Saturday, January 7, 2012

Ornamant stories

I was packing away Christmas decorations today.

I stopped.

The kids leave home and the decorations come down... and there are still four more months of winter. I seriously cannot even think about this right now.

So, I will tell you a story.

Every year, we always gave each of our children a Christmas ornament on (or around) December 1, to commemorate the onset of the Advent season. We did this because the first year Shawn and I were married, poor college students that we were, we had only two little ornaments in our possession. We bought an itsy-bitsy fake tree at Menard's for about $2.99 and hung our two ornaments on it.

The next year at Christmastime, I met a friend who had a beautiful tree filled with lovely ornaments. She also was a young wife, so I asked her how she came to own so many nice Christmas decorations so early in life. "Oh," she told me, "my mom always gave me an ornament every year until I had quite a collection." Instantly, I decided to copy the tradition.

In 1993, Shannon was four, David was two-and-a-half, and Lulubelle was a wee babe of fourteen months. That year I bought these three ornaments for them:

Not perhaps the most stunningly gorgeous ornaments, but they
were durable, and at that point, durability was important.

The white one was Shannon's, the brown one David's, and we gave the black and white one to Baby Laura. Even at the tender age of two-and-a-half, David was always figuring things out. He studied the ornaments carefully and lined them up on the sofa with his chubby little hands. "Look Mommy," he told me, "Shannon got a polar bear... and I got a honey bear... and Baby Laura got a SKUNK!"

It's a memory that still makes me chuckle when the ornaments come out... even eighteen years later.

1999 must have been a crazy year. I bought these ornaments for Laura and Jonathan, but I forgot which one I had bought for whom when it came time to pass them out.

I bought the candy cane one for Jonathan, because J (the candy cane shape) is for Jonathan. I bought the clothespin one for Laura because she was always such a good little helper.

But when it came time to pass them out, I had a mental block, and I could not remember whose was whose, or why. I looked them over very carefully and noticed that this one had a little yellow duck on it:

Laura's favorite color was yellow, and at the time she had a rubber duck collection, so I figured I must have bought that one for her.

Jonathan is my biggest adventure thrill seeker, so a sledding squirrel is not entirely inappropriate for him.

Even though I gave Jonathan's ornament to Laura and Laura's to Jon, in the end I guess it's all good.

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