Now that we’ve all enjoyed our Thanksgiving celebrations, it’s time to start – or at least plan – the Christmas decorations. As the years pass, I spend less time and effort decorating my house, but I still do the basics for the family.
I bought a new tree last year (artificial), so that’s probably the first thing that will be set up and decorated. Haven’t had a real tree since:
- The tree trunk went through the storm door.
- The cat tried to climb the tree, and put deep gouges in my forearm when I stopped it.
I love trimming the tree. Many of the ornaments are tied to memories of times past (good ones), and people long gone.
There’s the tiny painted hot air balloon with gondola that I gave to my mother one year, along with a tiny wooden rowboat, a lighthouse, a modern looking chrome and brass reindeer, and a tin merry-go-round.
It’s fun to look at the ornaments with pictures of my grandchildren taken when they were babies and toddlers. Nothing like the giants that they are today.
Lots of angels, stars, snowflakes, and small creches, made of plastic, and glass, and metal, and ceramic. A metal ornament with the name of my old dog, Sassy. A new ceramic ornament with a picture of my dear dog, Stella.
A couple of Snoopy ornaments. A polar bear. A tiny Lionel steam engine.
My younger grandson always asks me why I have an angel on the top of my tree instead of a star. I haven’t always, but she’s been up there for thirty years or so, looking down on us all (and I like her).
After the tree comes the lighted village which I might dispense with – except the giant teenage grandson loves to look at and play with it. Because it’s a “tradition”. I found out that almost anything I do might be considered a “tradition” by the children!
The stockings. I no longer use the one my mother made for me when I was a baby – the felt one festooned with sequined ornaments, and my name at the top. Instead, I use an aqua satin stocking that she also made for me – but as an adult – decorated with sequined sailboat, palm tree and starfish, with a golden sun shining down over it all. My daughter has a similar one in pink satin given to her by Grandma.
The grandsons have their own stockings made of felt with sequined ornaments and their names at the top – this time made by this grandma when they were babies. I made a dark red velvet stocking, lined with silk and trimmed with tie silk in a paisley pattern, for my son-in-law when he married my daughter.
[2016 ADDITION: Last year I made a sequined felt stocking for my son-in-law, at my daughter’s request.]
I might put out a few candles – for atmosphere and scent – and Christmas cards from past years with photos of the family – for remembrance.
I’ll probably put the miniature Christmas tree in the boys’ bedroom, along with a stuffed Rudolph, and a pretty stuffed white cat with a red ribbon around her neck. There is also a lighted “candle” of a snowman that they like, and some old music boxes. They may be big boys, but they love the same old things (those are traditions, you know!) year after year!
There’s a small Hallmark Christmas train (1990’s vintage), and a Santa music box that plays, “Santa Claus is Coming To Town” that settles on the television stand for the season, along with a small stuffed Snoopy in his Santa outfit.
Last, but most important, I will put my small creche in a special place; the baby Jesus, Mary and Joseph, the shepherds with their sheep, the three kings with their camels, a donkey, a cow, and an angel looking down on them all.
Whatever your traditions may be, I hope for you a beautiful Advent and Christmas season.