Our Christmas tree never looks like the trees in the department stores. That is because the ornaments that mean the most to me are not the really pretty ones necessarily, but the ones that have some story behind them. Here are the stories:
1. Seven years ago I went back to the UK for the first time since I was 13. I stayed with Andrea, one of my dearest friends, in London. My daughter came with me and we had a wonderful holiday. One day she wanted to stay in Andrea’s flat and MSN with her friends. I went down to Buckingham Palace and watched the changing of the guards. On my way back I discovered that Buckingham Palace has its own store! Who’da thunk! Anyhow, everytime I look at this guard on our Christmas tree it reminds me of that wonderful holiday.
2 & 3 I will explain when I get to 10.
4. This is a little mouse made out of a walnut shell, googley eyes, felt, and glitter. The first Christmas we spent with Nick (boyfriend then, now husband) my daughter and I made a boxful of these. Nick had collected boxes of the walnuts from his tree. We used the shells from his tree to cover our Christmas tree that year.
5. This is the closest thing we have to a department store ornament. We bought this for our tree the first year we lived together.
6. This glittery snowman was a gift from my mother.
7. I bought this one for my daughter’s first Christmas.
8. Every year my daughter begs me to throw this away. She made this in kindergarten (she is 19 now). Every student in her class made a home-made play-do Christmas tree ornament. This was a cross between a mouse and a snowman. I know it is ugly, but I love it anyhow.
9. Back in the 80s I lived in Japan for a while. My best friend, Leslie, came to live there around the same time. At Christmas, I bought a little fake Christmas tree but I had no ornaments. When she came over for dinner (I cooked a roast chicken in a toaster oven but I will save that for a different blog post) she brought me three of these little Santas. I only have one left, but it always has a place of honour on my tree.
2, 3 & 10. Let’s start with #10. When I was a little kid, there was a lady who lived down the street – Mrs. Summerfield. She lived on a huge lot with three houses. Her house was a big old Victorian era house. Twice a year she would hold a rummage sale to raise money for children in Africa. This was the early 60s and people, at least in my neighbourhood, were not as aware of global issues as we are today. I LOVED Mrs. Summerfield’s rummage sales. There were always amazing and beautiful (to my 3 or 4 or 5 year old eyes) treasures. One year, she had an angel dressed in a green dress with green net wings. I loved that angel. My mother bought this angel and it was the tree topper on our Christmas tree every year until three years ago when my husband and my daughter complained so vociferously that I finally compromised, got another tree topper as long as I could hang the angel right below it. (This is picture #2). Ironically, I think that our Father Christmas is uglier than the angel. (This is picture #3)
I will always love this angel.