Wednesday, December 3, 2014

This is where I belong

Breaking out the Christmas boxes today. Psyched that everything made it through a year of massive house renovations, dust, misplaced boxes, etc., especially this little snowman. I made him out of a gourd that I painted and decorated with wood-burning tools and other pieces from other gourds. I love this little guy.

Opening up my ornament boxes is always a walk down memory lane, since every ornament has a story. I have a bunch of ornaments made in India that were given to my family when I was a little girl. My father had helped an Indian family and never charged them for his services because they were new to this country and had very little money. As a thank you, they gave us ornaments that are covered in little pieces of mirrors, beads and colorful designs. They remind me of my father's generosity of spirit.

When I got my first apartment and wanted to decorate a tree but didn't have enough money to buy ornaments, my best friend and I used a hot glue gun to attach loops to anything we could find that could be hung on a tree. I still have one of those ornaments. It is a one-armed skeleton that had once been a pair of skeleton earrings. (We purchased them for next to nothing because one of the skeletons had only one arm. My friend ripped the arm off the other skeleton so that we were even and then we each took one and incorporated it into a Halloween costume.) Makes me laugh every year and think of her.

And, of course, there are many, many handmade and homemade ornaments: felted ornaments, ones made from clothespins, beads and wire, and Play-doh.

I look at my tree and see a living history of my family and my life. We have a tradition of cutting down our own Christmas tree. When we get it home, I snip a little piece of a branch off, spray it with a preservative, put it in a glass ball ornament and write the year on the outside. I buy an ornament with a name on it for every member of the family (although the family has grown so much in the last couple of years that I am behind for a few nieces and nephews). It feels good to look at the tree and be reminded of who I am, from where I have come and where I belong.

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