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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Ornament Traditons, Guest Post: Mary M. (Shannon's Mom)

         During the years when we raised our children, one of my favorite Christmas traditions was collecting ornaments for trimming the tree.  When our children were very small, each year we bought each of them an inexpensive ornament. We have a Mother Goose from Shannon's first Christmas and a small Santa from Darren's. When I unwrap those ornaments, I recall, sometimes with tears in my eyes, those sweet babies I once held and small toddlers lifted to marvel at the lighted tree.
         As they grew, we began crafting.  One year we made dough ornaments.  Those did not hold up, but sadly had to be tossed the next year.  Once I sewed simple cloth ones in bell and tree shapes which the children enjoyed stuffing.  Those lasted.  When the children were teenagers, they helped their Dad make stained glass ornaments of bells and gifts.  Shannon's tree now boasts the stained glass cat with gift she and her Dad made almost 20 years ago.
         Of course our collection includes a  Styrofoam tree with glitter and other ornaments made  in school.  But, one of my favorites is a scarecrow decoration saved from a first birthday present package for my son, Darren.   
         Gifts from friends added to our trove.  For many years, my friend, Nancy employed her potting skills to make ornament gifts of clay.  We have her angel, a white cat, and a small package.  I think of her as I hang these.  When I see the small Hallmark puppy, secretary and friend, Mary Beth gave me the year before she was killed in an accident, I remember her and our dog Justin.  And on and on the memories go.   
         Our collecting phase of the tradition took place throughout the years.  Whenever we traveled, we looked for an inexpensive souvenir that we could save and use as a tree decoration.  For instance, when we were at an apple festival in North Carolina, we bought a little red wooden apple.  In Italy, we bought a small wooden Pinocchio figure.  Our Vancouver remembrance is a clay owl.  We have a blue and white porcelain sheep from Savannah and a tiny wooden spinning wheel from Asheville. 
         The collecting was always fun, but it was and still is the remembering each year as we trim the tree that makes the tradition a meaningful ritual.  Each ornament has a story . Sharing those as a family deepens and strengthens our bonds.  I believe that roots are an important gift we can provide our children.  A tradition like this waters those roots.

Mary M (Shannon's Mom)
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1 comment:

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    Stacey Gafner


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