Tuesday, January 01, 2008


Rituals are guide markers, helping us find our way through life, from one event to the next. No ritual starts that way - it starts as a simple act. It's through repetition that it takes on the added cachet of a "must have."

Last night Janice came over to visit at Mary Ann and Jackie's and we were in looking at the tree. Mary Ann pointed out an ornament I had not noticed earlier and told us she had had it on every tree. How I could have missed it all these years, I don't know.

It's an ornament friends of her brother, Eugene and his wife, Cornie, sent Mary Ann when she was a little girl. Eugene was about 15 years older than Mary Ann, so married when she was only 5. It was a Christmas card ornament sent by Harvey and Robbie Tucker that arrived in an envelope. When Mary Ann married, her mom gave it to her and she has had it on every tree since.

It's a silvery, reflective foil, which I hadn't noticed at first.The lower parts are paper, but the tree itself is a heavier foil of some sort. The paper folds down to reveal an inside message. Very clever.

In case you can't make out what it says, here it is:

Hang this greeting on
your tree, for it's an
ornament, too, - you see.

As Christmas spangles trim your tree,
And children's shouts ring out in glee,
May Christmas candles light your way,
To a very Merry Christmas Day!

Also, the back of the card shows the back of the little girl and the presents.

It also has "Brilliants 5330" written in the corner. I'm assuming that's the brand of card. A quick net search yielded only sales of other vintage Christmas cards by the Brilliants company, but no real information.

Obviously, they made some fine products and had a very cool idea. Why don't we have neat stuff like this anymore? This was obviously mass produced. Why can't we mass produce something interesting? With character? That people would want to hang on the tree for more than half a century?

I'm betting the Tuckers had no idea they would be playing a role in a ritual when that card was selected and sent. They probably just thought they were thrilling a little girl with her own piece of mail at Christmas time. Iit was probably sent in the late 40s, but we're not sure.

I just love tradition and ritual and keepsakes. I'm so glad Mary Ann told Janice this story and that I was there to overhear it.

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