Sunday, December 13, 2009

Christmas Ornaments

The house is deliciously quiet tonight and the Christmas tree is the living room's only light source. For the past thirty one years, it has been my job to unpack, decorate, dismantle and repack this fake fir tree. I grumble every year, swear never to do it again and then the ornaments start to talk. Ten percent were store bought from friends but all the rest are hand made. The first to arrive were the rocking horses, drums, trains and Santas all made out of flour and salt. Jeanne says none of hers have survived. We made them together the first year both of us were married. There are felt animals and red hearts. I didn't have pretty ribbon so I used white yarn as loops. My dad tried to eat the cinnamon and applesauce stars one year while they dried on the kitchen table, luckily without breaking a tooth!

  Money was tight so Christmas ornament making was what we did. Nobody could throw away the juice can lids, the summer of 1986. I punched designs into the tin with a nail and a hammer on a wooden board while the kids splashed in the backyard wading pool. By September, I had enough rolls of ribbon to start hot gluing the outside border. When December came along, there were ninety six ornaments waiting in a box for all the children in my children's classes to receive as a gift.

   This old house is getting sleepy and the tin ornament shines brightly. Was it two years ago I ran into a handsome and very tall man who checked me out at the hardware store? He was thrilled to tell me that he still had his ornament I made for him. "Daniel?!" I said. How time flies and kids grow up so quickly. They were good years, happy years, sad years, hard years, but my years. I like the over stuffed tree with dad's garden statice in purples, pinks and white with a touch of dried sage from my own garden. Who cares that the panty hose mice have glass beaded eyes that are too big. It isn't Hallmark, it's Jorgensen.





  1. Your house is always filled with love, just like your tree. Memories of some of those ornaments always make me smile when I hang them on my own tree. Merry Christmas!

  2. This Anonymous concurs with the aforesaid Anonymous..........I have several Jorgensen pieces around my house even though my salt-dough ornaments didn't survive! Probably kept a little mouse family nourished during a long cold winter in the basement!!! I treasure my Jorgensen's and the decorator in charge has shared some terrific ideas with me over these past many years!!! xxoxox

  3. anonymous xoxoxo thanks, (Jeanne!)good memories we've had together. There isn't a one Christmas that I don't think about you and the live mouse/dead mouse! yuck,haha