Tuesday, 3 December 2013

A Box Of Happy Days

A box of Christmas pasts
Chris is working away so tonight I will busy myself with the yearly tradition of untangling the Christmas decorations from out of their box . I really think, that out of everything that we collect....the flotsam and jetsam of the material " necessitates " that accumulate when you share your life with another person , that Christmas decorations can be the most poignant .
Like photographs , these little collections of plastic and glass chronicle a lifetime. They remind you of happy days, of people lost, of friends loved and of nostalgias shared.
The fact that you get to " enjoy" them in only a few weeks of the year, makes them, just that little
more special I think.....
I grew up in a household that wasn't a very happy one. However at Christmas things could be very different as my mother loved everything about the season and so worked very hard indeed to make everything special and childlike.
The tradition of "sorting out the decs" remind me of those happier days
I suspect, I am not alone in this.


42 comments:

  1. Definitely not alone. And there are some decidedly tacky and tatty ornaments in my pile which make my eyes leak.

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  2. You are not alone in that, John.

    Christmas in the Black Forest was as chocolate boxy as you could get!

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  3. I feel exactly the same about our Christmas decorations...love going through them and thinking about the people who touched them over the years...
    We still have the star my mum had on her tree as a child.....looks like a large dead spider now but it still has a spot on the tree!!!!

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  4. You are so right John. Ornaments carry so many special memories with them...they've seen so many good times and bad. I've never thought of them that way.

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    1. They are a barometer for our lives me thinks

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  5. I completely agree and, like you, the household was NOT happy. Those decorations bring back the one time of happiness with the build up to Christmas. The day itself was never that great though! xx

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    1. At least you could make your own Christmases when you grew up

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  6. It is such a sentimental time of the year. Old ornaments, old friends, and memories of Christmas' past make the heart swell.

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  7. I don't have the task of 'sorting' because I have such good memories associated with them that I put each one away carefully wrapped in seasonal tissue paper. But that means each one emerges as a little germ of memory when I get round to putting them up the following year.

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  8. I gave loads of decorations away in September. bah hum bug? Not at all. We had too much stuff, we had to purge, OH held the bag open and I put them in. Each one emotional, but they have gone to new homes. Last year we just had a new tree that looks so real that you cant get any of the decorations on it as the needles are like a bottle bush. I gave up. Just lights and the star.

    This year I have bought real candles and little holders. They wont be lit but will look lovely hopefully.

    Tinsel puts my teeth on edge I cant touch it

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    1. Funny how the preparation is just as important as the result

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  9. We have that sweet little hedgehog too. I like your bluebird! :). Our tree goes up this weekend; we traditionally go out searching for it on my birthday and it gets decorated that weekend....something new to me since I married Will because my parents always pulled that plastic tree out of storage the week before Christmas and I remember the hellacious arguments over putting the bloody lights on....put me off it a bit. It also makes having a December birthday more fun.

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  10. I'm afraid I'm not really feeling very Christmassy - far from it in fact and was really thinking of not bothering this year. Maybe when it is nearly here I will feel differently. We'll see.

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  11. Love your Hedgehog! Mine is similar. My favorites are the ones my children made in school many years ago.

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  12. My favourites are the homemade ones. Crocheted and starched snowflakes from my dear sister, reindeers made from clothes pegs and pinecones with glitter from my children and one my mother made from her craft classes. Now the children are grown with kids of their own and I have made them all stitched stockings to hang for Santa to fill.

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  13. For me, a few simple decorations are enough to mark Christmas. I don't understand people who go completely over the top with every room festooned. And for me, the decorations aren't as poignant as the delicious Christmas Day food that Jenny always makes.

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  14. I have given each of my granddaughters an ornament a year since they were born. They are both nearly 30 now and get out the ornaments each year and remember where they were that year (they were military brats) and things like that. My great-granddaughter just received her 3rd ornament... Yes... those ornaments.. no matter what shape or condition they're in are still precious!

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    1. I do the same with my mum in law...

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  15. My 'real' box of Christmas decorations is in a loft somewhere in Brighton. The box is falling to bits (but I wouldn't change it), and all the decorations are like old friends that you meet up with once a year.

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  16. I have some ornaments from when I was a little girl and I even have some of mom's, she passed away in 1998, and they always make me smile.

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  17. Up to my mid-20s I was always the one in the family (7 of us) who could be depended on for doing the decorations, which I was more than happy to do, really going to town with all that glittery tinsel, coloured balls, lametta and fairy lights on the (real) tree, and crepe-paper bunting looped across the ceiling (a different colour scheme every year, but always red and green predominating) - and a Bethlehem scene in the living room corner, complete with little animals and cotton-wool snow, and artificial miniature lighting. Oh, those days of happy innocence - surely the most evocative time of the year by far for childhood memories, though in your case, J.G., some of your memories might not be so pleasant.. But you've brought all the good bits flooding back to me. (Sigh!)

