Thursday, December 25, 2008

Holiday Musings . . . . . .

When Lee and I first met years ago, both of us had been single for a while, and neither of us had more than one or two Christmas tree decorations among our household "stuff".

So for the first few years that we were together, we decorated our Christmas tree with red and green "glitter balls" that I'd made by rolling styrofoam balls first in Elmer's Glue, and then in red or green glitter.

Even after we were married, those styrofoam glitter balls served us well for several years as our main Christmas tree decor, but eventually we yearned for some decorations with a little more "class".

So, we began making a conscious effort to build a unique and special collection of Christmas ornaments, year by year, and piece by piece.

Whenever we would travel to a new place or see a new Christmas shop, we kept our eyes peeled for new ornaments for our Christmas tree.
And every year, we would add two or three new ornaments to our collection, each one carefully selected.

Now, after nearly 25 years of marriage, we have more Christmas ornaments than we can fit on our medium sized Christmas tree (yes, we eventually bought an "artificial" tree)!

Some of our Christmas tree ornaments were chosen because they represent a place we'd visited or something that we especially love (nature, animals, birds, whimsy, greyhounds!). Others were added to our collection because we simply fell in love with the artist's design or creativity.

And then there's that special group of our Christmas tree ornaments that were gifts from friends or family, or that just remind us of "home."

Now that we have so many ornaments, we don't necessarily put them ALL on the tree every year. Even so, we cherish each and every one, and each one holds a special place in our hearts. Over the years, all these special ornaments have become our "old friends".

I can't say that Lee and I remember specifically what year or from what place every one of our Christmas tree ornaments was obtained, but many of them do indeed bring back special memories of cherished times and moments in our lives.

We're not actively adding to our Christmas tree ornament collection any more, although there are times that I see something during my annual Christmas shopping (or those tempting After-Christmas sales) that I just can't pass up!

On this, my last post of this Christmas season, I wanted to share with you some photos of Lee's and my favorite ornaments from our collection. . . . . . .

We found this little resin greyhound ornament during one of our twice-a-year trips to see my family in Abilene, Kansas.

We always stop into the National Greyhound Hall of Fame to visit the ex-racing greyhound mascots there, and found this little ornament in the gift shop. (As greyhound lovers, we simply had to have a little greyhound ornament for our Christmas tree!)

Back in the mid 80's, I had the opportunity to attend a conference in Philadelphia. Lee joined me and we both saw the Liberty Bell for the first time!

In 1997, Lee and I discovered Sedona, Arizona. We'd never been there before, but we had a chance to trade an unused time-share week there. And now we're hooked on the area!

We go back twice a year . . . .this little southwest style ornament was purchased in Sedona. It reminds us of the warm weather, while we're freezing here in Utah during the winter!

Being a lover of whimsy, I have two of these little "mouse on the moon" ornaments. I actually can't recall where or when I got them, but they've been part of our collection now for quite a number of years.

Yes, I actually did make this little Rudolph counted cross-stitch ornament. I haven't done cross-stitch in years, so this little guy is now around 15 years old, I would guess!

Lee loves just about anything to do with airplanes, and this little wooden airplane ornament was a gift from me to him a couple of years ago. The little propeller and wheels actually move!

This sweet Precious Moments Christmas ornament was a gift a number of years ago from one of my very special long-term friends.

You guessed it! Lee and I purchased this commemorative ornament in 2002 during the Salt Lake Winter Olympic Games.

That was, for us, a once-in-a-lifetime experience. We didn't attend any of the ticketed events, but we did walk around downtown several times just to experience the ambience and see the street displays. It was SO much fun!

This delicate glass Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer is about 6 inches tall, and it was one of our very first ornaments purchased after Lee's and my "glitter ball" era. I remember paying $15.00 (!!!) for this little guy, in the early 80's, in Keystone, Colorado. Yes, it WAS love at first sight . . . . .but I would never pay that much for an ornament again!

I'm particularly fond of folk Santas and whimsical Santas . . . .and this one is a purchase from last September, during one of our trips to Sedona.

This little straw-hat Santa is another newer addition to our collection . . . .can't quite recall where we got him. But he reminds me of the Southwest, so he's on the tree pretty much every year.

And this little ceramic jester/clown struck my fancy many years ago. I think I found him in a local gift shop, and he wasn't intended to be a Christmas tree ornament, but his life's work has been decorating our Christmas tree for at least 15 years.

I believe this ornament might have been one of two or three ornaments that Lee had when we met!

This beautiful brass rocking horse was a gift to Lee and I from my dear sister a number of years ago. The photo doesn't do "him" justice, but there are several layers of embossed metal, for a 3-D effect. I LOVE horses!

And this moose, although I truly have no recollection of where or when we bought him, remains one of our favorite "old friends" from among our Christmas tree ornament collection.

This Christmas ornament holds special meaning for both Lee and me, in that his mother (whom we lost to cancer a year ago) made it herself many years ago, from a kit. She and I shared a love of all kinds of crafting.

This bell (that really rings) is one of my more recent purchases from a local gift store, while I was shopping for other Christmas gifts. I couldn't resist the sparkle!

And here's yet another of my recent purchases (last year or the year before), at an After-Christmas sale in one of my very favorite local novelty and paper shops.

No, this is NOT an ornament . . . . .although I sure do wish I could capture this wonderful greyhound face (of our very special greyhound, Ride) on an ornament!

This photo was taken by Lee in 2005, during the 3 or so minutes that Ride allowed us to leave that Santa hat on her!

I wanted to end my Holiday Musings post with a photo of Ride, who, at age 12 years, will always hold a very special place in Lee's and my hearts.

(Next year, I'll try to include a photo of our other greyhound Harley too, but thus far, we haven't been able to get him to keep either a Santa hat OR reindeer antlers on!)

So, this will be my last Blog entry during the Christmas Season. Tomorrow is another day, and we'll all be looking toward the New Year.

But before the day ends, I want to share with you a lovely quote that I first saw a number of years ago, on a Christmas card. The message particularly resonates for me on Christmas Day.

"Never a Christmas morning,
Never the old year ends,
But someone thinks of someone,
Old days, old times, old friends."
~ Author Unknown ~

Until we meet again . . . . .Wishing you fond thoughts of old days, old friends and old times.

1 comment:

esque said...

Wow, I love your ornament collection! We are still working on ours and only have a few to decorate our tiny tree!