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Give tradition a try
Submitted by Pam on Fri, 12/19/2008 - 17:49
Ok...so today I am going to climb up on my little soap box! And then I am going to treat you to lots of holiday eye candy!
I am hearing and seeing the words "go green" and "repurposing" and "recycle" everywhere I turn this year.
All worthy pursuits to be sure, but instead of making or buying "green" ornaments or decorations every year, why not start creating lifelong traditions for you and your children by saving those treasures on your tree and using them again and again in the years to come? Children especially are delighted to see the same ornaments come out each year - it gives them a sense of continuity in their lives.
Why do we need a pink tree this year, a purple tree next year, and an all-white tree the next? Think about starting a family collection of ornaments this year. You don't have to start with a whole tree-full. Start with a few this year and add more every year.
Join me now on a little journey through my own Christmas treasures, saved and loved from year to year. The soldiers above are two of the first group of ornaments that started my collection in 1971, the year I discovered that there were ornaments in the world that didn't look even a little bit like glass balls!
My favorite angel...
Partrige in a pear tree...
And this gorgeous mushroom. (Because we always had mushrooms on the family tree when I was little!)
Aren't these lovely... German wood curl ornaments.
When my children were young, I would take them every July to the Christmas store and let them pick out an ornament to save for the tree - a sort of Christmas in July celebration. I always let them pick out the ornament, which led to some... well, let's just say interesting additions to my tree! When he was two, my son Michael fell in love with this pink dog. I just hated it. (I know. I know - you all just love him!!) Mike bit the foot off before we even got out of the store. But you know, over the years I have come to love this little guy. He lives on the front of the tree instead of the back (where I would always hang him) and... even though I have given my children all their ornaments to put on their own trees, I am NEVER giving up this little pink dog!!! Too many memories.
This handsome elephant was a gift from my Mother a few years ago. She gave each of her children an elephant that year. And the reason behind her gift...
This little fellow, who has been on her Christmas tree every year for almost 80 years. She couldn't say "elephant" when she was a little girl, so she called him "Oincey," and her mother kept the name. Now he is "Oincey" to Mother's children and grandchildren.
Mother has shared many of the old family ornaments with all of us. Don't you love this crinkly-wire covered ball?
This red "pepper" has been around a long, long time. It is hanging next to a beautiful Unicorn made by my crafty daughter, Diane. And here are several more of my most treasured tree ornaments, which were made by Diane over the years.
Grade school gift...
She was into PC at the beginning of PC...
And she helped her little brother make this for me the same year. They have been on the tree a long, long time.
She was addicted to embroidery kits...
And she wrestled this needlepoint house kit into submission... never made another!
She made her fair share of "Diane originals" - this one was designed for her mother the cookie baker! I totally love my cookie baker bear!
She made this gorgeous Temari ornament for me before she started her crafty endeavors. I keep begging for samples, or prototypes of some of the baubles she crafts, but... they all go to publishers. What is that story about the cobbler's family having no shoes!
I discovered Mexican Paper Mache in the early 1980's. This bishop and wise man were the two I picked out from a collectiion of about 20 figurines. I really regret not getting all twenty. Haven't these weathered the years beautifully? Love the faces - can't put them on the tree without smiling. (And without thinking of all those others I left behind!) Sigh.
More Paper Mache from Mexico. This gorgeous Father Christmas was my tree topper for many years while I lived in San Diego, and was the inspiration for my collection of "Santas".
The Germans brought their Christmas traditions with them when they settled in Mexico and South America. Christmas trees with a Father Christmas at the top are a common decoration at Christmas time throughout Latin America.
Mexican punched tin has inspired me to learn to make punched tin objects like light shields and butterflies. (I am sharing the butterflies in a post next Summer.) I have been playing around with some three dimensional flowers - these are my prototype Fuschias. Still a work in progress, to be sure, but a part of every Christmas just the same. Someday I will perfect them...someday.
I threw this one in to make you jealous!!! It's a real Gumdrop tree from the 40's! It belonged to my Great Grandmother. I set it out every year. (The same Great Grandmother that made me a village every Christmas.)
I am noticing that so many of you are very excited about making ornaments this season. (Or, if you don't make them, there are so many lovely ones on Etsy.) Save your crafty treasures and share them with your children year after year. Start making Christmas traditions and memories that your children (and children's children) will cherish for years to come.
A picture of my two little friends, who make gingerbread houses with me every year.