Every December when we bring the boxes of Christmas decorations down from the attic, I look forward to seeing little friends from years past. These would be the tree ornaments and other small whimsies – fancy and plain, big and small, tattered and pristine. Collected over forty years, they tell many stories. The most meaningful ones are those that have been given to us – or specifically to me – by friends, by relatives, or even by casual acquaintances. As the years have passed, some of those people have died, some have grown up, others have weathered life’s rocky path with grace, while some have grown old and older – or sick and sicker.
But no matter who they are – or were – it is through their small gifts to us that I am reminded to think of them in their own unique way each and every December. Here is a very small sampling:
My sister crocheted fancy snowflake ornaments for us very early in my husband’s and my marriage. Those snowflakes are now yellowed and bent, but every year they go on our tree, where a certain little cat always finds them and somehow picks them off to chase around the house. No wonder they are a little tattered! Our tree would not be the same without them.
A little wooden Scandinavian Santa was given to us one Christmas long, long ago by a thoughtful and fun friend named Judee. This happy little fellow does not know that Judee died of cancer at a much-too-young age. But in his smiling face, I see and remember the beautiful glow of our old friend.
The Dressmaker’s House ornament hung on a display tree in a museum shop, out of context on one hot summer day years ago. I spied it, but was paying more attention to my children as they looked at all the goodies before them. Their grandmother was “treating” so they wanted to find something special to take home. I don’t remember what they chose, but I do remember that my mother-in-law wanted me to have this ornament – and quietly purchased it for me. I so love this little depiction of the dwelling of a kindred dressmaker from another era.
So – I’ll be taking a deliberate couple of weeks off from my blog, but will return in early January. For those of you who celebrate Christmas, may yours be filled with memories, both old and newly hatched. For everyone, I wish you Happy Everything during this season of hope and renewal.