Thursday, November 30, 2006


So, having said I hate decorating the tree I also have to say that I do have a lot of really lovely ornaments (less the ones that were smashed on that fateful night). My mother has been giving me ornaments since I was a very little girl, so a lot of them seem to apply to another life. Lots of ballerinas. Lots of pink. Lots of cats. So maybe not another life, since I still love all those things (although (random side note) I didn’t have a cat until I was an adult. My father swore he hated cats and that there was no way he would allow me to have one. So instead, I was given every object ever to be adorned by a representation of a cat, ornaments, stationary, mugs, you name it. (Further random side note) When I finally did get a cat, my father appeared to be the one who loved her most. He taught her to bark. Seriously. When he was visiting a few weeks ago, he sought the cat out to pet her and bark at her. Seriously.)

Where was I?

Ornaments. I sorted them out and kind of left some of the random teddy bears and kitty cats and ballerinas in the box this year and just put up my favorites. Same for the husband, although most of his ornaments were passed down through the family.

So when the tree was finally decorated the other night, I took a few photos of my favorites. I am kind of surprised that they are all commercially made. I have a lot of lovely hand made ornaments but these, for some reason, really seem to sum up my ornamental life:
Paddington Bear was my first British love. Even though he’s Peruvian. I didn’t look for a date on this ornament but I suspect it is around the same time that I was actually reading Paddington books, which I still love. And just the other day I happened across some mystery books by the man who created Paddington that I have decided to take with me for the Christmas vacation.

Hellboy is a recent acquisition. My brother and his family gave him to me for Christmas last year. He (Hellboy, not my brother) has a moody little half-lit grotto near the bottom of the tree and he makes me oddly happy. I guess I just love the fact that there is a demon type on my tree. Just the other day I was in the drugstore eavesdropping on two cashiers as they discussed their decorating plans. I sided with the girl who wanted a black tree with little skulls all over it. Hellboy will do for now. Oh how I love him.

My stegosauruses…well, who doesn’t love a Christmas dinosaur? Stegosaurus has always been my favorite of the old guys and somehow I have managed to get not one, not two but THREE of them on my tree (the third one is too reflective so I didn’t take a photo). It makes me absurdly happy that I have three stegos, if you happen across anymore please let me know.

The Joan Walsh Anglund ball…well, JWA is an artist who I think was particularly popular during my childhood. I have always loved her simple lines and sweet faces but it was only as I was hanging ornaments this year that I realized that what really appealed to me about her art is the lack of mouth. Weird hunh? But I am also very fond of Hello Kitty and she is also mouthless. But I don’t have a Hello Kitty ornament. But looking at JWA’s art again made me realize how much my own was influenced by having her books around when I was a kid. I still really like her art. It’s cute, almost too cute. But the clean style makes up for any sappiness in my eyes.

Finally…I said that I put away some of the ornaments that I felt represented my earlier life. But I had to keep the unicorns. Who doesn’t love unicorns? I only found two in the boxes but I have a sneaking suspicion that there are more hidden away somewhere. Look, I am a child of the 80’s. There HAS to be unicorns.

I have a lot of beautiful ornaments (including one made by my great-grandmother), I have a lot of really cute handmade ornaments, mostly chosen for their quirkiness. But for some reason it is these few mass-produced decorations that caught my eye and made me smile while I was swearing about how much I hate decorating the Christmas tree. Go figure.


Jodi said...

If I do put up a tree, which I haven't decided if I will do yet, it will be to go through my ornaments. Same thing...lots since I was a kid, all with baggies and tags of who gave it to me and when. No unicorns or dinosaurs though. A lot of the handmade ones are falling apart, so I just look at them and put them back in the box.

justJENN said...

Who doesn't like unicorns? Right here, baby.

dave said...

i'm happy that hellboy made top 5. but what i want to know is did audrey remember her barking lessons??

Anonymous said...

Hey Ren, I am going to steal your idea and post some of my own tree pics on my blog - come visit, I am going to post a picture there JUST for you...