This time of year for us signals calm, peaceful gatherings of food, family and friends. It’s no longer about gift giving. (I don’t shop Black Friday, Cyber Monday or any of that nonsense). There’s nothing we need or want that can be purchased at a store. It’s more about being “present” with each other.
When the kids were small, it was a different story. It was about presents under the tree, anticipation of Santa coming while they were fast asleep. Rightly so. I loved seeing the looks on their faces on Christmas morning. Especially the year they each got a new bike. So much fun!
With my parents being gone and the kids grown, my perspective of the holidays has changed over time.
My Mom loved Christmas. It was definitely her favorite holiday. I always got a thrill out of helping her decorate, baking with her, and reminiscing about Christmases with my grandparents.
We laughed a lot. We sometimes cried, missing those times of absolute joy. We would turn up the music loud and dance around the kitchen together when Jingle Bell Rock played.
One year I accidentally dropped a whole pan of cookies on the floor. Both of us looked at each other with wide eyes and then laughed hysterically. No stress; just fun.
Now I’m the matriarch of our motley crew (makes me feel old … ha)!
The first picture consists of things that are special to me.
The wreath above the fireplace is one that my Mom had for years and the last one she hung when she had to move to assisted living.
The brass candlesticks were made by my uncle, who honed them from mortar shells found during the war. How he managed to get them home from Germany, no one knows. He never told anyone … haha! They’re very heavy!
Mr. and Mrs. Claus shelf sitters were given to me as a gift several years ago. I just love them!
The velvet Christmas stockings were purchased at a craft fair when we lived in California. I stuffed good memories in them.
And last, but by no means least, the Merry Christmas hearth rug was made by yours truly for my grandmother the year she had to be in a nursing home during the holidays. I wanted her to have something that would cheer her up. It did. Mission accomplished.
The next image is a tree made completely from jewelry items that belonged to my grandmother, my mother, myself and my daughter. My favorite is the cameo toward the top that my grandfather gave my grandmother when she was 16, the year they met. They were married for 55 years. Wow!
This was quite a project for me. Selecting the pieces and placing them strategically to form a tree took a while, I must admit. But once that was done, gluing them on was pretty easy. I used a special glue and once completed, put this into a glass shadow box. There are still a few holes to fill in with some pearl head pins, but that’s easy..
It now hangs on the wall in the family room and each time I see it, I feel all the memories attached to each piece. My daughter suggested that I list each piece on the back and its history. I think I’ll do that. When I’m gone, this will be passed down to her. She wants it now. Ha!
Not yet, dear daughter 💓
Be good to yourself and each other. Namaste’