I’m not a very sentimental person. I’ve shoved heirlooms into closets, squirreled away family photos and pitched old love letters in the recycling bin, all in the name of chaos control. Of course, afterwards I’m usually filled with two-slices-of-cake-and-three-glasses-of-champagne level regret. But that doesn’t curtail my enthusiasm for tyrannical tidying.
The exception: Christmas decorations.
Some people decorate with taste and elegance. I deck our ranch-style house halls with the reckless abandon of a preschooler turned loose with a bottle of Elmer’s and a pile of glitter. My favorite decorations are the old crusty ones. The ones with history. Memories. Significance. Some are cute. Others, battered. A few are a little weird. All hold a special place in my heart.
Here, then, is a brief overview of some of my faves.
Let’s start at the beginning, shall we? We were married January 1, and my best friend’s folks gifted us with this cute snow globe/music box the week before so that we could enjoy our first Christmas with a little bit of jolliness. Adorbs. And, of my favorites, it’s at the top of the classy scale.
Ah, yes. My husband’s ski dolls. One Christmas, my mom gave him a battery charger, which he loved. Then, for reasons unknown, insisted on exchanging it for “Erik and Eva,” ski dolls who hailed from the land of the ice and snow. I’m not sure if she wanted to share her Norse roots, thought he needed dolls who fancied winter sports, or had a credit with the Lillian Vernon company. In any case, Erik and Eva make an appearance every year, much to our delight.
We’re not quite sure what this is. An orange pickle? An overgrown, jaundiced icicle? Leavings from Santa’s’ reindeer? It’s one of the many ornaments created by our son using that medium so often favored by elementary schools: papier-mâché.
Speaking of kid creations, here’s a cutie from our daughter, which she made during her preschool years. Dawwwwww. I can still remember how proud she was when she gave it to us.
Okay, one more kid-made thing—because you can’t beat crafts that involve pasta.
Here’s an Advent wreath I made. As you can probably tell, I’m not much for crafting. After I completed it, my husband examined its squashed bows and lopsided sides and said, “Be sure to tell people you made it.” Um, I think they know.
I present our 42 Piece Lighted Victorian Village. Which is EXACTLY how we refer to it.
“Hey, can you help me set up the 42 Piece Lighted Victorian Village?”
“Oh shoot. We have a burned out bulb in the 42 Piece Lighted Victorian Village.”
“Looks like someone’s taken a nasty fall on the aluminum foil pond in the 42 Piece Lighted Victorian Village.”
It’s also important that the listener hears the capitalization in the moniker.
The main feature of our 42 Piece Lighted Victorian Village is its storytelling potential. We make up stories about the buildings and characters that inhabit this tiny hamlet. The boy perched atop a pickle barrel? He’s on break from the café, which serves only Gherkins. The man whose arm has been broken off? Tragic stocking-hanging incident. The women huddled over a songbook? Co-conspirators in the crime of the century. Our Victorian village is a real hot spot.
This is perhaps my favorite Christmas item, although it’s actually two items and fits under the category of “apparel” rather than “décor.” I gave these Christmas Vacation sweatshirts to our dear friends (and two of our favorite people on the planet), Ed and Martín a couple of years ago. It’s one of our favorite, most quoted movies—one we’ve seen together time and again—and these shirts give me much joy. Just like Ed and Martín. ❤
How about you? Do you have holiday décor, ornaments or bric-a-brac that hold special meaning? Please share!