Friday, December 21, 2007
a few of my favorite things.
One of my favorite parts of Christmas is the tree, or more accurately, the ornaments. My family has collected ornaments forever. My mother made them every year when we were growing up - she would pick one thing and make dozens of them for friends, and set aside four of them for her children. We would also look for ornaments on family trips, so that when Christmas came we could reminisce about our travels as we decorated the tree. And every year we would watch Christmas movies and string popcorn and cranberries, with Mom threading our needles for us and everyone ending up with bloody fingers from the poking, and mashed berries and tiny bits of broken kernels everywhere.
Despite the gore, it's a tradition I can't let go, and I still try to find an ornament when I'm traveling. This year included a little wooden rooster from Key West, hand-carved by a retired fisherman; a gorgeous sterling craftsman-style diamond from the Frank Lloyd Wright house in Oak Park; delicate paper ornaments from Paris; and a gold maple leaf from the Brooklyn parks, complete with a tiny bronze seed pod and ribbon.
Theme trees are lovely and well-suited to elegant homes, I suppose, but the idea of a Christmas tree is so meaningful and personal to me - it's about family, and memories, and cherishing life. Matching colored balls and ribbon just don't do it for me.