Friday, May 25, 2007

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 they 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. You can see at least one reflector, a blue one, in the photo above.

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.

As I've said before, 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 in Target, so they're still out there. The above photo shows a scan of one of my grandmother's paper doilies.

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 in the memory books I made for my family.
Here's a Christmas tag from Gram.

She also gave me a few of the old hard plastic ornaments which we kids used to admire so much.

These ornaments seemed to usually be hung on the tree with red satin ribbons. Ever since then, red satin ribbon has just said "Christmas" to me. I always assumed it was out of my price range, but in recent years I've found it in mail order catalogs and used it to my heart's content.

By way of Mr. T's grandfather and also from a former neighbor of his, I came into the possession of many old Christmas cards from the 1930‚s and 40‚s. Many of these had had the signatures cut out, so the cards are not particularly valuable, but they are beautiful, nostalgic images. I love to display these at holiday time; it gives a connection to the past and also reminds me of the many cards Gram would have taped up everywhere at Christmas. Some of them I display under the glass of a glass-topped desk, but when I needed a way to display more I made a red and green ribbon board out of fabric, ribbon, and foam core.

This holds and displays these treasures beautifully in the front hallway.

So those are some of my Christmas heirlooms. What Christmas heirlooms do you have?

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