Ornaments renew memories
BY COLLEEN ALMEIDA SMITH World Associate Editor
Monday, December 03, 2012
12/03/12 at 6:01 AM
Because I Said So is a blog written by five parents and one grandparent.
Let's give 'Two and a Half Men's' Jake a break
Gift tips: Gift card, gift receipt, gift registry
Squaring my inner Grinch with the joy that is Christmas
'Tis the season for Christmas ornaments.
While many folks collect magnets or shot glasses from the places they visit, I am always on the lookout for new Christmas ornaments.
This year I have additions from Disney World and Branson. My children helped picked them out, and they will be reminders of the trips for years to come.
The new ornaments fit into an eclectic collection that includes local landmarks and events, like the Golden Driller and Philbrook's Festival of Trees; campus landmarks from my alma mater, Mills College; and other travel destinations, such as Mount Rushmore, where my husband and I spent our honeymoon.
My family has competing pro football ornaments - Dallas Cowboys for him and Pittsburgh Steelers for me - but for college football, it's all OU Sooners.
In recent years I have bought a number of food-themed ornaments, including tiny teapots and teacups, a muffin pan and gingerbread figures.
Our collection ranges from slick glass to shiny plastic, sparkly elves to stuffed angels, rustic wooden wreaths to antique metal sleighs, as well as baby's first Christmas and family portraits.
When I married into the Smiths, I married into a family that does Christmas big.
My mother-in-law loved the holiday season, and the weekend after Thanksgiving, my husband and I would go to Ada to help her put up and decorate her tree. After she died, decorating our own tree that weekend became our tradition.
My husband and his brother divided the family ornaments, and it's a joy to put ours up each year. That's my mother-in-law's Marilyn Monroe, Elvis guitar and old-fashioned wooden ornaments on my tree now. I even enjoy polishing the 40-year-old sterling silver ornaments before hanging them.
My husband's aunt has sent us many gorgeous handmade ornaments over the years, from elaborately decorated balls to cute holiday card cutouts.
Christmas and Santa Claus hold a special affinity for my husband, and he often receives a new ornament for his December birthday that will be immediately hung on the tree.
Add to that some sentimental favorites from my childhood and the many ornaments I have accumulated throughout the years, and our collection is bursting at the seams.
A few years ago, we started putting up two trees to hold them all. We have an artificial tree and a real tree - it's just not the same without the smell of a fresh fir in my living room.
My younger daughter loves the tradition of decorating the trees and can't wait for me to put the strings of lights on so she can help hang the ornaments.
This year she managed to put almost all of them on the artificial tree and then declared: "I think we should leave the other one blank. It's pretty with just the lights."
But she helped me transfer many of the ornaments to the new tree. As we did, I started telling her the stories of where many of the ornaments came from.
I hope she remembers the stories when she is putting the decorations on her own tree years from now.
Colleen Almeida Smith 918-581-8481
The holidays give us an excuse to jazz up the house with items such as these antiqued hand-blown glass ornaments — essentially, it’s “dress-up time” for our living spaces. AP Photo / Restoration Hardware