Sunday, December 6, 2009


Several days ago Tom and I decorated our Christmas tree. Most of the ornaments bring back wonderful memories!

The first ornament we ever bought, nearly 40 years ago, was a brass bell, and we still hang it on the tree. The summer before we got married, I studied and traveled in Spain and came back with some wonderful felt ornaments including one of a bullfighter and another of a flamenco dancer. Other ornaments bring back memories of trips—brass ornaments from Greenfield Village and Williamsburg, a ceramic coyote from Arizona, fish from Key West, etc.

Then there are the ornaments that family and friends have given us. Each one has a special meaning: my parents brought us a koala bear from Australia, my aunt and uncle brought us several wooden ornaments from Germany, our daughter, Carolyn, gave us a streetcar from San Francisco she got when she was co-oping there while in college, etc. Then of course, there are the wonderful stitched ornaments from friends everywhere. Each one is so special and so full of wonderful memories.

I thought I would share with you a few very special ornaments. These are wonderful dough ornaments that represent members of my family.

In the first photo are ornaments representing Tom and our children, Carolyn and Stephen. As many of you know Tom is a chemist, so the artist put him in a lab coat (even though he rarely wore one) and has him holding a test tube and a chemistry book. (Tom says chemists these days almost never use test tubes either.) Next to Tom is Carolyn as a brownie scout holding a Girl Scout cookie. On her uniform is her troop number. (Carolyn wore her hair in pigtails just like on the ornament.) Stephen is last in a soccer uniform. His uniform number is actually the year (19)83 that the ornament was made.

The next two ornaments are of my parents. My father is a clergyman, so the artist put Daddy in his clericals. My mother is holding a pot of African violets. Mother had a real knack with these flowers, and sometimes friends who had an unhealthy one would send it to my mother to “heal” it.

Sadly, the artist quit doing special orders the year after I had her make the ornaments of my parents. My goal was to eventually have ornaments representing all of our family members.

Perhaps you too reminisce as you decorate your home for the holidays.


Margaret said...

I love those ornaments of your family! Too bad the maker stopped making them before you could complete the collection. You're so right though. We just decorated our tree today -- just finished an hour ago. And yes, all the ornaments have memories attached to them, of people, places, and events. It's wonderful, isn't it? And my son for the first time asked if he could take some ornaments with him when he went off on his own. (He's only 15.) I said we'd think about it. :D

Nancy said...

I love your dough ornaments and your story of the different ornaments you have. We put the big live tree in the living room, and it is filled with memories just like yours! Isn't it wonderful!

Tracey said...

What sweet ornaments! I do reminisce while decorating the tree.. all the different ornaments, one or two from when i was little, ones the kids have made, ones friends and family have made.. I could never have a "theme" tree, or one with coordiating ornaments! :)

Marion and Steve said...

I love your dough ornaments. I also have special decorations, made and bought by and for my children over the years. Now I like to buy a Christmas ornament whenever I visit a new country. My son recently visited Japan and my present was a very cute and very Japanese handcrafted Christmas ornament (complete with two little Santas).
Love your blog, keep up the great work.