Monday, December 18, 2006

December 18 -- Christmas Heirlooms


I was extremely fortunate to have some special Christmas things handed
down to me. Oh, they weren’t big, expensive, valuable items. Some
would probably call them “trinkets” or even “junk”. But to me they are
very precious -- part of my heritage.

Many years ago my great-aunt gave me some old glass ornaments that
had belonged to her and her late husband. Even though the ornaments are
faded now and some are chipped, I continue to put them on the tree each
year, along with some antique felt snowmen and elves. There were also
some of those heavy foil reflectors for use with the old-time Christmas lights. I still use the reflectors even though our modern lights are much smaller and they have to be put on just so to make them fit.

The same great-aunt also gave me some wonderful vintage Christmas fabric and a box full of Christmas candles. There were carolers and a lamp post, angels, and other things. I always loved seeing such candles around when I was a child, but it’s hard to imagine actually lighting one of them. (Incidentally, the Vermont Country Store catalogs this year are featuring such candles, so they’re still available if you know where to look.)

My grandmother was a real lover of Christmas, and she kept a good stock of whatever was needed to make the holiday special. She gave me a whole box once of things she was getting rid of -- mostly paper goods -- and in it were some real treasures. I had always marveled that there were actually such things as paper doilies done in Christmas prints. Gram had lots of them -- with holly, poinsettias, and so on. I felt extremely fortunate to find some of those -- several different sizes and prints -- in that box, and for years I used them very sparingly. In the past few years I have found some lovely Christmas paper doilies in the dollar stores and at Target, so they’re still out there.

Gram also gave me a box full of wrapping paper, ribbon, and tags. I have had a wonderful time using these things over the years. I still have some of the ribbon and tags, and included some of the tags and a few snippets of ribbon in the Christmas memory books I’ve made for family members.

What about you? What are your Christmas heirlooms? If you don’t have any, you might like to consider making some special things to hand down to your family.

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