Merry Christmas to all! Most people have special ornaments they grew up with and make sure they put out every year. As time goes by, we add to our collections with handmade, special occasion or ornaments that just caught our eyes. Here’s a brief tour of some of my favorite ornaments.
The above ornaments are all family heirlooms. I never made any of them, but my mother did. I loved the walnuts the best. Walnut hulls, it turns out, have a seriously long life. These were spray painted and glued back together with a black yarn inside to hang them. The felt circles were around from before I was born. Sometimes I have to glue parts of them back together. But I’ll do whatever I can to preserve them. The silver ball is just plain old. I don’t know where it came from or who it belonged to first. But it’s been in the family for years, and that’s good enough for me. Likewise, the gold angel head. I have a small collection of angels and I hang all of them at the top of the tree.
One of my very favorites is the french horn that toots. I know it will continue to make noise if the mouthpiece doesn’t get bent, so every year, just before I hang it on the tree, I blow it to make sure. It always toots.
The next group are special ornaments that have been collected over time. The Votes for Women teapot came from a shop in Newport, R.I. with a story that I am blatantly copying from another source here. “Mrs. Alva Erksine Smith Vanderbilt Belmont (1853-1933) was first married to William K. Vanderbilt, grandson of Cornelius in 1875. At the time of her divorce, she came under the influence of Anna Howard Shaw, a noted suffragist and worked the rest of her life with the most militant groups of the suffrage movement. The Votes for Women motto was used in 1909 at the famous suffrage open house at Marble House, Newport Rhode Island.” I just thought that was the greatest story. And I’ve got a real Thing for round pottery.
The flea market antique is one of a pair I saw in a store and just liked the look of. The Constitution is a flat pewter representation of the ship. The Ribbon Candy Elf and the Rappelling Santa were just cute. I like the cleats on Santa’s boots and the hanging bucket on the elf. The quilted cube is one of a pair that represents my favorite hobby. I’m a total nut for all things beachy, so the sea urchin was a must-have I saw at one of my many craft shows, and the Beatles are D—’s favorite group.
Finally we come to the homemade ornaments. I had a kit that made 12 cross-stitch kitties in stockings. I’ve had cats my whole adult life, so I wanted to represent them on my tree. Wine corks are abundant and useful. You can make key fobs, trivets, cork boards, and ornaments out of them. A few beads strung together and attached to a screw-eye on the bottom of the cork and you, too, can have a personalized ornament.
And finally we come to the Shrunken Head. When my sister went into private practice as a child psychologist, we wanted to give her something special for her new office. In addition to the very professional plaque, D— made her a shrunken head. He made two of them, because they were just plain fun. Daughter M— got the second one, and since she is home for the holidays this year, we have hers proudly gracing our tree.
I love these little conversation starters! What’s special on your tree?
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you and yours from me and ours!