Friday, December 3, 2010

Ghosts of Christmas Past...

I was reading at the blog of Louise Gale who is hosting a giveaway and to get the lovely goodies she's offering you need to leave a comment of a Christmas ornament that has great meaning for you or a favorite ornament. I thought to myself that I don't have a favorite Christmas ornament or any ornaments that have great meaning, but all of a sudden memories began to flood through my head so I thought I would begin to share some of those memories here...

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Heritage Ornaments... 
A few years ago I received a wonderful gift from a dear friend, which I have written about before. She had made some beautiful holiday ornaments for me with a Mexican flavor, which is part of my cultural heritage. She used light tin to replicate the tin ornaments you can find in Mexico, and added images from a traditional Mexican game called Loteria. She also beaded the edges or added bright colored tinsel trim and some ornaments had miniature ribbon poinsettias, which is a flower that originates from Mexico and also Central America, where my father was born...

These ornaments came at at time when I was was finding my own connection to my cultural heritage and they were so beautiful that I cried upon seeing them. Since then, I've collected miniature versions of Mexican tin ornaments, including a hammered tin angel for a tree topper and I love to decorate my little tree with these very special ornaments.

 a Loteria card, a game that originates from Mexico and is similar to Bingo

 My tin angel atop my little tree with miniature traditional tin and corn husk ornaments and miniature sombreros

Poinsettias made of ribbon and corn husk - a flower that has been connected to the holiday since 16th Century Mexico

My Mother's Christmas Decorating
For a few years running, my mother took to decorating the front door for the holidays and she would wrap it as one giant present! I wish there were pictures of these amazing 'set pieces' to show you because that's just what they were...

She would take a roll of beautiful gift wrap and find beautiful trimmings to go with it. Then she would take the front door down from the hinges to wrap the front portion of the door with the gift wrap paper, making sure not to block the peephole!

She would wrap beautiful ribbon around the door and tied a large bow, sometimes adding many more bows to create a very full bow. She might add some small trims such as birds or gold painted branches and when she was finished, the door would be put back on the hinges for all to see. It was a lovely way to be greeted at our front door. My mother has been thinking of reclaiming this tradition and if she does, I'll be sure to get some pictures to share here.

There is another memory of a Christmas holiday from my early childhood I've been remembering, but I'll share that story before Christmas. I can tell you that a great deal of creativity and storytelling was involved!

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I've been working on ornaments for Louise's Creative Color Ornament Swap as well as making ornament gifts for a few friends this holiday season. Here is what I've been creating:

Christmas angels for the month of December

I made these clothes pin ornaments using tissue gift paper and metallic ribbon - they are such fun to make! I may have to make a whole other set of them for my own tree...

Do you have any special holiday ornaments that have special meaning for you? Did they come from a friend or family member? I'd love to hear your stories - you all have such amazing stories to share!


Gaston Studio said...

Over from Eddie's blog to congratulate you on the Sunday Roast. Really enjoyed meeting you for the first time and just love the little green cocktail hat you created.

This post made me smile because many years ago, like your mother, I used to "wrap" our front door as a present for Christmas too. I also paint Christmas ornaments, among other things, so it resonated with me.

Maggie May said...

I love your creative blog and enjoyed your Sunday Roast over at my brother, Eddie's place.
Wish I had thought of the Creative Beast. I am very creative but maybe not a beast! But then, neither are you!
Maggie X

Nuts in May

Kerri said...

there are some things i don't love about christmas, but i do love the nostalgia of old ornaments- i have some that mom made, some 1st graders gave me when i was briefly a first grade teacher, and some i made as a kid- i love getting those out each year when we decorate the tree. but i don't think i have a favorite.