My mom told me that she and my Grandpa had put aside a couple of boxes of ornaments for me. “Nothing too fancy,” she said. “Just some old ones. I told Grandpa that you wanted anything ‘old’.”
These ornaments – a mish-mash of plastic and blown-glass – were happily welcomed into our home. Not simply because they were colourful and vintage – but because they were my Grandma’s.
She passed away this Fall after spending over 80 years on this earth. She was a homemaker, a wife, a mother to five, and a creative soul. I have delicate wooden ornaments that she cut with her scroll saw, as well as a sign, a clock, and a memory box that she made in her shop.
There’s no doubt that she inspired her daughter – my mother – to “do things”, rather than simply buy them.
And in turn, my mother inspired me.
Lila and I picked through the little nests of ornaments and inspected each one.
Some were plastic, and had obviously joined the gang at a later date…
… while others were the original hand-blown Polish Santa Land ornaments. They were popular in the 70’s, and from what I can tell, many of them are hand-painted.
Part of the reason why I love old things is because they carry stories with them. I might not always be privy to those stories, but in this case, I can imagine my Grandma carefully placing these ornaments on her tree over thirty years ago.
And when I do the same with my kidlets, I will think of her.
I will remember how she liked ballet-style house slippers (which I thought so fancy on her small feet), and the sound of her soft soprano voice. I’ll remember her love for her cat, Foo, (or “Foo-Cat”) who passed away before I can remember, but was memorialized in a ceramic likeness with brightly-painted yellow eyes.
“This one is my favourite, mom. Can we hang it first?”
While I remember stories from the past, we’ll give these ornaments new ones to carry with them.
And that is why I love “old things”.
They are so beautiful Tara, and I’m sure your think of your grandma every year when you hang them!
I love this. My nan was a “maker” too and I always share photos of something she made on her birthday each year. She passed that onto my mum then I guess in turn it came to me!
When my mum passed away my brother and I shared out the Christmas ornaments that we had enjoyed putting on the tree as children, it’s happy/sad to put them up. Some of them have stories about where they came from which is lovely to remember. I love things with a bit of history and meaning to them.
Hi Tara, when I saw your link party link that said “My Grandmother’s Ornaments’ I knew I just had to visit. 30 years after her death, my Grandma influences me almost daily and I cherish every little remnant of her. In fact, several of my blog posts, including my most recent, refer to my grandma and how I am still so linked to her. We are truly blessed to have Grandmas that so loved us and whom we so loved.
And…that little red bulb with the white silhouette of the Christmas tree and reindeer? I had that one too, still have a very similar one! I found a little tree several years back that is a little funky, hence the name we all it…”Funky Little Christmas Tree” It’s only 2 feet tall and I hang all my vintage ornaments on it on a chest in my foyer. I love my funky little tree!
Anyway, thanks for making me smile today!
This brings tears to my eyes and I know exatly what you mean, my grandma passed away 2 years ago and I still think of her everyday when I see the “fancy” glasses I got from her and grandpa. They saved them for special occasions but I use them everyday, they make me feel like they are around! Love those ornaments and so happy that I found your blog!
My mom gave me the ornmanents that we had on our tree growing up, I guess they are considered vintage now 🙂 But I love looking at them as they remind me of the hours I spent laying under the tree looking up at the lights and the shiny ornaments hanging on the tree.