We had a snow storm here a few day ago and while we were snowed in, it was the best time to start taking down all the Christmas decorations. I ask myself every year why does it take only a few days to take them down yet a week to put them up. Then I look at this picture showing 8 of many more bins filled with indoor & outdoor decorations. By time everything is sorted out and displayed and the bins brought back down to the basement, I can see why it takes a week to get it all in place. Then when it’s time to put it all away, up come the bins and they get filled again. I can’t believe that in less than 11 months from now, we will do it all again. Wow!
As I went about dismantling all the pretty lights and nick knacks that make our Christmas enchanting, I can’t believe how many of these decorations have been with my family for years. I could make a family museum just out of these decorations. Thus, this idea prompted me to write about the history and memories that reside in all those trimmings, especially the lovely memories many of our tree ornaments hold.
The white angel is a mystery. I can’t recall where or when she graced our home but she always has a place, particularly on top of the television cabinet. Made of paper and yarn, she is quite fragile but sturdy in her determination to always be part of our Christmases.
Santa on a white goose is our family motto. Long story short, our last name Goesel (German pronunciation Goosell; an umlaut is over the ö) means goose herder, which my husband’s family trade was long ago in Germany. So it is befitting to have Santa ride a goose. This one is delicate and proudly sits on our fireplace mantle. I bought him at an interior decorating shop many years ago. I thought it was a great find and will always preside during Christmas.
We call them “The Singing Goesel’s” and if they could sing, they would be very melodious. I found them at the Colonial Williamsburg gift shop and every year added another figure. There is Grandpa & Grandma, Uncle & Brother, Father & Mother, son & daughter and all the pets, sadly no longer with us as is a few of the family members. So it is lovely to display them on the piano at Christmas, recalling their memories and the fun we had.
Jack Frost adorns our tree, his magical spirit reigns supreme. I bought him for my daughter many years ago and here is why. When she was about 8 years old, she went with me and my father’s family in Pennsylvania to visit his mother. One night it got real cold and the next morning frosty, fern-like patterns appeared on the windows. I said to my daughter, come quickly, Jack Frost was here! At first that scared her because she didn’t know who Jack Frost was. I told her he was a spirit foretelling that wintertime will soon be here. And sure enough, it snowed that day. So every Christmas she likes to hang this ornament herself and fondly recalls that frosty day.
Santa! He is my favorite decoration. Almost four feet tall, he sports a fine white beard, bushy eyebrows and very kind eyes. His cloak and hat are velvet green, his long dress a silky green plaid with a satin ribbon tied at his waist and a large bell around his neck. He carries a basket of toys, a teddy bear and hanging from his shoulder is a cornucopia of fruit and berries. He is just beautiful and keeps a very special memory alive for me. Many years ago my mom and I went to a senior citizen home having a holiday bazaar. Many of the decorations were handmade by the merchants and they were all so very proud to show and sell them. Santa was made by very artistic couple. He built Santa from a piece of wood and he sculpted is face from clay. His wife made the clothes and together they created this Santa. My mom convinced me to buy him and we both couldn’t wait to get him home. That is one of my most cherished memories because my mom is no longer with me, but her spirit lives in my Santa. Merry Christmas mom, dad and all those who have gone, but their memories will always be with me at Christmas time and always.