Tuesday, December 8, 2009

christmas: treasured trinkets

when i was growing up i had to endure nearly half of december before we'd go and choose our christmas tree from the tree farm. my dad's birthday was december 16th and it was insisted that we had to wait until the weekend after that birthday had passed before christmas could officially begin. what sweet, torturous anticipation that was! and finally, after a prickly, pine-needle filled ride home, jammed into the back of the station wagon with the tree, i could open the closest thing i had to a treasure trove, and study all those old decorations once again.

it was like an annual reunion for me and the box of decorations. each one has its story and i loved hearing them again and again. there were plays to be acted out with some, and some of the musically inclined angels had a band or orchestra. the tradition in our family was one new decoration per year (though i admit i've deviated recently and restocked the box a bit after a couple of cat related tree crashes knocked out a few glass baubles) and the tradition stretched back to my great grandparents. our tree is certainly not a perfectly styled, consistently decorated one. but its a patchwork, and a scavenger hunt, and a time machine.

here are a few of my favorite ornaments, they may be old and faded but their charm is in their history and the tradition they are a part of.

isn't her face a scream!? she's just so preppy it cracks me up. and i absolutely love candy canes, and stripy christmas candy.

this precious creature came from a close friend of my grandma rowie, whose tree was covered in these angels. her head is porcelain but her body/dress is made of nylon over a wire frame. she seems like the most pious of all our angels, possibly because she's so delicate.

this little gent is so cute! look he has a toadstool! fun fact: my boyfriend prefers pronouncing pine cone "pie-neck-oh-knee" as a joke, of course!

this is the last remaining member of a trio of handmade bell/bauble/pipecleaner ornaments. there was a lady, and a clown to go with this santa and i believe they were made by my great grandmother's neighbor. i really like the naive covering of the bell in simple aluminum foil.

this jazzy girl was always in my imaginary angel band games. i really like the color of her dress, and her gold glitter hair. she looks sort of jazz era with such short hair.

unfortunately this is one of the few survivors of the dreaded cat related tree felling that crushed a few of the fragile glass decorations (we had a very unstable base and a very unstable cat). i like the embossed trees and how its so sparsely colored.

poor father christmas is a bit faded now, but its pretty impressive he doesn't look more moth eaten!

i love this angel's hair and face, she looks a bit like a prim and proper mae west!

do you have favorite decorations you wait all year to see? do you have any special family decorations passed down? i would love to see!


Sara said...

oh these are all so sweet! almost makes me want to cry at how lovely it all is. Gosh I'm a sucker. I have put the tree up but not finished (started!) decorating it. baby steps... leaving the best bit til last!
I think i like grandma rowie's friends pious angel the best - she's so sweet looking.
don't you think the tree is more fun than what's underneath sometimes?!

amilelka said...

I feel exactly the same when taking out our decorations. Each one is precious and has a special sentiment. My favourite are the coloured paper chains we painstaikingly glued together when we were just 3 and 4 years old. They've now lasted over 20 years!

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