Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Undecorating and Reminiscing

A lot of people love decorating for Christmas. Although some enjoy it so much that they begin the day after Halloween, I prefer to wait a few weeks longer until Advent. Once Christmas is over, however, the complaints begin. "It's so much work putting everything away."

I don't think that way. I like to decorate for Christmas. I do find that I am often rushed to get everything set up. Because of that, I like to take my time removing all the trinkets and decorations. I organize them neatly, wrap them carefully and daydream.

Today was dismantling day. Since I was more or less forced to hibernate because of weather unfit for man or beast, I made the decision to begin. I took down some of my more modern and recent additions to the tree, items I had won along with the tree last year. 

Then I got to the good stuff. There were the special things which had belonged to, or reminded me of each of my children's's train, mom's tiny Christmas hymn book, grandpa John's favourite spinning ornament, and grandma Rose's miniature cookbook. There were my yearly purchases of fragile, usually gold decorations. I afforded myself the gift of one magical ornament a year even during my more financially challenged times. To me, the gold colour represented the wealth I had in my life, not financial wealth, but rather the blessings.

Another bauble shaped like a school house with a little bell is my only work related keepsake. It was engraved with my name, Merry Christmas, Anne-Marie and 1977. I recalled the student who gave me the ornament. She'd probably be about 43 years old now. I had also taught her brother Elvis. Yes, indeed, Elvis, a bold choice of name. I remember them well. I wonder what they're doing now.

I removed this year's new, recently purchased acquisition. I saw it in a small gift shop in a town near here. I put it in a special place on the tree. It was a bell shape, glass, white base, fluff to represent snow and the Eiffel tower inside. How does the quote go? "Paris is always a good idea." No, I've never been there. I bought it after I decided that my collection should take on a new direction. I wrapped it carefully and put it away.

Hubby and I chatted about the trees we had when we were kids. "I think my sister has some of our old decorations," he said.

"Really? I think we should go visit and see their tree next Christmas." I responded with curiosity. I'm hoping we get to do that.

I had seen some Chinese lanterns similar to what my parents had when at an antique store. No light cord, just the lanterns. My parents loved those lanterns. If I recall correctly, the cord was kaput before the lanterns burned out. Either that or it was one of those situations where if one bulb burns out nothing else works. They also had the candles. Ah yes, the multi-coloured electric bubbly candle lights which contained some kind of substance to make them bubble when they got hot. I remember several of them, mostly the blue I think, didn't ever bubble. No matter, they lit up and they were pretty. I loved them.

So now my bin, marked "Hilde's best and most fragile ornaments" is filled and ready to be put away. I can't believe I won't be able to enjoy these treasures again for another whole year. Perhaps I too should plan to get them out the day after Halloween.

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