I was visiting Henitsirk and she had a wonderful post about some of her favorite ornaments. Her post resonated within me, and I determined to follow suit fairly soon.
For me, trimming our Christmas tree becomes a trip down memory lane with visits to places and people from long ago. The longer we go on, the more interesting and eclectic our ornament collection is. We have very few duplicates, because we do not ordinarily buy “sets” or ornaments. Quite frequently, we receive ornaments as gifts from our friends and family.
Now, a couple of my ornaments have quite a history behind them. One pair’s history begins in my childhood with one of the poems my mother knew by heart and used to recite to us on a regular basis: “The Duel” by Eugene Field. Many years ago, Jim’s brother gave us a stuffed cat for our tree made of lovely purple calico. This was in honor of our two calico cats, Susan and Cio Cio. It was only a second before I recalled the poem my mother had said so many times, and immediately I conceived a desire for a gingham dog to go with my calico cat.
I am not particularly shy about asking for what I want, and I kept telling people I needed a gingham dog. One year, several years after we recieved the calico cat, I opened a present from my older sister and Behold!
Now, isn’t that the cutest little gingham dog you ever saw? Interestingly enough, the cats on the tree, and there are several, have different relationships with the puppy from year to year. This year, the gingham cat felt comfortable hanging close to him for some reason.
My older sister is quite the needlewoman. Last year she gave me this pair of hummingbirds, both of them designs she created herself. I love the fuchsias with the ruby throated hummingbird.
The other one is a rufous hummingbird:
She is not the only needlewoman in her family. Her daughter created this tiny pillow for me when she was very young. It is the Chinese character for “Wisdom”, which I try to live up to.
Of course, these talented women are not the only ones in the family. This snowflake is one of a set of tatted ornaments my mother gave to me one year. There are six of them, all different.
She also crocheted some snowflakes for me, and my older sister crocheted a whole slew of beautiful five pointed stars. Of course, all the patterns she could find were for snowflakes, so she adapted them to make them five sided, just for me.
My mother does not just do needlework. Many years ago, when we were reading “The Good Master” by Kate Seredy, we were inspired by the description of the Easter eggs, called pysanky, described in the book. (By the way, this is a wonderful children’s book which I highly recommend. It was one of the ones that was read aloud to us.) Anyway, after many years of searching, she discovered the proper tools for making these wax resist dyed eggs. And after many years of practice, she has gotten quite good at the craft:
She was very upset that she dropped this one and broke it, but it was so beautiful she mended it as best she could and gave it to me anyway.
A few years ago I put together an ornament I find very meaningful.
This is a selection of shells from my collection, all had to be small enough to fit through the neck of the ornament. They came from all over the world, some of them from my mother, some from my sisters, some from my own beach combing. Florida, California, the Caribbean, Texas, Alaska, Costa Rica, the Aegean Sea, Fiji, Australia — all are contained within this small microcosm of the oceans.