Saturday, December 16, 2006

Ornamental Memories


I’m having a hard time catching the Christmas spirit this year. I’m just going through the motions. My blogfriend, kb, put up a funny timetable of the stages of Christmas. The pace of the season makes it hard to just sit back and relax.

The one Christmas ritual that I find most comforting is to just sit in the dark and watch the lights blink on the Christmas tree. It just lets the tension of the day ooze away. Last year I wrote a post where I made a tree out of pictures of our ornaments. Most of the ornaments are souvenirs from our vacations. Since then we took our marathon cross-country round trip and added a few ornaments to the tree.

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The St. Louis Arch was a blast. That was also where we saw the Budweiser Clydesdales including one that was very glad to see us.

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At the Grand Canyon, there is a building done in the architectural style of the local Native Americans called the Hopi House. Inside they sell various crafts and souvenirs from local Indian. The condors like to hang out right outside as well.

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This Alamo ornament is actually prettier than the real thing. After all, it was only a quirk of history that turned this particular mission into a national icon rather than one of the other ones in the San Antonio area.

Perhaps that is part of what I find so relaxing about watching Christmas tree lights. Knowing that there are so many memories hanging from the branches.

Blatant Comment Whoring™: What memories do you have on your tree?

17 comments:

utenzi said...

Michele sent me over, Yellojkt.

I have no tree so that's an easy question to answer: none.

I've been to all three of the locations you named there. I really liked San Antonio a lot but it's a wee hot in summer. Like you said, the actual Alamo is so small and nondescript that it's quite disconcerting. I was quite surprised when I saw it the first time back around 1980. I like the steamship ornament from St Louis the best of your 3 pictures. It's very dynamic looking.

Anonymous said...

It'd be funny to put an ornament of a bike underneath that Alamo ornament.

All my tree memories are of my mom and I digging up the ratty little fake trees we've owned through the years out of the attic.

She's gone now. I'm building new memories now.

Anonymous said...

When I was young, I used to make ornaments for our family tree. Looking back, they were pretty hideous, but it's probably what I remember most about our tree growing up.

Well, that and my Star Trek "Enterprise" ornament! It doesn't get much geekier than that.

Jennifer said...

I was browsing Michele's site today and thought I'd come visit ya :) I hear you on watching the lights...it's so relaxing to just sit quietly sometimes, and they're so pretty, aren't they?
Have a Merry Christmas!! :)

yellojkt said...

dave2,

I haven't put up my Defiant blinking ornament in a few years. I should.

Paste said...

I have to say no memories at all, we tend to make it just look Christmasy each year.
Here from Michele's.

kristal said...

Just about all of our ornaments are either ones I made as a child or ones my children have made. There is nothing better than a Christmas tree full of memories!

Michele sent me.

Karen said...

Our modern lives are flooded with light--we leave all the lights on in our houses all the time, even in the rooms we aren't using, don't we? It staves off the darkness but it doesn't really make us happy. What makes us happy is turning out the lights and looking at candlelight or firelight or Christmas lights (which are modern replacements for candles, aren't they). Christmas lights also look something like stars--the way stars used to look, before our lives were overtaken with light pollution.

I'm not generally big on tradition--I'd rather do things a different way every time. But the one tradition I look forward to at Christmas is the Christmas Eve service that ends with all the lights out and everyone holding candles, singing Silent Night. That is very beautiful.

Impetua said...

My partner's sister lives across the street from us. The other day she was telling us how she was realizing how many traditions she's established, to the point that they are overwhelming. We have a few but mostly we just want to enjoy the lights, the decorations, each other's company.

Our tree is jampacked with ornamentation, crammed with memories. I have a green rhinoceros ornament that I bought at an after-Christmas sale when I was no older than maybe 16, so, ahem, that's been a while... others were given to each of us by our moms, or friends, or we bought them on trips (including some great ones I got in Nome, at a Russian import shop).

We almost lost a whole box of memories when the roof leaked; I had just that year started putting the Christms decor in big plastic snap-lid containers, and the leak was squarely over the container holding the bulk of the ornaments.

Anonymous said...

I think I mentioned this last year when you did your Xmas post, but I have a dated ornament for every year since 1990 - my first Christmas on my own. It's cool to look at them every year as they are put on the tree and remember what I was doing that year as some of them are very specific - "Our New Home" or "Baby's First Christmas".

We have the Christmas tree lights on now, as a matter of fact, even though it's 7 am.

Claude said...

Geez...I have "lost custody" of so many Christmas ornaments over the years that I basically started over about two years ago. A huge pity, that.

This year is going to be my first in Baltimore—I've gone to Florida to be with my family every other year-so I have to tag along with GF's traditions.

Thumper said...

There's nothing on our tree this year except lights. Because we're lazy. Maybe that will be a memory in itself: 2006, the year the Wabbit family was just too lazy to decorate the tree...

Harmonica Man said...

Leave it to you to put a link to a horse c*ck in a Christmas post!

yellojkt said...

h-man,
I didn't think anybody actually clicked the links anymore. Thanks for restoring my faith.

Library Cat said...

My husband started our annual ornament tradition in 1997 with a heart shaped "Our First Christmas Together" and followed it up with an engagement ring. Looking back I am still surprised at the thoughtfulness he showed as he is not by nature a romantic man. We have added a couple of dated ornaments each year. This year is the first since the kids were babies that we have put the breakable ornaments on the tree. The kids are now six and seven and I sorta trust them even though their lightsabers have gotten periously close to the tree a few times. Those are beautiful ornaments, I'm so jealous.

lisa said...

We have mostly animal ornaments. When we're traveling, I like to look for some of the tree creatures that I've never seen in real life. Moose and Polar Bear for example.

Bob said...

In 1975, when I was 12, my mother bought a dainty little gold ornament at the mall and had it inscribed with the date. She gave that ornament to me at Christmas, along with a handwritten note which read as follows:

In the years to come
when you trim your tree,
it isn't much but you'll think of me.


And she was right, I do think of her every time I put that ornament on the tree. This year I plan to have my three-and-a-half year old put it on the tree while telling him about the grandmother that would've loved him more than life itself.