(Day 3 of the Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories: Christmas Ornaments)
When we were growing up, we had 4 or 5 boxes of those very generic looking ornaments. You know the type. Shiney balls and bells in blue, red, and green with glitter on them. Most of them broke by the time I was a teenager. Dangerous things, those shiney balls!
Then there was my Grandma and Grandpa’s tree. All the ornaments were red satin balls. They had an artificial tree and it looked the same every year.
In the mid 1970s, Hallmark Keepsake Ornaments became very popular. You could get satiny or glass ball ornaments with colorful pictures and they were dated. Each ornament unique in and of itself!
I began collecting them in 1978. The first ornament I ever bought was the 1978 Spencer Sparrow. Every year, I bought a new one. I started out with the ball ornaments. But those went out of style. Hallmark expanded into clever figurines and other companies got into the market. I have all sorts of ornaments now.
Two years ago, I didn’t find a 2007 ornament in time. Last year, I just didn’t get out to buy one. So, my collection is over two years shy of it’s twenty year mark.
I’ve got another collection going of animals ornaments that my sister has given me. These don’t go on the tree though! They are a little too delicate!
It’s fun to have my nieces and nephew over to do the tree. They go through the ornaments each picking favorites they remember from years gone by. Some of my favorites are One of my favorites is an Avon ornament with Santa holding a star over a city. It makes me think of the magic of the holidays. Another favorite is the depicted here: A koala bear playing fiddle on a metronome. The metronome works, too 😉 Yet another, is my stuffed animal Curious George hanging from a string of light. Poor George shouldn’t be hanging on the tree! Last is one that didn’t come from a store. It’s a God’s Eye that my niece made when she was 4 or 5 years old. It’s yellow and green variegated yarn–and it’s one big knotted mess. That was the first one I made with any of my nieces and nephew, so it’s well cherished.
I’m surprised to find that so many have survived throughout the years. They’ve made through getting lost in the tree and being hung without hooks. Oh, some are showing the wear and tear, but that’s all part of the memories. I look at each one and remember a different part of my life. Kind of a nice way to remember it.
Genealogist and writer. Creator of the Portuguese Hawaiian Genealogy and Heritage website, yourislandroutes.com