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Handmade is priceless...thank goodness

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Posted: Sunday, December 19, 2010 5:35 pm

Back when I was a kid, we would go Christmas shopping and in the shopping center (this was pre-mall era) there was always a big Christmas tree.  Think mid-60s...got it?  Okay, then you know the ornaments on that tree were glass balls of red and green and blues in varius shape and sizes.  In our 1960's home, at the height of fashion, we had an 5' aluminum tree.  Not only was it sparkling in a garish sort of way, but we had a color wheel for added fun(?).  The wheel would slowly spin and the tree would turn shades of blue, red, green and then yellow.  Frankly, the yellow turned everything on the tree a very un-Christmassy brown muck color.  On our aluminum tree, my mother insisted that only blue round glass balls would hang.  And dang, that made decorating the tree such a treat...NOT!  After the aluminum tree we moved on to a real tree with tinsel.  Tinsel that needed to be placed in the most precise way that little kids would get bored with that task within minutes, leaving Mom to finish, which is the way she wanted in anyway.

I don't have any ornaments from my childhood, but Jim does.  These are ornaments that have hung on his tree since his earliest Christmas memories.  There is a red felt reindeer whose felt has seen better days.  We have 2 multi-colored glass balls from his days in Rhode Island and 3 carolers, made of felt and wire who look like they have had their fair share of eggnog.  When we decorate the tree, these hold places of honor.

On our modern day tree we have many ornaments.  Some the kids made in school, some we purchased on vacations and many that I made.  Back in the day, there were times when our little family did not have the resources to go buy the shiny and glitter of the season.  In 1984 Jim gave me a Better Homes and Gardens craft book.  Come to my house during the holidays and you will see that Jim's money was well spent.  Fashioned out of this's and that's, I have made Christmas ornaments and holiday decorations that I hope, at some point in the future, the boys will take their own walk down memory lane remembering when they were little and hanging those family treasures on the branches of their own real-live Christmas trees.

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