As a little girl, one of the most exciting days of the year (and in honesty still is), was the day we got to climb up into the attic and pull out that glorious artificial tree! I was abuzz throughout the house, running from my parents to my grandmother who lived with us during my early years, to my older brother and sister, waiting very impatiently for them to get it OUT OF THE BOX!!!! For pete's sake, what was everyone waiting for! Didn't they know that Christmas couldn't start until the tree was up and out?
Eventually, it was up and we loaded it up with those big lights from the early 60's and 70's, screwing them out of the base in order to put reflectors behind them. As much as I loved all the events around getting the tree and lights up, there were 3 very special ornaments I treasured and fought everyone else in order to have the honor of placing on the tree.
They belonged to my grandmother, Jettie Weaver Raley, and were made of wood with multiple layers of paint on them. Each depicted a very simple scene, but I always made sure they had a place of honor on the tree and easily seen when someone was sitting down and meditated on the tree. A few years ago I was honored and thrilled by my mother when she gave them to me, and I gingerly and softly open them and place them on our family tree each year, again, only in a place of honor that can easily seen- and away from litttle critters that could cause them harm. They are simple, not elaborate at all, but they belonegd to my grandmother and there is nothing more special to a genealogist than to receive one of those rare gifts that once touched the hands of someone we loved, who found the item to be special to them in turn. The circle continues and I am grateful. They are pictured below: