Thomas MacEntee at Geneabloggers is encouraging us to celebrate the 2011 Christmas season with a series of posts called the Advent Calendar of Memories. This is today’s entry.
Did your family have heirloom or cherished ornaments? Did you ever string popcorn or cranberries? Did your family or ancestors make Christmas ornaments?
We did have some special glass ornaments on the tree when I was a child and also some hand-made decorations –probably like most kids at school, you come home with paper chains and the like. In particular we had a lovely china Christmas crèche which we set up with care each year, along with tinsel and streamers.
We have been collecting ornaments for our tree over the decades and with various household moves each year is a revelation when a remembered ornament is revisited on one of the other family trees. Over the years we’ve occasionally travelled overseas in the winter months (northern hemisphere) and brought back special decorations as reminders of where we’ve been. The most exciting was visiting the Christmas markets in Nürnberg (Nuremberg) with all the lights, gluhwein, and decorations…heavenly. Each of us is prone to buying ornaments for the others when travelling.. a family tradition I suppose. It’s a strange thing but I’ve always loved the heart-shaped decorations so common in Bavarian design…long before I knew of my own Bavarian ancestry.
But why is it that the one you love the most is bound to be the one that hits the tiled floor with a smash, or the one the cat most loves to pull off is your favourite? And then there are the ones that just get tattier each year until you just have to dispose of them…we’ve kept one or two of our very first decorations even though successive cats have done their best to shred them, and some of the children’s handmade items have just become too battered to put up.
We still have some Christmas ornaments our kids made decades ago including some crafty ones from The Gnomes Book of Christmas Craftswhich we spent time making one Xmas. Not to mention the year when it seemed half the neighbourhood children were on our family room floor making presents and decorations from Fymo. They had a fabulous time, and really the mess wasn’t that bad;-)
Decorating the tree is a family event – whoever is home participates (including the cat!) and we play carols while we’re setting it up. There’s a timeline issue too –bookmarked by birthdays….unless the cat is too persistent and there are more ornaments off the tree than on!
6 thoughts on “Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories 2011: 3rd December – Christmas tree ornaments”
Love the picture of your cat having fun with an ornament. Ours aren’t sure which they would rather play with – the ornaments, or the bows on the gifts!
No contest with our little ratbag -ornaments every time -but then I don’t use a lot of bows on wrapping…I’m a bit minimalist.
I used to put candy canes on the tree as well as regular decorations. Years ago, my yellow shepherd cross, Gwenie, was afflicted by a serious sweet tooth. There would be no canes as far as her long nose could reach — and behind the sofa the during the post Christmas cleaning we would find the cellophane wrappers that she had deposited. Silly old girl.
That was one determined puppy dog! You’d think she’d have made a noise crunching them as well as unwrapping them. Sounds like she was sneaky and waited till you weren’t around 😉
This comment brings back memories of the time that I bought some paper mache ornaments at a craft fair. I think that they probably were made with flour paste. In any case, our dog found them absolutely irresistible and we had to move the remaining ones to the very top of the tree to keep him from eating them.
Our pets keep us amused don’t they? And we go to great lengths (or heights in this case) to accommodate their quirks. I do too with the cat -no really good ornaments near the bottom of the tree.