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  18. No...not alone. This year I pulled out all the vintage deco's...stuff that hung on my dads tree when he was little, from when I was a child and from the first years of our marriage, even some stuff from the hubs childhood and from his aunties Christmas's. It's a special combination. Don't forget to post a photo of your tree John.

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  19. No, not alone. I do like looking at the ones that my children made in school. Though they have no names, I remember each one and the sparkle in those young eyes as they presented their handmade gift to me.

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  20. Lovely post today. The tiny tree at the top of the photo is darling.

    I will be picking up my tree after getting my super late flu shot this week.
    My gift every year was our tree and especially when the children came home with ornaments made at school.
    The fire destroyed all of the precious little decorations, plus the my Mum would send every year.
    When the children where still at home I started all over again.
    Now I only put up a small tree with origami birds daughter made 12 years ago. Very simple but I love it.

    Please take a photo so we can see when done.
    John I will post a photo of the lights but they are not the over the top some people do.

    cheers, parsnip

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  21. Heartwarming post on a cold day. Last year I sat and decorated a proper size tree with my collection of ornaments for the 1st time in 3 years since I cleared off travelling. I can remember where every one came from. Some were my Mum's and we have rather a lot of 'doggy' decorations as I insisted on buying every pooch a new ornament every xmas. The mish mash of styles doesn't bother me, it's the memories that count

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    1. I tend to buy my mother in law, and two old friends, Christmas decorations every year.....it's a new tradition

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  22. You are not alone in this by any means John. We all collect memorabilia of our past lives and bringing them out touches on memories sad and happy. Christmas just makes them all the more poignant I think.

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  23. I agree. My family always made a big deal about getting out the Christmas ornaments and oohing and ahhing over the ones we all liked the most. It's something I've definitely brought with me into my relationship. It's an event. :)

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    1. It's also underlines a tradition..and we all need traditions

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  24. I have so enjoyed reading this, and everyone's comments. And I love Christmas so much, we have two! The second we call 'Aftermas' and it's held on the Saturday or Sunday closest to the 25th of January. We invite all our friends as well as family. Whoever arrives, we have a very merry time in the garden all day under the umbrellas!

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  25. You're definitely not alone. When we down-sized a few years ago (from 10 Rubbermaid Christmas tubs down to 2), we kept the ornaments and decorations that melted our hearts a little with the memories.

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  26. I join you in this warm fuzzy. When I hold the ornaments made by small hands, it takes me to that time.

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  27. Unhappy household when I was a kid too, but, unfortunately Christmas just seemed to make things worse. My dad actually walked out for good on Christmas Day! However, we have built and created our own little family and lovely, gentle Christmases. We love the box (25 years old now) of tree and other decorations we have acquired and made over the years. They all have special memories and no matter how tacky and ancient they are, they still go on display. They're like old friends and we love opening that box every year.

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    1. Seems like many of us here, we're brought up in similar ways..... Baby bloomer blues?

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    2. Damm automatic spell check
      That should read BOOMER

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    3. Now you mention it, I wonder how much of it was due to the war and our parents' experiences of it?.....

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  28. I usually bought an ornament when we went on a vacay, so I have those to remind me of trips. My mother made a number of my ornaments, so even though she was rather bitchy, I love those decorations that show she had a good side. I also have special ornaments I bought for my children. They make me happiest of all.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. We do too Janie
      We have various bits from New York....including a snow globe
      Which looks fab
      http://disasterfilm.blogspot.co.uk/2012/12/christmas-moments.html#comment-form

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  29. I was thinking something similar about our Christmas decorations, and most especially ornaments for the tree. Earlier this year i decided i should go through them all when we're decorating this year and cull the ones we don't want or won't use. Some are fallling apart, yet i can't bear to throw them away. They greet me like dear old friends.

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  30. I like your blue birds. I love my Christmas decorations; they are like old friends.
    When my parents separated, my father kept the Christmas decorations ( as he remained in the family home ) Long gone now - all of them Dad & decs so sad.; I'd love to see them again.
    Dad ( in military fashion ) would silver dip the baubles, put the lights on the tree, put the bright fabric round the tree then say, " Come on kids deck the tree ! "
    At least I had the memories if not the decs.
    The first year after my parents split, mum & I chose new decorations together.

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  31. I love Christmas tree decorations, and bought several each year that we have been married. (39 years 14th December) Now have so many, plus all the ones the children and now grand children have made I think I will need a tree the size of the Trafalger Square one! I loved Christmas when I was growing up, the late afternoon last minute shopping coming home on the bus in the dark. Mum making lists thinking she would forget some thing, she never did. The Christmas cake for some reason was always iced on Christmas Eve, just a snow scene with a church and two snow babies on a toboggan. A friend of Dads would supply "the bird" and a ham joint, which Dad would go and collect and carry home on his bicycle, they were happy times for us.

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  32. Christmas decs make all the difference in the world...putting a smile on everyone's faces.....

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