There was a time when I loved everything about Christmas--the sights, sounds, smells, and celebrations. I especially loved decorating my home with all the treasures I had collected over the years. A month before Christmas, I cleaned and polished everything, shopped for presents and wrapped each one in special paper and topped each gift off with a simple bow of fabric ribbon. A week before Thanksgiving I started watching the local tree lots and nurseries. When would they start selling Christmas trees and live greenery for homemade wreaths and roping? My tree of choice was always a fresh fraser fir from the mountains of North Carolina. Its fragrance was the essence of Christmas and its sturdy branches were spaced well to hold the largest and heaviest ornament.
Once I had the noble fir home and had gotten it to stand upright in the tree stand--a big challenge since I usually worked alone--it was time to get out my treasured collection of glass ornaments. For several years I rummaged through antique stores, flea markets, and yard sales on the lookout for the brightly colored ornaments that people gave up in favor of coordinated tree decorations in the 70s and 80s. These ornaments gleamed against the dark fir branches and multi-colored tree lights. I especially searched for ornaments made in West Germany, Poland and Czechoslovakia. Here's a sampling of some of my most prized ornaments:
In the lower portion of the photo you can see two examples of reflectors that fitted underneath a Christmas light bulb. The reflections from the colored lights made magic on the tree. In the center of the photo notice the brightly colored pendants. They were made in Poland.
Starting in the upper left corner, here's a close up of some extra large ornaments made in West Germany. I found these at an auction--about 10 in a box. Those with the indents are quite special:
Moving on to the upper right hand corner you can see examples of tinsel decorated ornaments, a pear shaped clear ornament with a tableau inside, and chenille tree that fitted over a bulb:
On the right the smaller, brightly colored balls are from Poland and Czechoslovakia and were made in the 1930s.
In addition to these European glass ornaments I also collected other unusual shapes:
I stopped putting up a Christmas tree the year that Willie was a pup. I couldn't stand the thoughts of him breaking any of the ornaments or turning the tree over. Both catastrophes were distinct possibilities. That was 13 years ago. I haven't given these ornaments away so maybe there is a tree in my future. . .
Now be sure to check out the possessions that other Fun Monday participants are still hanging on to. Do you think it's true that we are our "stuff"?