Sunday, December 13, 2009

Christmas Favorites

This blog is for Jackie, who moved me to share some of my favorite decorations. After my last post containing pictures and instructions for my favorite Christmas activity (at Thanksgiving) I want to share some pics of the first decoration that ALWAYS goes before others, usually on Thanksgiving day.
The nativiy scene below was created and constructed by my children; other family member, friends and my students who became enamored of this event have contributed some of the elements rounding out the scene.
There is money which my friend Carol brought back from Israel in the forground along with tiny wrapped gifts. The covered basket was sent to me while serving in China in 2001. It contains tiny dolls. The 'babe' in the basket is a doll that came attached to a larger doll we bought for my daughter when we had our famous $5.00 Christmas. That was all the money we had for each child in 1987. I bought the doll with this tiny dolly attached to her wrist, made clothing from scraps in an old trunk and bought a $.25 suitcase at a yard sale that I lined with white brocade from the trunk too. Anyway, we used this dolly that first Christmas in the state of Misery to enhance the nativity creation. Students have bought and given me stone elephants, cows, angels, camels, and cats to place around the scene too. This is my favorite decoration because of the fond memories of my children and their childhood, along with the fact that it represents the Reason for the season.

Above you can see one of my husband's favorite tree decorations, made by his daughter when she was a child, a popcycle sled with her name onit. I was out of town when he got the tree, and when I returned he'd not only put it up, but had decorated it...something I've never experienced before. It was somewhat sad not to have participated, but he found great joy in doing it by himself.

Another favorite decoration of mine is this cloisonne` ornament I bought at the factory in Bejing when I 'missioned' in China for the first time in the summer of 2000.

The 'icicles' are my favorites too. They came from an antique lamp that was no longer usable. Removing the pendants from the lamp, I tucked them away for decorations the next year and have used them for about 20 years now.

The lack of light, even with a flash, makes our tree look a little sad, kind of Charlie Brown-ish. We are happy with it being small because the living space is pretty full of our regular lives. This Christmas will be quite different in many ways. We will celebrate with only a few family members, I will be recovering from surgery and will not be in on too much dinner preparation, and I will miss my children unendingly. As Zora Neal Hurston says in her book Their Eyes Were Watch God, (and you must say this with a southern accent) "Chilrens gots to have theys own lives." And mine do.
I'm very happy with a simple Christmas, few decorations that don't become tiresome after 20 days, and a quaint, old-fashioned tree. The nativiy is one the grandchildren who live close by can play with too, which warms my heart.
A warm heart, family memories, fudge...for what more could we ask???


Cheesemakin' Mamma said...

I was just complaining on my blog that hardly anyone has posted their favorite Christmas decorations and then I see that did a second after I hit the send button, LOL!

I love, love, love your nativity! How cool that every piece has significance and memories attached to it. Your tree is cute, too!

Thanks so much for taking the time to post this.

I'm praying for you this Christmas! I know it will be different, but I'm praying God will bless you in a different way.


Stacie, A Firefighter's Wife said...

Your Nativity is so amazing and full of memories. What a wonderful idea, Catherine! Thanks for sharing it with us.

Cheesemakin' Mamma said...

Thanks so much for the sweet comment you left on my blog. I treasure the encouraging words I get from you. I'm so glad you are part of my blogging world.


Margaret said...

Very special. I am touched by your stories. Your cresh(stable) or however you spell is very sweet. The memories and stories make putting the decorations so special. I am sure that it was a very hard Christmas for you to not see your kids and to be recovering from surgery. You made it and are healing. I love you.