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If ornaments could talk

Posted Nov 20 2010 11:13am

I know it’s shameful but we have put up our tree and decorated it and it’s been a lot of fun! We will be out of town for Thanksgiving and are coming back to a gazillion things going on so we are decorating while we can. But I just realized this week that our ornaments really do tell a story. We laughed so hard this week as we recalled some of the funny stories behind our ornaments. Speaking of “behind” check out this ornament. Some ornaments you hesitate to hang on the tree and this is certainly one of them.  But for ten years we have been hanging this ornament….the same way. Credit goes to my husband for this tradition so don’t get mad at the preacher’s wife for being a little naw-tay.  I laugh but I feel guilty for laughing because it’s an ornament my Mom gave us the year my Grandmother died. I know. Naked Angel ornament in memory of my sweet loving Grandmother. Mom wasn’t too thrilled when Randy erupted in laughter upon opening the gift. And I’m not too thrilled that we have had a mooning angel on our tree for over a decade now. Mitchell will tell you this is his favorite ornament. I’m imagining our Christmas Open House and Mitchell taking some of the sweet older folk in our church over to the tree to point out his all time favorite ornament. Oh somebody please steal, borrow or break this ornament.

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Over 15 years ago we hung this ornament on our very first Christmas tree as newlyweds. Oh we did Christmas big back then. We had a lighting of the Christmas tree ceremony. We put more lights on that tree than a cat has fleas. It was a mangled wad of lights and the fresh pine was about the same size as our tiny apartment living room but it was gorgeous to us. We invited some of our family and friends over and we had our own custom ceremony. It went like this:

  • Kenny G. music playing in background while we sipped hot chocolate (feeling oh so grown up like our parents)
  • We all took two steps from the kitchen and into the living room and gathered for the anticipated lighting
  • Randy sang very seriously a Christmas opera style song in his umbro shorts and tshirt. We would laugh until our sides hurt.
  • On the extremely high pitched note at the end of the song he would plug in the lights and we would all scream with delight.

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What can you say about the classic elf ornament besides they are a bit creepy yet totally vintage awesome! We had tons of them on our tree growing up but we just sport this one little fella each year.

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That is a real waffle ornament. The Waffle House was like a second home to me growing up. My parents loved going for coffee at the Waffle House. I would always have a friend with me and we would roller skate in the parking lot of the WH and had a blast. Mom and Dad knew all the people that worked there and somehow my Mom got a WH waitress uniform and wore it to their church dinner party they were hosting one year. She was chewing a big ole wad of Hubba  Bubba and welcoming all the dressed up church guests.(She also had a mannequin leg hanging out the coat closet door with navy blue pantyhose and a navy blue Etienne Aigner shoe on it.But I try not to tell too many people that.)  These are my genes, folks. I come from wonderfully crazy stock. And I love every single bit of it. This waffle ornament is a priceless memory of smelling like the perfect blend of smoke, coffee and smothered hashbrowns.

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So get ready for some cultural whiplash. We go from the truck stop Waffle House to the fancy Swan House in Buckhead. The Swan House is a beautiful girly girl place for lunch and this swan ornament is what my Mom got for me one year as a memory of our times there. This was a special occasion place for us and it’s where my Bridal Luncheon was. Great memories at this place!

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I’d like you to meet “Thingy”. Thingy is one of my favorite ornaments but something traumatic happened to him. It was during the blissful days of Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremonies that we had a group of our apartment friends over and Thingy was kidnapped. We didn’t know this until we started receiving pictures of him in the mail. One picture was of him under a tire of a car. The ransom letter was requesting a certain amount of funds be transferred into a Swiss Bank Account if we ever wanted to see that Thingy again. Then we’d get a picture of Thingy in a foreign country. We finally figured out who had taken it. Nelson is our good friend and he’s hilarious. He took Thingy all the way to Israel. Nothing like taking a stolen good with you while you tour the places Jesus walked! Thingy will always bring a laugh out of us when we see it. He has to stay on the tree forever after all he went through. I think we named it “thingy” because we never knew what to call it. It was just a “thingy” I made in elementary school.

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This ornament represents one of the romantic gettaways Randy and I have taken. We would go to quaint towns like Charleston and Asheville and stay in a bed and breakfast and tour the town, go to antique stores and have a wonderful weekend. We always try to get an ornament from special places we have visited. It’s been a long time since we’ve done a trip like this because of having kids but we will do it again in time. And we will get a cute ornament reminding us of the time together.

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The Pink Pig! This was a wonderful part of my childhood and up until about six years ago. The pink pig was a ride that went around the base of the HUGE Macy’s Christmas tree on top of the downtown Macy’s building in Atlanta. We would ride the pink pig and have our picture made with Santa. Then we would go to the Varsity for a naked dog and an FO ( you have to go there to grasp the lingo) and then to the Pink Pig and the Farmer’s Market to get our tree. We’d ride in the trunk of the car looking for sugar cane, oranges and a twelve foot tree. It was pure awesomeness.

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Mitchell calls this the “Digital Granny” ornament. My Grandmother cross stitched this for me in 1981 and Mitchell looks at it and sees “digital” instead of cross stitch. That just cracks me up. I am feeling so very old.

It’s funny to me how most all our ornaments tell a part of a story. They weave bits and pieces of a family legacy through a tree that stands tall in our family living room. As we collect more pieces of the story I hope the tradition will carry on of recalling sweet memories as we decorate the family Christmas tree for years to come, Lord willing.

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