Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Ghosts of Christmas past

To me the best Christmas ornaments are the old ones. When I was very young, my parents bought a little artificial Christmas tree for my bedroom. I still have it! The plastic base was destroyed many years ago, but my father made a sturdy circular wooden stand for it. I have many of the ornaments from the same time period.

My dog got loose one December and brought this rubber dog head home. We don't know where it came from, but we hung it on the tree that year -- and I still hang it up every year and think of Ginger.

I have two of these lion ornaments. I really liked them because my Zodiac sign is Leo. That sort of thing was important to me in elementary school. I'm not sure why.
And I thought this was one of the most beautiful ornaments we had. I loved the soft flecked texture.

This ornament was sent to me from a Norwegian pen pal. I was impressed that she found a lightweight, flat gift that was so cute. I don't remember what I sent to her, but I sincerely doubt it was anything worth keeping!

My sister sent me some ornaments of children's storybook characters many years ago: Madeline, Paddington Bear, Snoopy, and Babar.

I used to have more of the characters from the Rankin-Bass Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer TV special, but the Bumble still survives.

And here's the first ornament I purchased at an after-Christmas sale at my favorite boutique when I was in high school. I wonder how much I paid for it.

And this porcelain Bob Cratchit and Tiny Tim ornament is very poignant. I'm not sure if he ever read it, but my father watched A Christmas Carol on TV without fail every year. I developed a love of Dickens and Victoriana in college, and my mom gave me this ornament as a gift when I lived in a brownstone building in Boston.

I love taking the ornaments out every year and having all these time periods and memories jumble together. And despite the ornaments' varying styles, they seem to go together for me because they tend to be whimsical and story-themed. At this point many of them are looking pretty shabby, but I can't help being sentimental about them. Christmastime seems a good time for it though, don't you think?


  1. Those are the coolest ornaments. I totally want them! Love your posts, always neat.

  2. I often think of you when I go by that brownstone. I can picture your roommate, but I can't think of her name. She worked at Cambridge Reports, of course. I just brought a bunch of old ornaments back from Nebraska, but they're still in my parents' old suitcase. I fear the cat will break them all.