Our Christmas tree explodes with ornaments. In the weeks prior Christmas I see magazine pictures of other trees, simply trimmed with lovely themes. I know that less is more, but that doesn’t apply to our Christmas tree.
Every year we pull out ornaments — we have quality levels of A, B and C — and memories come flooding back. We have remembrances of our many travels, elementary school creations by our son Michael, my mother’s and grandmother’s ornaments, handmade creations by me, acquaintances, and Michael before he started school.
I’m going to let you in on a secret: I make index cards for each ornament. I’ve cataloged cards for decades. Don’t judge me. Just know that I was an excellent student.
Each Christmas I take an index card and record the year we acquired the ornament, where we got it, and anyone related to it. The weakest part is my poor drawing skill. But the card really helps jog the memory.
We have eclectic decorations, yet we seem to have a host of angels on our tree. I want to share a few of them, along with their cards. I made this angel, before I met David. Of course, it predates my index card collection since I made it in the 1970s. Egads.
This next angel, made from a Bavarian Wax process, joined our family in 1988 after our Christmas in the South excursion.
Some of our ornaments don’t need cards because their dates appear on them, like the ones Michael made. From left to right, pre-school angel, 1st grade, and 2nd grade angels.
On our family trip to the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC, we bought this sweet handmade angel. She once clutched a bit of pine, but that’s almost gone,
In 1993 David travelled solo to a conference at the University of Pittsburgh, where I went to graduate school. He took a tram to a mall and saw this angel in Kaufman’s Department store. Claiming she reminded him of Heinz Cathedral on campus, he bought her for me.
My son, in 2nd grade, acquired this angel ornament at his school’s Christmas shop:
The year we hosted Kyoko, our Japanese exchange student, we spent a few days during her Christmas vacation at the Jekyll Island Club Hotel in Georgia. The island, magically decorated for the holidays, was built by Gilded Age millionaires as their private winter getaway. The hotel is glorious. Posh Victorian furnishings, high tea, and superb food.
That last sentence continues on the back of the card: “We stayed a couple of nights with Michael and Katie, our Japanese exchange student. We ate two dinners at the Club Dining Room and enjoyed a decadant high tea at 4 p.m.”
My ornaments, my angels, speak to me each year, bringing vivid flashes of our lives together.
Speaking of sharing, here’s the link to my Angel Banner with free downloadable pictures that you can cut out and string with ribbon.
Wishing you a very Merry Christmas,
Ann Marie and David