Sunday, November 25, 2007

I'm working on the Christmas tree and I'm down to one of the things I love - putting on the ornaments. Many of my ornaments have special memories associated with them - that people have given me, I've bought them while traveling, someone has made them for me, or I've bought them to commemorate an occasion in my life.

I took a few snapshots to share some with you.

The blue and white tree in this one is an ornament I bought in Amsterdam. The painted ornament was from one of my Chick friends last year. We do an ornament exchange each year and that was the one I got. Oddly enough another year I got an ornament from Amsterdam from someone else. It was identical to one I bought while there, but I treasure them both. Also in this photo, in the middle, is an Easy Bake Oven ornament I bought a few years ago. I absolutely loved that toy. The elongated snowman is one Greg and I both bought some of one year. To the right of him is a non-ornament that I've made into an ornament that I bought in Egypt. It has a prayer in Arabic on it.The little stuffed cow is from the State Fair - Mark bought it for some friends and I just adored it. Next to that is the Grinch - I love that show. I spend large parts of the holiday season saying, "Little Cindy Lou Who, who was no more than two." And the Grinch is looking up at a London phone booth ornament I got there one year. The clear glass bell with the white and silver on it is one of the very first ornaments I bought. I have some bells and some balls that are the same design. I still love them as much as I did more than 20 years ago when I bought them.

The stuffed Pere Noel here came from Paris. The pink and purple ornaments were a gift many, many years ago from David Naylor, who I used to work with. There's a blue one in the same design. A bit behind them in the upper right corner is a clay tree I bought in Honduras. There's a London bus and at the bottom a beautiful hand painted ornament that Chris Baird, a former board member, gave me. You can see just a glimpse of an ornament Trish gave me with the white bow on it, and above that, a peek at the Amsterdam ornament I got at Chicks another year. I try to label all my special ornaments with the date and who gave them to me or where I bought them.

The brightly colored ball is an ornament I picked up in Virginia and to the right side is one of the counted cross stitch ornaments Leah made for me over the years. Behind that is a little woven bell I got in Guatemala. You can also see just a little bit of a baby Jesus ornament that nestles into the tree branches to the far right. I bought a couple of those in Rome and love to just have them placed in the tree. In the far left corner is a little alien guy toy - he's not really an ornament, but I love that movie and I needed an ornament. Needed.

I also buy ornaments to remember events that aren't necessarily happy, but are important nonetheless. I bought this little teapot ornament one day when I was on a day trip.

I had taken a day off from the radio station to hit the road, to do some driving so I could think. There's something about driving that helps me engage a different part of my brain and figure things out.

Even though that was some years ago I remember the day very clearly and the decisions I made as the miles zipped away. I remember stopping in a shop and seeing this ornament and buying it as a symbol of a new kind of life I wanted to make. It took more than five years for all the things I decided that day to come to pass, but that teapot was a symbol of what I wanted - a different kind of life where I could feel safe and secure - cozy - just like the teapot makes you think about.

I knew that would entail many changes - a different job, a different lifestyle, a different residence, and even some different friends. It all worked out well, but it it was tumultuous at times, as change often is.

Well, I must get back to decorating. One month from now it will be Christmas eve night!

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