorrow, I'll tackle the big one. On a ladder. No wine. I might fall.


Susan Gets Native said...

I love all my ornaments. When I (finally) moved out of my parent's home, Mom packed all my ornaments to take with me. She has every single ornament from my life, with the year and who gave it to me, written on the back.
It takes me hours to put all of them on the tree, because each one has a story and a memory attached.
From the bells and Christmas trees cut from dough in nursery school, to the ones brought back from Japan with friend's of my Mom's, to the ones I bought when Geoff and I were dating....Ahhh.
Now I have a collection growing for Isabelle and Lorelei, so that when they are mothers themselves, they can take hours putting them on the tree.

LauraHinNJ said...

I love handmade ornaments like those, especially the memories attached to them. Lovely tree!

We're not close to putting ours up yet, my husband wants to put up our *special* tree this year - it's sort of a project. First we have to make room for it and move furniture. Joy!

Have fun tomorrow - careful on the ladder!

Jayne said...

So glad to hear that you all also are finally getting December weather! :c) It does certainly put one in the tree decorating sort of mind. Love all the special memories ornaments evoke. I have so many Sam has made over the years as well. So very special...

Anonymous said...

I had waaaay to many Christmas ornaments and decided to weed some out and donate then to the thrift store. The ones I kept are old, a little worn, but all with some sentimental memory attached. You won't find our tree featured in Martha Stewart Living, but it is beautiful to us!

Anonymous said...

I really love hearing the stories attached to ornaments. They are all so special. I weeded out alot of our ornaments too, giving away the ones without memories. It's 10 degrees and snowing here. Our tree is going up today! No Christmas music though, at least not until after the Vikings play Chicago. GO VIKINGS!!

Mary said...

Susan, take care of those ornaments! I was careless once a few years ago and sat on a flimsy box of very old glass ornaments given to me by my *grandmother*. I was crushed, and so were *they*.

Laura, we moved furniture today, too. Our tree is standing but still bare. Seems we need a room dedicated for *the tree* :)

Samtzmom, yes the weather is cooperating with my mood but the sun is hot. Can't have everything!

Ruth, nothing in my house resembles Martha Stewart living and I mean NOTHING! LOL!

Lynne, 10 degrees and snowing??? How nice. I'm glad you have your priorities in order, GO VIKINGS!

entoto said...

Lovely tree! I wish I were do organized with the ornament documentation. I try!

And a great sunset....thanks for catching that.

Julie Zickefoose said...

you can't put up a Christmas tree without wine. At least I can't.
When I broke up with my boyfriend of 10 years, it was July. And all the ornaments we had collected together were in the attic. I still miss them, and wonder if he even hangs them.
So my mom gave me the family's collection. Shiny Brites, with Santa shaking hands with Uncle Sam on the front of the box. Priceless. Chipped. Treasured beyond all reason. They all get hung at the very top, and only by me. Kids hang the wooden ones, near the bottom.I'm SO not ready to put up the tree yet. You have kudos.
I love the post about the things you love.

Mary said...

Trixie, I'm not organized at all. It takes me way too long sifting through ornaments.

Julie, who am I kidding? I will be sipping wine while decorating. I just can't have enough to belch and hiccup myself off the ladder. Sorry about those 10 years of lost ornaments...

Anonymous said... know I'm not celebrating Christmas till the kids come home tomorrow, so I'm catching up on everybody else's preparations to maintain the spirit! I loved this post about the ornaments, and it inspires me to gaze upon my on tree (whose branches are sagging terriby) with excited anticipation of tomorrow's celebration with the kids!

I've enjoyed catching up with your days as I've read your previous posts.