Earlier this week I dragged myself off of my death bed and attempted to decorate the tree. We were in definite need of a little Christmas at our house and there was no time like the present.
Our tree is not one of those department store, decorator type trees. Not by a long shot. Look up "traditional Christmas tree" in Wikapedia and I'm certain you will find a picture of our tree. It is covered from head to toe with ornaments old and new, some hand made by artisans, others crafted by little boy hands some 25 years ago. It is the sum total of 37 Christmases in the Patton household.
Lets take a tour.
First up is this little beauty. It spent many years on our tree when I was a child and now holds a place of honor on our tree. At one time there was a small, faded red bulb that was a hold-over from my Mother's tree when she was a little girl. Unfortunately it didn't survive the Great Tree Topple of 05. (Not much survives a long fall to a tile floor.)
You've Got Mail. The little red mailbox was a gift from one of Chris' kindergarten classmate's grandmothers. (Got that?) Pennies, small toys and candy would often appear in its depths from year to year.
The Kissing Clauses was one of our very first non hand-me-down ornaments. It is circa 1974 and was received at a hospital Christmas Party long ago when I still wore white to work every day. I remember driving home from the party in a snow storm excited to have a sparkling new ornament to adorn the tree.
Skiing Santa has always been one of Chris' favorites. He lost interest in the whole decorating the tree scene at a very young age, but he always wanted to hang Skiing Santa. I'm not certain where it came from. I think maybe it was a cheap grab purchase at Kraynaks in Sharon, PA. There are faint memories of cellophane coverings. Skiing Santa is proof that one doesn't have to the most expensive item on the shelf in order to become a beloved keepsake.
War Eagle and Merry Christmas from AU. Aubie is always hanging around someplace. We used to have a Lambuth University ornament, after all we are equal opportunity supporters. We donated our hard earned cash to both universities. But sadly the Lambuth Eagle met it's demise during the Great Tree Topple too.
A gift from a friend.
Even our dogs have their own ornaments. Rosco is no longer with us. Well technically he is, but I don't think you really want to know about all that. Not at Christmas. Let's just say when this little guy makes its way to an empty branch I always smile as I think of Rossy and his wonderfully unique personality.
In the early 1980s in Huntsville, Alabama we had a very talented neighbor. Debi crafted her own ornaments every year and we were always on the receiving end of her talent and generosity.
The Hugging Bears is one of my favorites. I don't remember where or when I purchased it. I do remember thinking it was a gentle reminder of the best things in life.
And then there are the gifts of love. Ornaments made in pre-school and cub scouts, Sunday school and around the kitchen table. Ornaments made by little boy hands. Ornaments that can only be cherished by a mother. One day I think I'll pack up a box of these little gems and send them on to the boys. I can hear their wives now..."what was your mother thinking!"
And who on Crestview Drive wore ole #82? Go Pats. Win at least one this season!!
A memento from our trip to Zion National Park.
Oh look, it's Gabers! Not. It's his Daddy at the ripe old age of 5.
We used to have a tree full of these little bells. The wife of one of our former pastors made these for all of the children in the church every year for Christmas...let's see 10 years x 2 children....I'm pretty sure more than one of these bit the dust in the Great Tree Topple. But don't worry there are more in the box.
Every household has their own special tree topper. There are stars, angels, enormous bows and many other sparkling creations. We used to have a star. It wasn't very pretty. It was cheap and in 1973 cheap was priority one. One year it failed to light up. I was excited that we would finally be getting a beautiful new tree topper. That day Chris came home from school proudly unveiling the project he had made in art class, a wall-paper angel. When D arrived home from work I showed him the now defunct star and he didn't hesitate for one instant. He informed us all that we didn't need to go shopping because we had an angel. He quickly scooped up Chris' hand-made wall-paper creation with the nylon stocking facing and placed it high on the tree. Today her halo is a little crooked, her robe torn here and there and she is handled very carefully. But she still resides in her place of honor.