Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Share your ornament stories

What we put on our tree might say a lot about us ..... Do you have a special ornaments or a few of them, which you couldn't miss putting on your tree?  You can see a picture of five year old me in a kitch rhinestone starburst that my sis gave me years ago, you can see my Goddaughter peering out from the greenery, you can see at least one White House ornament (the Christmas tree), a little angel from Rome, you see a musical staff, you see a little Mary holding the baby Jesus, a little of the paper garland I made while living in Paris to decorate our tree there because I hadn't brought our ornaments, there's an ornament a friend gave us with Paris sites on it...and you see a cross and a red, white and blue heart right there at the top.........and that's only a tiny part of that big tree, although this picture was taken in 2008,  I don't put up a full size tree anymore...........tell us what ornaments mean a lot to you!  Thanks
I found a picture of our Paris 2001 tree!  I'm glad I was so beautiful and with all homemade decorations!  How I loved that huge makeshift tree...............I've mentioned a few things about it in the Comments Section...Enjoy.........
Here is the staff from Le Victor Hugo Cafe, what I referred to as our "local"......I met girlfriends for wine there before our husbands were expected home for dinner at around 8 or 8:30, Mr and Mrs Z went there for breakfast on special mornings when the Chef (in the striped sweater) would cook for us.....well, suffice it to say that, later, I'll tell you about this amazing staff of people.........blow by blow!!    Makes me homesick just looking at them!  I"ll tell you why they're all drinking champagne, too..........later :-)


Always On Watch said...

Because of Mr. AOW's hospital bed in the living room, I can't put up a full-sized tree.

But ever since 1979 and up until last year, I put in a prominent place on the tree a bunny-rabbit-in-a-stocking felt ornament, symbolic of my heart cat Honey Bunny, a red point Siamese. that we had for 19 years. The ornament is quite worn now, of course.

I still miss that cat!

Always On Watch said...

BTW, HERE is a photo of my Christmas tree; the photo was taken a few years ago.

You can't really see the ornament I mentioned in my previous comment, but you can see many white cats. Honey Bunny was mostly white.

I miss putting up my usual Christmas tree. Maybe next year I'll be able to do so.

Z said...

very sweet tree, ALways...thanks for sharing it, lovely to see our friends' trees, isn't it?

An ornament Mom's got is my dad's 5th grade santa...he's the first on Mom's tree every year after the lights are on...she picks a daughter or a niece or nephew...going down the line for fairness, and that person installs dad's santa, which is down to about one perforated leg now and a head with cotton for his beard and which we make a kind of ceremony of its hanging. Heck, he's about 80 years old now, we love seeing him go up. Thanks for reminding me of that ornament.

Mr Z had flying in his blood and, in Germany (where most ornaments are so fabulous), I'd often find little santa in planes and buy them for him.......I've got quite a few.

Mr. Z loved silver tensile and I was waaaay over it as we'd used it on our family tree as kids (not anymore..) That year we celebrated Christmas in Paris, (which I should write about) he did find tensile and I very begrudgingly put it up, only to weep as I started working and looked down and my food had smooshed a bit of it into the area rug, looking just like it had looked to me as a kid.....Mr. Z seems always right and I thanked him profusely (after having fought him profusely 'please, tensile's old fashioned!) for having talked me into brought many happy years of Christmases as a child back to me.

That year, I had none of our many ornaments, so I made garlands of construction paper, stapling the loops through each other and then looping it on the beautiful, wide tree...looked so cheerful...then I made a 3"star for everyone I knew we'd be missing at my mother's, white with red trim, their name in gold, and I tied those all over the tree..maybe 35 of them! All 'home made' but so beautiful, I have to admit.
Maybe I can find a picture.....come to think of it!

Ticker said...

I have ornaments from my childhood, which was more than a few years ago. In fact it was so long ago (WW2) that the ornaments didn't have metal tops or hangers. Instead they were made of cardboard and string.There was a shortage of metal even for Christmas ornaments. I continued to use these on a small tree for my daughter as she was growing up. I now include a few of them on at least one of our other trees in the house. Seeing them brings back memories of my early childhood gathering around the Christmas tree with my Mom and Dad.
While not an ornament that one would hang on the tree I have used my Lionel electric train that I received in 1947 to run around under the tree and amongst the packages. It would thrill the grandchildren when they were very young but as with all things they soon outgrow the nostalgia that us old folks love so dear. Maybe next year since we have a whole new crop of grandkids coming on.

Karen Howes said...

Well, I have one of Chairman Mao... just kidding. I mean, who would have that on their tree... oh, uh, never mind.

My mom collected Snow Babies for years, and they dominated our tree. Very pretty, but what a PAIN to put on.

Anonymous said...

Your Christmas trees are lovely Z.

We always have our tree decorated with all types of ornaments, very traditional. No theme designer trees for us. I always use a few clear glass ornaments which so nicely reflect the lights.

We have a full sized tree to the ceiling and luckily a great spot in the living room to put it.

We have a large Christmas ball from the Ronald Reagan library, a few Sheltie ornaments, and years ago when my daughter was a little girl she painted and glittered some of those small bathroom dixie cups to hang on the tree upside down which make them look more like bells.

Mr. Pris has given me a Swarovsky crystal ornament for the last three years. They come out with a new one every year.

Ticker, I too have some of my grandmother's glass, handpainted Christmas balls with the cardboard holders from the WWII era. I no longer use them. They're carefully put away.

