Sunday, December 4, 2011

Christmas Ornaments- Advent Calendar

One of the greatest traditions throughout my lifetime in my family has involved the ornaments that decorate the trees of each member of my immediate family.

Of course as a child, they consisted of those wonderful large bulbs that we would unscrew from the plug in order to put a reflector behind it for added shine. A year or so ago as my mother cleaned out part of her attic she mentioned that she still had those light strands and reflectors and I asked if I could have a small box with some of them. I haven't yet decided how I will reuse them, but when my creativity allows and the spirits speak, I will know.

A Favorite From My Grandmother
A few years ago I wrote about a series of wooden ornaments (one pictured here) that belonged to my maternal grandmother. I so looked forward to these being revealed each year from the crumpled newspaper that protected them that I would just sit by the box or follow my mother around until she would finally give in and stop all other household chores so the tree decorating could commence. These had to be placed on the tree by me so that I could watch them when I laid on the couch in the dark watching the lights dance. To this day I could not explain their interest to me, but I would not trade anything for them today, and yes..... they now grace my tree.

Another tradition that has carried on through the years....... The Christmas Pickle.

By firepileRobin Zebrowski on Flickr- some rights reserved- must attribute

There are many versions of the story of The Christmas Pickle online and I would encourage you to spend a few minutes reading them, especially if you have any German ancestry, but the irony for me is that despite a strong German ancestry, I knew none of this until recent years. I just knew that in our family there was usually a pickle hidden in the tree with a hidden meaning behind each year. One year for us my mother had the girls in the family search for it. The first one of us ladies that succeeded in finding the pickle received a special jewelry gift. (Of course, we all in the end got some jewelry, but the fun was in the hunting). Another time she had something for the grandchildren. As each of us grew up and began families of our own, my mother gifted each of us with a pickle to carry on the tradition.

A couple of years ago, long after my daughter was basking in her gifts at our house, I mentioned that there was something hidden in the tree that was the key to one last gift. I laughed as I watched this intense hunt throughout the branches, all the better of course if the pickle is partially camouflaged. Once the glass pickle ornament was handed to me, I pointed to the den and two wrapped presents which were really her big presents that year.

We have one more ornament tradition..............Hallmark. These days if  you go to any of our homes in December our trees truly carry the story of our lives. I think I will save that for later this month.

I know that it has been a very, very, very long time since I was last on here. I will spare any explanations. Sometimes our today lives prevent focusing on our past lives, and that is that. Glad to be back.

Hope all is well with each of you as the hustle and bustle of the season surrounds you.