Wednesday, 12 December 2012

everybody knows a turkey and some mistletoe to make the season bright.

December 12th: What brightens this season for you? Do you have favourite decorations that bring back memories? What ornament would symbolize this year?

I thought about these questions after reading Shauna's comment in yesterday's post. She talked about how her tree decorations have meaning. And that she keeps a special book where she writes down the special ornament that is given or received each year. She also talked about how her mother gives an ornament to her grandchildren, along with some memories that she has of that child over the past year. She wrote, "Our tree is full of memories and stories."

I love this. I started thinking about what ornament I would give to my kids this year to symbolize this year. I decided on a little house to symbolize moving to a new home. That was a big event in our year.

I enjoy seeing other people's Christmas trees - because there are not two alike. Each one symbolizes that family in some way. I was at a friend's house on the weekend, and she told me the origins of some of her ornaments - some were from students of hers, and there was a beautiful nest with 2 birds that was a gift from her husband when they were dating. I thought this was so sweet - to remember this each year as she decorates and gazes at her tree.

Here are some ornaments over the years that bring back memories:

a wreath, made by my grandma (I love the shiny fabrics the most)
tin moon ornament Derek and I bought on a trip to Guatemala
mouse is a childhood ornament (loved those mice!),
and Pinocchio is from our family's time in Europe 2 years ago
from a visit to the Six Nations reserve
the Laotian nativity my husband and I bought 8 years ago, wondering if our children
would be messed up talking about the elephant in the manger and the baby in the hanging basket
a wallhanging my mom made - the candle is made from fabric from a wedding dress of mine
(the after-wedding party dress, not the white one)


  1. I love this post!

    When Gilles and I first got married, all we had were my childhood ornaments that my mom passed on to me when I moved out, and some beautiful Mennonite ornaments that a certain someone gave us for our wedding ;-) I didn't want to go out and buy ornaments just for the sake of filling the tree, I wanted them to have meaning, just like they did on the tree I decorated as a child. So we strung popcorn and hung Polaroid snapshots of all the visitors we had at the house over the holiday season. It was a great tree! Now, over 12 years and 3 children later, our tree is full of beautiful ornaments that make me smile (or miss my friends and family!) as I hang them. Some of my favourites include the angel for the top of the tree made out of an old maple sap collecting bucket that my aunt gave us. The little felt mice sleeping in walnut beds my maternal grandmother made. The star of noodles Anouck made in preschool, and the Danish straw ornaments that remind me of my paternal grandparents. I could go on and on!
    Our creche is a traditional Provencal creche of Santons. The creche is a recreation of a village in Provence, with the stone "borie" sheepfold, shepherds, ladies collecting lavender, bakers carrying baguettes, etc. and the "fou ravi" (the crazy villager who has "seen the light"). They are handmade of clay and painted by santon-makers, who each have their own style. We buy one santon from the same craftsman each year. People collect moss and leaves to decorate the villages, make rivers out of tinfoil, etc. One man in our village has an entire room devoted to his creche and the kindergarten class makes a trip to his house each year to see them. It really is amazing.

    1. I'd love to see your creche, Mara - and the other man's "village" who lives in your village. Bucket list must-do: spend a Christmas with Mara in Provence sometime.

      Love hearing about your other meaningful ornaments too. And that "fou ravi" has got me thinking...