Do you remember the cellophane icicles? I don't have any of those, but remember them.

Finally, our red treeskirt, which I'd sewn together and came with a pattern of victorian looking Santas all the way around.

I sewed matching colored sequins to fill in their Santa suits, which on each Santa is a different color. The same with a matching Santa Christmas stocking with our grandson's name sewn on with sequins as well.

We also have a small stocking for our dog, filled with dog treats to keep him busy. Otherwise he likes to plunk himself down right in the middle of everything as we open our gifts.


Z said...

THanks for sharing all those wonderful details, everyone!

Pris, I have some gorgeous contemporary glass icicles but haven't put up the right size tree for them since I lost my Mr. Z. They are really beautiful but not great on a 4' tree sitting up on a table. Mom buys us all a White House ornament every year..sadly, this year will mean nothing.

SHe also started giving Mr Z and me Baccarat crystal ornaments, they come out with one every year; this is the first year I didn't even put them up; I usually have a little fake tree I hang those on because they're so precious and fragile.........I sincerely hope I don't have one this year. I should have mentioned not to get me one; that era is over. Maybe, some day, I"ll be able to put them all out again..not now

Ticker said...

Pris, I actually have some of those icicles as well as a full box, unopened of the shiny metallic ones from around the very early 1950's. Get em out and use em Pris. Life is too short to leave memories packed in a box.

beamish said...

My mom still has and uses ornaments I made in kindergarten.

Ducky's here said...

The tree in my childhood was always topped with this kinda cheesy illuminated plastic star.

I thought it was lost but it turned up in the attic when we cleaned after the da passed.

It's up on my dining room plate rack with assorted memorabilia from a full roller derby ticket at the old Boston Arena to a 1914 Red Sox program.

Still in its box, one GE Paramount tree top star.

Anonymous said...

Ticker, I don't have the any of the old icicles. Someone must have thrown them out long ago.

As for the balls, the paint was becoming scratched, and coming off so, wanting to hand them down to our kids, I decided to put them away for safekeeping.

Believe me, if I hadn't rescued the balls they would have been thrown out too.

I know what you mean though. However those memories are locked into my heart, they'll always be with me.

Z, those crystal ornaments must be beautiful, and they represent your Mom's thoughtfulness. How lovely.


Brooke said...

If it were me alone, I probably wouldn't even bother with a tree.

As is, I have some shatter-proof ornaments and I let the kids loose with them. Then, they have a good time making their own ornaments and hanging them right up until Christmas.

Anonymous said...

Beamish, you're among the last of your kind. I'm sure Kindergarten children are no longer allowed to make Christmas ornaments.

Joy and happiness are not on the left's agenda.

So, those childhood keepsakes are more important than ever. I hope parents today enourage their children to make these precious treasures at home or they'll be a thing of the past.

How about that. An underground celebration of Christmas, with children believing it's wrong, but so much fun, asking why do they have to hide it?


David Wyatt said...

Awesome, Z!!

I gotta know!!!!!! Which one of those nice ladies is you???

Z said...

David! They're waitresses at the local cafe near where we lived in Paris!

Ducky, I"m with you...anything that sentimental could be ugly as SIN and it's not leaving me.

David Wyatt said...

Ah, I was afraid of that. When do we get graced with a pic of you?

cube said...

My favorite ornaments are the ones my girls made in school and proudly brought home to us. Some are religious and some are just fun, but basically I love them because they remind me of those Christmas mornings when they were little.

There is also one of our beloved German shepherd, Dax with angel wings that I bought for the first Christmas after she died.

I also have some Star Trek related ornaments that are just kitschy.

Our tree is a combination of meaningful and stuff that looks good.

Can't wait to hear what the champagne celebration was all about... that crowd looks like trouble ;-)

Z said...

cube, that was CHristmas Eve of 2001...we decided not to go home for CHristmas..we were in Paris, of course.....
Friends from MOntreal who'd moved back to Canada after 3 years in Paris where we got to know them very well and had great times with them, had come to stay with us....
I had made Armenian filo/cheese triangles (which are A LOT of work and delicious) and baked up a bunch of them and we all went to our cafe and BOY, were our wait staff stunned that the Americans had brought THEM horsdeurvres! Mr. Z ordered champagne and we served it to them and had such a wonderful party!
Then the four of us left and went to the Catholic service very nearby and then came back to our place for a course of foie gras and then my favorite fettucini with lemon cream sauce.......mmm

David Wyatt said...

Cheese triangles sound so yummy!

Z said...

Oh, David.....about 2 1/2 " triangles...layers of filo with brushed warm butter on them, then rolling them into triangles filled with cheddar cheese, cottage cheese and a little feta, with very finely shopped parsley.........baked until the filo is puffy and golden......they are SO SO GOOD! (Mom's are always THE best, of course!)

It touched me so much to see their reaction, that customers would bring THEM food on Christmas Eve....Mr. Z was so proud that I"d done that........these are the times nobody can EVER take away from you, even if you lose all that matters to you.

David Wyatt said...

Oooowweeee!! I can almost taste them now, Z!!

Anonymous said...

My favorite ornaments are the ones the kids make. Either at school or at home with me. Usually involving felt, scotch tape, cotton balls, and googly eyes.

I have to hold my breath when I put them on the tree....


Anonymous said...

I love that tree of yours, Z.
It is SO pretty and homey.