Advent Calendar prompt: Did your family have heirloom or cherished ornaments? Did you ever string popcorn and cranberries? Did your family or ancestors make Christmas ornaments?
A lot of the decorations that I remember best on our tree growing up were souvenirs brought back from our travels or given to us following others’ travels. I continue to buy ornaments whenever I am away if I see something special. Some of the ornaments that were ‘mine’ as a child were given to me by my mother and now populate our tree. I have also been buying an ornament each Christmas for each of my two children and when they are grown, I will give them ‘their’ ornaments for their own trees.
As a child, I made popcorn and cranberry strings and made paper chains. I remember putting the popcorn chains outside after Christmas for the birds to finish off. My children are still too young to really get into making decorations but I look forward to continuing those traditions when they’re a little older. As a child, I also made decorations in school and at Brownies. There was never any shortage of decorations for the tree.
I remember a tinfoil wrapped cardboard star topping the Christmas tree, usually along with a little angel situated near the top. For the first few years of our marriage, our tree didn’t have a topper but last year I finally found a metal star that is cut out like a snowflake. I wonder if my children will have similarly fond memories of that star.
“It was a busy month. New decorations had to be made for the tree. We threaded chains of macaroni, with red cranberries in between the pieces. I liked breaking the long brittle sticks best of all. We made chains of paper squares, separated by short pieces cut from drinking straws. We made plain ones of cranberries, as well. We constructed baskets from stiff, red paper to hold salted nuts and candy for the Christmas dinner table.”
Too young at six weeks to appreciate either the decorations or the tree: