Monday, November 30, 2009

Make the Season Bright

I love Christmas time. I love everything about it: the music, the decorations, the spirit of goodwill that seems to permeate the air. It's no great surprise that I love the Christmas Season....I was born on Christmas Day.

I wasn't actually due until the middle of January, but my mom woke up at 5am Christmas morning when her water broke. She told my dad that the baby was coming and his reply was, "That baby can't come today. It's the opening day of duck season and I'm going hunting." (I was born in Louisiana, Sportsman's Paradise).

Off to the the hospital they went and at 8pm Christmas Day I made my entrance. The doc held me up and said "This baby is no bigger than a 6 pound bass!" And I was exactly 6 pounds.

There were only two babies born that day, and instead of sending us home in the typical receiving blankets, the nurses wrapped us up and sent us home in red flannel stockings that they decorated with our names. My mom saved it and I have it in a box somewhere.

My favorite holiday activity by far is decorating the tree. My Christmas ornaments are some of my most prized possessions. If my house was on fire, I'd want to grab my photos and my ornaments (my family is a given).

Most of my ornaments are handmade or were given to us. All of them have special meaning or a story behind them.

I have several that were made by my mother, like this poinsettia made from wired ribbon....

.....or this angel made from a silk rose.

I have quite a few ornaments from my childhood that my mother passed down to me. Like this angel that my mom and I hand painted when I was a little girl:

Or this wreath I made when I was a Brownie in the Girl Scouts:

Some of my most prized ornaments are the ones that were made by my grandmother, who passed away when I was a teenager. I love this mouse tucked in his little walnut shell bed:

Most of the ornaments come from my family, but I do have a few from my husband's family, like these red bells that were knitted by his mother:

And of course, we have several ornaments made by our kids at school, like this bell made with baked spices and applesauce that smells wonderful:

Many of my favorite ornaments were given to me by my aunt and celebrate my Louisiana heritage. Like this shrimp:

And this flying alligator, which is a character from "The Cajun Night Before Christmas" by Trosclair:

My absolute favorite is this poinsettia made from crawfish claws and pieces of oyster shell:

My kids have their favorites too. One of the ones they can't wait to hang on the tree each year are their Santa's sleigh bells from the year we rode the Polar Express in Durango, CO.

Sometimes I do buy new ornaments. If I do, I like them to have that homemade look like this Christmas tree made from wooden spools....

.....or this knitted poinsettia.

Sometimes they catch my eye because they have some kind of meaning. This year I picked up this one:

My husband is British and it reminds me of our trips to England.

To finish off the tree, I have a garland of wooden beads and buttons....

....and a tree skirt quilted by my mother.

At the top of the tree is an angel that I made when my husband and I were first married. Yes, she has a chin like Jay Leno, but she's quirky and I like that.

She's not a big tree, she's not a fancy tree. There is no theme, no expensive decorations. But she's a good tree, full of love and special meaning.

What are some of your favorite ornaments?

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