Monday, December 14, 2009

It might LOOK like a cheap plastic ornament...

...but it's actually one of the very few surviving ornaments from my childhood. Growing up in the late 70's, early 80's there was no shortage of cheap plastic ornaments on our artificial Christmas tree. See my post from a few days ago if you want to relive some of my childhood tree memories with me. The box of crappy ornaments are not so special until your parents decide to sell their house, and your father throws out the box with most of your childhood ornaments in them. My mother was heartbroken and yelled at him for days. Actually, she still yells at him every year around this time. I did not know what I really missed until I saw this most precious plastic candy cane and instantly gripped it to my heart. Since then, it has been packed in tissue every year and put away with the expensive ornaments...

...expensive, like the one below. This is a large, heavy, glass ornament that my older daughter bought a few years ago. Every year, we each get to choose a new special ornament to put on the tree. This makes putting up ornaments fun since the unpacking of each ornament brings back tons of memories...

...memories, such as those this jolly little Santa is keeping. What looks like a silly little candy tube topper, is actually...just that. However,

Underneath, there are about 1-5 needles from every single tree we've had in the past probably...10 years or so. A little piece of scotch tape is all that is required for Santa to hold the evidence of these fun memories. memories that can actually be bittersweet. My mother-in-law Deana made this cross-stitched Little Drummer Boy for my husband close to 20 years ago. She knew that The Little Drummer Boy was my husband's favorite story. When we unwrap the ornaments each year, my husband tells the kids about Nana (whom my little one did not get to know) who is now an angel...

...much like the pretty angel Nana made that sits in its special place at the top of the tree every year.

...speaking of sitting, here sits Captain Kirk, who must have had his leg gnawed off by a tribble. My sister used to work at a Christmas ornament store when she was a teenager and would collect and bring home all the broken ornaments. She gave us bags of them. In the lean years just after college, all the ornaments on our tree were broken in some way. We had toy soldiers marching on one leg, reindeer missing antlers, Santa minus his bag of goodies, horses with three legs, sleighs without the bells.

So if you were to come and see my motley tree, what might look like a bunch of cheap, plastic, broken down ornaments, are actually cheap, plastic, broken down, extremely meaningful symbols in our family. :)


  1. I have those plastic candy cane too! I really like that cross-stitched Little Drummer Boy very much. You have kept it well - still looking very new! Also that glass ornament look so cute. Your daughter has great taste.

    The evidence/stories that Santa holds for your family is truly admirable :-D

  2. Wendy, Christmas is all about memories. It is great that you are keeping your old ones alive, while making new ones.
    Have a great Christmas.

  3. I love that you save bits of you past trees in the Santa ornament. So sentimental and special.

  4. Bravo, Wendy. So true. The people, memories and love behind the symbols are what count. I've got this miniature plastic nativity, A-frame with lots of tacky glitter. Several years ago I found it at a thrift store. It was identical to one that adorned Christmas trees of my childhood. Nice post as usual, Wendy.

  5. Sniff...the story about the little drummer boy and angel ornaments that Nana made is a real tear jerker. I know Nana will be looking down on these cherished moments!

    Sounds like this tree belongs on the Island of Misfits Toys, lol!

    Great post!

  6. Decorating the Christmas tree was always one of my favorite things as a kid. Of course, taking them down was never as much fun! Especially when you have to remove all those stringy metallic "icicles" to reuse the next year!

  7. i like your tree! even though i walk past it probably 15 times a day; and i watch you turn on its enormous lights after school. i also helped put up the ornaments, and was the first to water it... :)

  8. yes, the holidays are a great excuse to get realllly sappy!

  9. Thanks for the memories! Nostalgia is never in short supply around this time of the year, but you put a special twist on it to make it seem fresh and new.

  10. aww. that's really cute. my dad bought a couple boxes of the plain kind when we got our first christmas tree. My little brother was 4 then and thought that smashing the ornaments on the floor was amusing =P I wish my family had sentimental christmas tree ornaments! =]

  11. They look like great ornaments to me. It's the memories they evoke that matter the most and it sounds like yours keep many Christmas moments in your heart. I hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas.

  12. The price of an ornament doesn't matter a bit - not with such great memories wrapped up in them all. Great blog!

    We have the same thing on our tree - my mom was going to get rid of all the ornaments I'd grown up with as a kid, ornaments from the early years of their marriage. I had a conniption fit, and the box came home with me. There are LOTS of mice with the fuzz rubbed off, paper snowmen with torn paper, missing carrot noses and fading stocking caps... but they're too special not to display every year.

    This christmas stuff - it's all about the tradition. :o)

  13. I think this is a good idea, keeping and collecting ornamnets over the years. There are so many sweet memories to relive. I must start doing that too.

  14. The Captain Kirk ornament was priceless. Happy New Year !


My awesome gardening friends...thanks for leaving a comment! I don't typically repond here, but I love knowing who you are so I can visit your blog as well.

btw - if you're trying to show me nude Miley Cyrus photos, sell me nikes or viagra or antibiotics, or encourage my lovely garden readers to visit your site on solar panel construction, or seo-whatevers, sorry, but I'm not publishing your comment. If you want to moderate my blog - well, I can't keep you too busy, and the pay would be horrible. And lastly, no. I'm not interested in Club Penguin cheat codes. Thanks anyway.

Related Posts with Thumbnails