Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas Past

One of my favorite things about the Christmas season is the ornaments Kevin and I receive from our loved ones. They are whimsical, traditional, memorial, and always special. We have recently established a tradition in our family when it comes to decorating the tree. Because I'm such an indecisive perfectionist, I have a difficult time choosing a temporary resting spot for each of the ornaments. It drives me insane and I know it makes Kev nuts.  Instead, I'm in charge of unwrapping each of them and handing them to Kev to place on the tree. This way, I still get to savor each one, but I don't have to stress over where to put it. Silly thing to stress about, I know, but that's just how I'm built. Anyway, here are a few of my favorites and the stories that go with them. 

My mother gave me this ornament in memory of the baby we lost at Christmas in 2006.  Since then, holiday seasons have been grim reminders of what we still don't have.  I cry when I hold this ornament.  I think about who that tiny baby would be now... and I cry.

This ornament is a memorial to Kevin's beloved childhood buddy, Jane.  She was a Black Lab "the size of Cleveland," to quote Kevin's mother.  Jane and Kev spent a lot of time together and I know it was hard for him when she left.  

We were given this ornament the year Kevin's dear, sweet Great-Uncle Walt passed away.  We couldn't be here for his services - we were working for Ogichi that summer and knew it would be impossible for them to find replacement kitchen bitches while we were gone.  So we stayed, and the family had another small service when we returned so we could get some closure too.  Harman family gatherings are much different without him.  Uncle Walt was a wonderful, jolly man. He was really kind of like Santa Claus - with a serving or two of scotch added.

Kev's grandmother used to host elaborate holiday dinners at her ENORMOUS and formal dining table.  She would place a special ornament on each person's plate indicating each guest's place at the table.  This was one of the first ornaments waiting for me at that table.  I love how whimsy and elegance are fused in this creation.

Aunt Sally gave me this ornament last Sunday at the gift exchange and family dinner.  She said that this is the first installment in her newest holiday tradition - finding and gifting her nieces the strangest Christmas ornaments.   I think it's hilariously cute.  Unfortunately, I also must admit that this little froggy's midsection resembles mine after all the infertility treatments this year.  Due to all the hormone injections, I've blown up around my middle.  Infertility's cruellest joke - to make infertiles look pregnant.

Kev's lifelong and best friend just moved back to KC after about a ten year hiatus.  His sister's husband has begun blowing glass at his studio located on their camp.  This is one of the pieces he created, though I must say I didn't get the ones I truly wanted because they had already sold at the art opening.  I suppose that's a good thing for him, and I really do like this one.

This is one of many ornaments my mother made a few years back.  She's such a crafty little busy bee.  This nutcracker, like the other figures, is made of bees wax and smells of Christmas spices.  I love them, not only because they are quaint, but mostly because my mom made them and I love her.


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