Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Favorite Tree Ornaments - Part 1

Instead of dealing with the b'gillion projects I have lying all over the house, I spent way too much time trying to keep this blog entry down to 5 pictures. Y'all, I just couldn't limit my favorite ornaments to five. So I thought that I would share my favorites over the next four Tuesdays.

Pictured above is an angel that is probably about as old as I am. I cannot remember a Christmas without this bit of Pink Sparkly sweetness. Every year I take her out of the tissue layered box and just look at her. I have been mesmerized by this doll for over 30 years! My mom may know more about her story, but from what I am remembering she was made for us (me?) by the mother of one of my Dad's friends (got that?).

With every year that passes I think to myself that I could make an angel like this, but it just wouldn't be the same.

OK! so if Pink Sparkly Angel is the oldest decoration on our tree, the one pictured below is the most sentimental.

This ornament is not handmade. It is a sterling silver rattle that longs for some polish.

Here is the story...I babysat for a family with four girls. The two youngest babies were baptized at the church and after mass there was a sit down dinner and a party to celebrate. This rattle was set at each place setting. The date was May 8, 1993. It was at this event that The Mister and I had our first date. We gathered again at church one year and 360 days later on May 13, 1995. Those four little girls were our flower girls. Every year, I ring the rattle (it has a beautiful sound) and put it on our tree. Then I say, "An angel got his wings!" and the kids roll their eyes and say, "Yes... Yes.... The rattle from your first date. Can we have have hot chocolate now?"

When The Mister and I got hitched we got a lot of nice presents. The picture above (sorry it's blurry, I was fighting with the camera), and the closeup below (so you can see the detail), was one of those presents. A teacher friend of my Dad's crocheted these delicate snowflakes and carefully packaged them with directions on how to re-starch them when they needed it. I have only re-starched them once: The year The Boy decided to taste one and was delighted to find they all tasted like sugar. He carefully chewed on each one until the flavor ran out, and then he carefully placed each snowflake, a white chewy mound, deep into the branches of the tree. We couldn't figure out why he would do this until I read the hand written directions on how to re-starch the flakes when the got too yellow or limp: Place snowflakes in a mixture of 1 cup scalding water and 1/2 cup sugar. Lay flat to dry. Yup. He's got my sweet tooth.

In December of 1995 The Mister and I were living in a duplex on campus. The university was sponsoring a hot air balloon festival/fund raiser. The winners of the raffle would win a free hot air balloon ride. My uncle owned a balloon called The Potted Plant. We went to the balloon lighting (which happens at night) and my uncle told me that there was a chance his winners wouldn't show up in the early morning for their ride. If I wanted a chance to ride I was to show up at 5:00 am to help out and wait. His 'winners' stayed in bed and I got to fly.

After the ride it was tradition to drink champagne after landing. The picture above was the cork from the champagne bottle. My uncle turned it into a hot air balloon shape and wrote down the date and name of the balloon on the side. Such a great day.

I am so excited to share some of the others with you. If you have some of your own that you would like to share, please comment and let me know when you post...kind of like a cyber ornament exchange! Fun!

Tomorrow I may be brave and post pictures of all the various projects I have going here. I was too chicken to do it today. I am up to my eyeballs in fabric! and paper! and glitter! My house looks like a craft store explosion. AUUUGGGHHHH!!!!


mer@lifeat7000feet said...

All of the ornaments on our tree are sentimental too. I have so much fun unwrapping them and remembering the stories behind them each year. As we were hanging all of them on our tree last Sunday, I had the same idea as you...to blog about them. I think I'm going to try to post a photo of one every day until Christmas (starting on December 1).

I love the silver rattle ornament, and especially the story behind it! Thanks for sharing.

meh said...

Sweet stories!! Thanks for sharing them.

C D said...

Very cool!! I too am extrememly sentimental about Christmas and almost every ornament I own. Most of them are in a box in Scotland, in my MIL's loft... so right now our tree is mostly silver and red -- but over the past 3 years I've mananged to accumulate more. Funny how that happens. I also took pictures last year -- so will probably blog those too!! Love this idea ;D