December 12th, 2008

Silly Old Bear

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Hey Everyone – sorry to have been MIA this past week.  The days are just whizzing by.

One focus of the past week has been getting ourselves ready for the holidays.  Steve & I got the tree last Friday and with a snow day today (more of an ice day, actually) I was finally able to finish decorating the tree.  Again – much more of  a process this year than usual but now that it’s done the holiday spirit is definitely here.

The top of the tree is a wee bit “cricked” as the boys used to say when they were little.  A “cricked” top means a “cricked” star:

Jonathan, in particular, is not thrilled with the star, but I am afraid to get up on the ladder and attempt to cut the top at this point.  We had three years in a row of toppling trees and destroyed ornaments and I’m still pretty scarred.

Speaking of ornaments, our tree is a hodge podge of ornaments from my childhood, ones collected on trips, handmade ones by the kids and new ones we’ve added along the way.  My family has a pretty long tradition of giving ornaments as gifts.  My nephew Daniel has received an ornament from me every year since he was born.  They reflect what he loved at that point in time – dinosaurs, Hot Wheels, etc.  Now that he’s grown, he still gets an ornament every year.  My sister does the same with our boys.

I love opening the boxes each year and rediscovering the ornaments that are special to me.  When I was little, i LOVED Winnie-the-Pooh.  I still have nearly 20 Pooh Bears from my childhood.  One of my most cherished Christmas gifts was a “long” dark green dress with Pooh Bears all over it. 

Back in those days, there were no Disney Stores.  Pooh items were very limited and mostly only available at Sears.  Here’s one ornament from a collection my mom got me when I was probably 6 or 7 years old:

This one is a beautiful porcelain one that I treasure:

Lastly, this silver one was a splurge one year for myself.  It really wasn’t that expensive, but at that point in my life it was.  I still love it:

There was also many years we did not have a star for the top of our tree.  Since Steve is Jewish, I didn’t want a traditional angel or anything like that.  I didn’t want something that lit up or flashed.  I just wanted a simple star.  Not so easy to find, let me tell you.  From the time Jackson was about 2 until I found our current star, this was our tree topper:

Clifford still gets a prominent position on our tree.

I also love this ornament:

Malea our Office Manager and Potter made these sweet sheep for each of us at WEBS one year.  This year, she has made a bunch that we are selling in the store.  They’ve been a hot item and I know she’s made more!  They are retailing for $8.99 – each is handmade and unique.

What are some of your favorite holiday traditions?  What creates that holiday magic for you?

Kathy

7 Responses to “Silly Old Bear”

  1. Vismajor Says:

    What a nice tree you have! I’m also a fan of trees decorated with hodge-podge ornaments. Theme trees are pretty, but I like the memories that accompany the ornaments. When I moved out of my mom’s house, she kindly let me take my favorite childhood ornaments with me; I’d be devastated if anything happened to them.

    We also have a yearly ornament tradition in my family; my maternal grandma has given each grandkid a Reed & Barton silver bell engraved with the year each Christmas since we were born. I’ve got 37 of them now, and while they weren’t an exciting gift during my childhood & teenage years, I *really* love and appreciate them now.

  2. Deborah (aka Mt. Mom) Says:

    I love seeing our special ornaments each year as we decorate. The woman who taught me to knit runs an annual craft sale, and most years I buy an ornament there. We plan to send ornaments with each of our kids as they grow up and leave home — ones they’ve accumulated over the years.

  3. Kristi Says:

    I was a Pooh fan too for many years! I still have quite a few ornaments that I collected through the years, my favourite was one that a college friend sent me from England. Added to that the Mary Englebreit set, gifts from friends and the yearly ones my kids get from their grandmother, it makes for quite an eclectic tree. Our star topper is a paper one my daughter made many years ago. 🙂

  4. Trina Says:

    Your tree looks gorgeous! I like giving ornaments for gifts too, its such an easy idea 🙂 My family tree is also littered with an assortment of decorations, some that we have made when my sister and I were younger, some that we’ve been given as gifts, with a few new ones each year thrown in. And I wouldn’t have it any other way – like you say, each one has a special memory of that time in our lives.
    PS – I’m STILL a big pooh bear fan, but I don’t have any ornaments to go with it 🙁

  5. Deb Weissman Says:

    Our tree is covered with an motley assortment of well-loved ornaments. From the paper and macaroni ornaments my kids made as toddlers to antique glass to special gifts, they’re all there. We have quite a collection of Star Wars and Star Trek ornaments too. I know what you mean about a simple star too. I too have a Jewish husband, so I’ve always avoided the angel tree-topper. I must admit, though, he’s become an expert tree-picker!!

  6. Becky Says:

    Merry Christmahannukah! I hope your home is filled with Light Love and Laughter!

  7. grammynan Says:

    My husband and I and our grown children each have a small hand-knitted gnome I made that is yearly placed deep inside the tree towards the bottom where the grandchildren can “hide” it and look for it there from time to time. It is fun to make up little stories about the gnome for the little ones.

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