Thursday, January 05, 2012

On the Twelfth Day of Christmas Memories: Putting Away the Old and the New

There is nothing like seeing our ornaments and decorations brought out to bring back memories  of Christmas Past. I try to add at least one new ornament to my collection each year. There is not telling what might take my fancy from one year to the next. This year a little Eskimo angel bell took my fancy! There are two decorations that I cannot bear to put away, one is a pewter Christmas tree and the other is a Renaissance angel. At Christmas time I put them in a more prominent place on a fireplace mantel. But the rest of the year I so enjoy having them in the background for me to see. My youngest sister gave them to me so they are a very special treasure.

I have never been much of one for a 'themed' tree -- all gold or silver or red or whatever. But I do have a second tree that I put up every two years that is exactly that. The theme is the ballet and I found myself absolutely seduced by these little dancers representing many different ballets. I can't believe I did it, but I actually joined a group selling 'collectibles'  and I've never regretted it. In all I have 36 figures, all exquisite and delicate. I put this  tree up in my study and decided a couple of years ago that I would enjoy going to the trouble of putting it up if it didn't become a yearly tradition. I was surprised to discover so many ballets I'd never heard of -- I never knew there had been a Snow White, for example.

Bavaria is an irresistible place for anyone who loves Christmas baubles. This hand-painted ornament for the Christmas tree is not always easy to find a place to hang, due to it's size. To my shame, I cannot remember if it was a gift or if I bought it myself ...

If I had to choose a favourite it might be the two angelic choir boys by Rot Ceramics. These two always make me laugh because I imagine the one is singing so loud that the other boy has to try to drown out the sound by putting his hands over his ears. Anyway, I find them quite adorable with their cherubic fat hands on tummy and little toes peeping out from under their celestial robes...

So today being the 12th Day of Christmas it is the time to put all these things away until, 'the good Lord willin' and the crick don't rise', we take them out again and remember once again Christmas Past, the a bit of Christmas Present, and the hope for Christmas Future. This year we had a great surprise that connected the memory of Christmas past -- 10 years in the past -- to the present! Ten years ago a friend gave us an orchid -- in full bloom. The Man is not one to give up on a plant and faithfully watered it in winter and presented it to the elements each Spring. It was not particularly attractive, but nevertheless, it was a living thing and The Man continued to look after it in his own inimitable  Nice, dontcha think?


  1. G'day Broad. As always, that's a great post. Your ornaments are just beautiful. I do like the pewter tree and the two choir boys are so cute.Yes, I can just imaging the little boy singing very loudly.He really looks like he is giving it his all, doesn't he? Take care. Liz...

  2. Great pictures. Orchids are so difficult to keep alive; I've buried my fair share.Congratulations. The man obviously knows what he's doing.

  3. I'm always surprised by the people who completely change their decorations every couple of years to keep up with the current fashion.

    Like yours, most of my decorations have a history and a tale to tell; a meaning far beyond the actual ornament or it's monetary value.

  4. It's a lovely plant, and I know The Man's feelings concerning such things. I will water and give sun to plants until they are completely brown, wilted, and starting to smell. I never give up until they do :-)

    My favorite ornament is quite plain, but holds great sentimental value. It is a small silver bell (plastic, really) on a string. It is the one ornament that has graced every tree during every one of my 54 Christmases. If you look at the photo on my blog today, of The Very Lovely Silver Tree, you might just barely make it out near center of the tree. Since it is silver itself, it doesn't show up well, but it is my favorite and was the one ornament I insisted be on the tree, even if all others would look nicer by contrast :-)

  5. Dear Broad,
    I've missed so many of your postings--all the days of Christmas. In the coming days, I'll try to go back and read each one just as you have read my past postings so faithfully. I'm on the mend now--I think. Just tired and so I do a lot of napping, but I so wanted to see what you were up to in your blog.

    Like you, I want my Christmas tree to represent not a theme but a life story. So it is filled with memories--gifts from friends and family. Gifts to myself. Gifts from my parents. I have all their ornaments from the time they married in 1928.

    And like you, I have several free-standing statues that I keep out all year because they warm my heart.

    I'll be back, Broad, for the other days of Christmas.


  6. More than anything, Christmas for me is memories. How they flood out of the tubs when I pull out ornaments. It seems the same for you, with your precious ornaments and decorations.

  7. Another lovely post, Broad, with the photos of your precious, memory-filled ornaments. I really love the little pewter tree and the Renaissance angel and can quite understand why you can't bear to be without them for most of the year.

    We don't have a tree at home nowadays as we always spend Christmas and New Year with our children. I miss getting all my tree decorations out each year.

  8. These ornaments will forever punctuate your days with memories. Love to you, and best wishes for the new year.

  9. I always feel sad when the tree comes down.

    we don't have a designer tree, in fact it looks as though some one has run in and thrown a box of rubbish at's decorated with all the decorations the kids made over the years.

    All the toilet roll crackers, and tinsel stars mean more to me than the most exclusive of baubles,


  10. Do you know the hand carved Christmas decorations from the former Eastern Germany? They are wonderful pieces of folk art, very traditional, handed down from father to son for generations, very kitsch, but adorable. I have boxes full of the stuff, all put away now for another year.

    Actually, I'm glad it's all over for another year; I want back to normal, no festivities for a while, thanks.

  11. We gave in and bought an artificial tree this year. We zip off to France almost as soon as the washing up is done on Christmas Day so never feel like lashing out on a real tree, just to throw it away a couple of days after we get back home.
    This year we decided we couldn't live without a Christmas tree any longer so got a really nice artificial one. And like you, we smother it with decorations acquired over many years, a lot of them having a story to tell.
    Happy New Year - I enjoy reading your blog even though I don't always comment. Jean.


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