I am a sap of a soul. I relish all things old and sentimental. Even if it has a not-so-good memory attached to it, I will still treasure a possession. I guess I am just weird like that. I have a blue topaz ring my ex-husband had made for me for my twentieth birthday, and though I will not wear it, I have never been able to part with it. It is the only piece of jewelry anyone has ever had made for me, and so it just seems special though the person that did it was a complete and utter ass in the end. Anyway - I finally put the ornaments on the tree. Madalyn was so into it this year. She wanted to do it all but the control freak in me just couldn't let her actually decorate my tree. See, the kids have a little three or four foot tree with their own ornaments, and I do let her do all of that on her own. That way she has a tree she can touch and mess with the ornaments and hopefully not find herself in trouble all Christmas long (that's the theory anyway).
Madalyn's duty was to unwrap all the ornaments and put the tissue paper away for me. She had such a big time looking at all the ornaments and me telling her who gave it to me or her brother or her. After I showed her the only ornament on the tree that I made as a child, every one there after she claimed to have made when she was a baby. It really does scare me how much like me she wants to be, and it especially shows in little instances like these. She's definitely the little mama of the house.
I thought I would share a few of my favorite ornaments on my tree. They are probably the most hideous on the entire tree, but they just mean the most to me. Isn't that funny? The angel on the left is one that my grandmother gave me when I was little. I remember my grandmother bought an ornament for me every year, usually at the Festival in the Park or at the Southern Homes and Gardens Christmas Open House. I just have all these memories of looking through ornaments and picking them out. And the year she got me the angel (who is perhaps the ugliest little angel I have ever laid eyes on - and I love angels) she gave my brothers these little football players holding footballs with their names painted on them. I just remember year after year putting those ornaments on my mother's tree and loving them mainly because our names were on them. With a name like mine, you don't get much with your name on it growing up.
The odd looking character in the middle is a bread dough ornament I made in 1982 in kindergarten. I actually think I remember making it. I can remember sitting at a table and being told to make an ornament that looks like yourself. So, in a way, this is my little self portrait - with clove eyes. I just love the ugly little thing.
And then the one on the right - the Raggedy Anne. I don't know what it is about this one. I think it reminds me of this Raggedy Anne doll my Aunt Kitty made me. It sat in my room during my entire childhood. My Aunt Kitty died when I was two, and she was always this far off fantasy in my mind. My family didn't talk about her much. I remember as a child someone would start to talk about her and my grandmother would excuse herself from the room. She would go back to her bedroom to cry (I assume). As I got older, and the pain from her sudden death in a car accident dulled a little, she got to a point that she could talk about her more and more. The ornament has nothing to do with my mother's sister, but it is just an attachment I have linked to it on my own.
There are so many others. I could tell a story about most of the ornaments on my tree. I have some given to me by friends in high school. I have some from a Christmas themed shower given to me before my first marriage. I have a ton my mom has bought for me over the years. I have a beautiful set of angels my dearest friend sent me for my birthday one year. I just love them all. If I could keep the tree up year round, I think I would. I love to be surrounded by these little special things. Because it is never the big stuff that becomes special to me - it is always the little things. The inconspicuous things. The things around me that mean the most are not the things that anyone would choose to steal if they broke into my house. So I guess I can rest easy that they are safe and sound.