Friday, December 3, 2010

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories: December 3 - Christmas Tree Ornaments

Did your family have heirloom or cherished ornaments? Did you ever string popcorn and cranberries? Did your family or ancestors make Christmas ornaments?

Every year Mama unpacked her beautiful creche and placed it lovingly beneath the tree. It was, and still is, her most cherished Christmas ornament I suppose.

As a child, my favorite ornaments were those mercury glass ornaments that Mama had packed away in tissue paper!

I don't think there was ever a year when in the unpacking we didn't find at least one ornament that had been broken however! Some of them were so fragile that I believe simply breathing on them caused damage!

They came in a myriad of shapes and sizes from these bells, to Santa figures, and oblong icicles! None of the ornaments were especially old. Although today they would be considered heirloom perhaps! [But then I am told I am now considered "an antique"! LOL]

We did string popcorn and cranberries on occasion when I was growing up. But Mama always said it attracted mice, so we didn't do it each year. However, when my own children were very young, the only ornaments we had for our tree were the ones that my Mama bought for the children each year [she made sure they each had a special ornament from the time of their birth to the time they left home!] It made for a rather huge tree once they were all in their teens! [There's five of the children!]

But in those early years, we made garlands of both popcorn and cranberries, simply for the economical decision to keep expenses down.

It was such fun! And the children loved it! [However, there were occasions when I found popcorn missing from garland, and often wondered if it were mice, or tender little angels who attacked the tree!]

Did we ever make handmade ornaments?

I don't think I have ever seen any handmade ornaments by my ancestors, but I have personally handmade many, both as a child growing up, and then as an adult.

In 2004 I had a Christmas tree done entirely in crocheted garland and crocheted snowflakes for the tree. The only other decorations were white lights. It looked like a winter wonderland!

This year I've made ancestral portraits a part of the tree, and call it my "Generations" tree!

These lovely acrylic frames were a birthday gift from my dear sister, Eydie, this year, especially for my ancestral tree.

Here's a closer view of my great-grandparents, Frank and Adeline Banet [my maternal grandmother's parents].

There were enough of these frames that I got every photo we had of direct ancestors, plus our parents, siblings, and our children, AND our grandchildren on this tree!

The tree is covered in them! And they are simply lovely! I adore it! So... I am hoping to be able to pass these ornaments onto one of my grandchildren one day!


hummer said...

Love your pictures! Christmas brings so many memories.

DianaR said...

Love the pictures!! Maybe I should make some and then pass out gifts based on which of the kids could correctly identify the ancestors ;-)

Texicanwife said...

DianaR - What a great idea! And what a great way for the kids to learn who their ancestors were!

Colleen G. Brown Pasquale said...

I also add family photos to our tree. I add family members, past and present, making it a Family Tree. Thanks for sharing.