Decorating With Mom's Christmas Ornaments

Posted: 11 years ago | By: Christine Somers | In: General | Read Time: 2 minutes, 30 seconds

{Matthew, my son, and me shopping for a Christmas tree}

Unlike the multitude of retail stores in the mall, I don't decorate for Christmas until after Thanksgiving. I want to experience and rejoice in one holiday at a time. The colors of Thanksgiving are the warm shades of autumn. Decorating with burgundy, yellow and orange mums along with the traditional and not so traditional pumpkins evokes a cherished atmosphere. I wouldn't want to miss it by rushing the season.

Now that the last of the Thanksgiving turkey is simmering in the stock pot and my mums have started to fade, it is time to climb into the attic and pull out the Christmas decorations. Trimming my tree is not just about decorating my home but it is also a time to remember. Now keep in mind that my memory in general is spotty. Marty is forever asking me to recall various life events and I just go blank. On ocassion I wonder if he has me confused with someone else because I got nothing, a clean slate when it comes to certain events. But as I unpack and place each ornament on my tree, I can give you its entire history. I know where I purchased it, what city I lived in when I found it, who came for Christmas dinner and other assorted facts like the color of my hair that particular Christmas.

Decorating this year will be no different from the past except that now I have my mother's decorations.  Of all her belongings that I inherited, her Christmas decoration hold the most memories.  Each Christmas as part of my gift to Mom, I would give her a Christmas ornament. She received a dozen or so lovely artisan crafted decorations. The blue hand-blown glass tear drop triggers memories of Christmas 1977. That was the year that my daughter Kathryn was born and the first time she met my parents and sister. We drove in from Alabama to spend the holiday with my parents. My mother and sister rushed up to us as we parked the car, took Kathryn from my arms and swept back into my parent's home. They barely acknowledged us. I smile today thinking of their excitement over meeting Kathryn and their total indifference to her parents. 

Some of Mom's ornaments are old; they are my age. One of my favorites is the aluminum Christmas bells. I am sure many families of my generation owned these mass produced muted gold and silver bells with the tinny sound. The fact they were made of aluminum symbolized the strength of the times as families moved into the suburbs. 

I love the addition of Mom's ornaments to my own and while there is a little sadness mixed with the joy of decorating this  year, I know I will cherish the memories. I would love to hear about your decorations. Do you have the same sentimental attachment to your decorations? Or do you change the "look" each year?