Tuesday, January 6, 2009

A Few of My Favorite Christmas Things

Because I've decided that the Christmas season kind of flew past me this year, I'm going to do some holiday-themed blogs that I had wanted to write, some of which I even started, before Christmas, and for some reason, never finished.

When I was getting out my decorations, all the way back on the weekend after Thanksgiving, I planned to blog about some of them--the tacky and the great--and why I love them so. Each one of the decorations brings back a great memory and I love being reminded of them each year.

These little ladies are from Germany. My Mom has an entire band of angels playing different instruments. Some she bought when she and my Dad lived in Germany. Others were sent to her over the years from a family friend, Frau Weickert. Then Frau Weickert sent a few angels to me and my sisters. I love them and I think of her and also of my Mom's "band," which I used to love to stare at as a kid. I think I need to go to Germany to complete my set, don't you?

A teaching friend of my Mom's is very crafty and my Mom used to give us some of the stuff for Christmas each year. I love this guy. So simple. A piece of painted wood, a nail and a little wreath. Not that I could make it or anything, but I admire people who can. The date on it is 1988.

Another crafty item I love by Mom's friend. No date on it, but it's late 80s, early 90s, because I had it in my apartment in grad school. It was one of my first Christmas decorations (along with Santa above).

Now here's where some family holiday strife occurs. I love this angel--also made by Mom's friend. Yes, she's a mop. But isn't that so creative? She's a decoration, and in a pinch, if mulled wine gets spilled at a Christmas party, I can yank her down and clean up. Alas, Eamonn is not so enamoured of Mop Angel. In fact, he can't stand her. And yet every year, she appears. Angels are like that.

Mary's tree. Eamonn's Aunty Mary, who died in 2006, made this for us. Mary was famous for her projects. When you heard through the grapevine you were going to be the recipient of one of Mary's ceramics or sewing projects, you were sometimes a little apprehensive. The vest. That's all I'm going to say. But I love this tree. It reminds me of one we had growing up. I think of Mary every year when I pull it out. For the last few years, I thought it was broken because the lighbulb didn't light. I was sad, but I kept getting it out anyway. This year, Declan pointed out to me that I was plugging it into a surge strip that wasn't turned on. Christmas miracle! It works now.

This snowman was a new acquisition last year. I bought him at Pier One with a gift card Erin gave me as a housewarming gift (two years ago--I'm a little slow). He was filled with the BEST, THE BEST white hot chocolate mix. I was practically eating it straight from the snowman as dry powder. So this year I set him out, empty, and wished he was full again.

For several years I collected snowmen and Santas. My family showered me with snowmen and Santas of every imaginable type. Here they are. Some are kind of bizarre. But I love them.

The Trones gave this to us as a wedding shower gift on December 15, 1996. I wrote it on the box so I wouldn't forget when I got it. Trones, I think of you every year when I decorate!

Melikelikimaka! Bought this on our honeymoon in Hawaii. And when Bing Crosby sings that song, it just makes me smile.

I think this is an antique. It was from our box of Christmas decorations at my Mom's house. So it must be really, really old. Just kidding Mom. Truly, though, I think it's old. It feels really fragile. As a result, I'm too paranoid to even hang it on the tree because I don't want to ever have to tell my sisters, "Yeah, remember that cool old ornament? I smashed it." So it sits on shelf next to the tree. And I hyperventilate when one of the boys goes near it.

Love this. Bought it in Germany when I lived in Luxembourg during the summer of '93. I bought so much stuff--and may I remind you Marci, so did you--that I could barely get it home. I'm glad I lugged this along. I also have a really cool little incense burner that's a Santa. Smoke comes out his mouth. Eeek! A smoking Santa? I guess in the 'Twas the Night Before Christmas he does have the stump of a pipe held tight in his teeth and the smoke encircled his head like a wreath. Anyway, I've never burned it because I'm afraid I'll set the house on fire. Or that someone will think I'm smoking pot. Or the Christmas tree.

Ahhhh, my bargain one year. I had admired this in Pottery Barn years ago, but it was crazy expensive. After Christmas it went way on sale and I tracked it down at an outlet store. Love this. Sometimes I leave it out until April just to admire it.

This candle smells so good that I hardly burn it because I don't ever want it to go away. I bought it at my cousins' Aunt Linda's shop one year. She has this cool antique store in southeastern Ohio? Karen, help me out here. Anyway, she had a display with this candle set up just like this and I saw it and just bought the whole thing. I'm like that--no creativity of my own. I have to copy someone else.

On the top shelf here you see my shrine to Andy Williams. It has an Andy LP, the autographed letter Andy signed for me, and a picture of my Dad and Andy. One day I hope to add a picture of Andy with me. But I'd better hurry. He's getting old.

This Santa bicycle was on the cake table at our wedding. Some co-workers found it and bought it in honor of Eamonn's cycling career (and the fact that we got married four days before Christmas).

Good grief. I could go on. But I'll stop now.


Mom on the Run said...

I have a snowman shelf as well. I let my 5 yo set up the snowmen as most are nonbreakable. The silver Xmas tree on your table is lovely. I love after Xmas sales. Of course I tend to shop at WalMart, but at least I can stock up on teacher gifts. My kids were amamzed when I pulled out 10 Xmas pillows that I had purchased for $2 each!

Over at www.5minutesformom.com you can post your Xmas-related posts with a link.

By the way, how are things going with Finn's new teacher?

jean said...

We (your mom, really) looked at those little angels w/the green polka-dot wings when we were in Germany, but I don't think she bought any - the exchange rate was pretty bad, you know. Another trip is definitely in order to complete your set - maybe we should go there instead of Chicago?!

And I was wondering when Andy Williams was going to show up - he was the first "thing" I thought of when I read the title of your post!

Kristie said...

Yes, the shrine to Andy Williams is definitely the best!

Kristie said...
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Leeann said...

Love all your Christmas decorations! They are sentimental and quirky... not unlike someone we know!

Jane Snell Copes said...

Very cool! Except for the candle in the canning jar--that borders on canning-jar-blasphemy! Hurry up and burn the candle so you can return the jar to its proper use!

I have some little angels with instruments, but they are pink and yellow and not sitting on benches. There certainly lots of wonderful German ornaments, aren't there? Happy memories! Jane