Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Past... Passed Down...

This weekend we decorated for Christmas. I love the Holidays and decorating for them. Sometimes I wish I was Bewitched and could just wiggle my nose and it would be done… it is a lot of work. But I love when I unpack the boxes and unwrap the various decorations… some old… very old and some new.

When my Mom died I inherited most of the decorations that were part of my Christmases growing up. There are antique ornaments, painted ornaments that she had a fellow teacher paint for each one of us. Tiny plastic angel ornaments that I can remember hanging on the tree when I was little. A fun little wooden “choir” that we would place on the built-in shelves in our living room.

There are so many memories in these old decorations.

My Mother and my Aunt RoRo were both very crafty… Aunt RoRo loved photography and ceramics, she had a kiln in her cellar. She made these ceramic trees… the year 1967 is engraved on the inside of the tree.

I used to love this little Santa. He is not homemade but I can remember loving to hold him when he came out of the box for the Holidays.

My Mom made this Barber Shop Quartet… out of Reader’s Digests!! It has to be over 40 years old which is pretty amazing that it has held up to the test of time and a cross country move.

My Mom also loved to knit and crochet… she was very talented in this area too. Many times she did not even need a pattern. She crocheted my sister’s wedding gown and all of the blouses that the bridesmaids wore.

When I got married she knit these stocking for us… and then for the dog and cat when they were added to the family…Duke was our first dog, so Mario gets to use his stocking… I am sure the Dog Therapists would have something to say about that but thankfully Mario can not read.

One of the decorations she made later in her life was this Noel Train. I am not sure if my Aunt made the ceramic forms and my Mom painted it but I know it is her painting. She could do a lot with paint. In fact when she was in the early stages of Alzheimer’s… before we really knew what was happening she had left something on the burner in her kitchen. I think grease had splattered on the wall behind her stove. One day I noticed these beautiful flowers were painted on the wall… when I questioned her she just said that she had to cover a few stains!!!

All of these decorations and ornaments will pass down to my children and hopefully they will remember the stories I tell about the decorations and the person behind them as we decorate each Holiday.

I have also made and purchased ornaments and decorations over the course of my life and I hope that they will think of me as time passes on too. My sister and one of my friends use to cross-stitch. I enjoyed crewel work but I never did needlepoint or cross-stitch. We used to go on vacation with this friend, so one year I bought a small kit and she taught me how to stitch. I really learned to enjoy stitching and especially on the perforated paper. I started making cross-stitch Santa’s. They were small and I would bring them with me as I would wait for my Daughter at dance class… or at the Doctor’s office etc.

I kind of went  a little overboard with the Santa‘s… 

I have made 51 to date as well as some elves, angels, snowmen. 

I know I still have a bunch of kits that I have not even started yet. I love these Santa’s. My hope is that we enjoy them now… my kids share them and enjoy them when I am gone and they pass them down to their children so they can share in the wonder of Christmas decorations, family, love and memories…

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