Archive for the ‘Ornament of the day’ Category

Do your happy dance

December 13, 2011

This ornament is older than I am. (Well, that’s not actually saying much, since there are a umber of ornaments on our tree that are older than I am. But I digress.) This vintage ornament is one of my very favorites. Every year when we’re decorating the tree, I fear that my little Snoopy might not have made it through… but he always does. That’s part of the charm of Snoopy, isn’t it? His indomitability in the face of whatever adversaries come his way, whether they pose physical threats like the Red Baron or more ephemeral ones like the unyielding passage of time.

I love to think of the little hands that made this ornament, my youngest aunt as a crafty kid, her childlike mind that conceived printed comic + plexiglass + lace + velvet ribbon = masterpiece! To think of her, so satisfied with the end result of her artistic endeavor, doing her own happy dance a la Snoopy. To think of my daughter, who will do a happy dance each year when she hangs this ornament on her tree and thinks of all this after my aunt & I are long gone.

Because you know this damn Snoopy ornament is going to outlast us all.


Little pink houses

December 23, 2010













Back in the day, my mom used to live in Bermuda. For real! Let me tell you, that was a good time, when going “home” for grad school breaks meant flying south to that picture-perfect island (situated in a much more temperate climate than Cambridge). A long-time favorite of the women in my family — yes, I’m thinking of you, Great Aunt Elsie, and the paintings you did during your stays on the island however many decades ago — Bermuda proved equally captivating to me. This ornament isn’t actually from a trip that I took… maybe it came back with my mom, as a souvenir of her first visit? But I couldn’t have picked a better one to capture my own memories of that fantastic place. My very favorite part of any visit to Bermuda is the final moments of the flight in, when the turquoise waters become more and more vibrant before giving way to the impossibly white beaches, then the pastel rainbow of houses dotting the island. For some people, little pink houses may make them think of John Cougar Mellancamp… but for me, they’ll always belong to Bermuda.

Santa Claus is coming to town

December 21, 2010

We’ve already been hosting members of his advance team for quite some time now. Let me introduce you to Cartman Claus (codename Baby Santa).

Dei sub numine viget

December 11, 2010

What better day to feature an ornament from my alma mater than today, when two fellow Tigers are tying the knot? Congratulations, Gia and Craig, we wish you much love today and always. XOXOXOXOXO

Kiddie kitsch

December 10, 2010

Once upon a time, I went to parochial school. Then my mom came to her senses and sent me to Quaker school for a while (c’mon, I couldn’t make this stuff up!), but I still was subject to a little indoctrination at CCD. I honestly can’t recall whether this lovely piece of ephemera came into being during my days at St. Peter’s School or the Tuesday afternoon catechisms at Good Counsel, but I’m pretty damn sure it wasn’t the Friends who made me write “I love Jesus” in cursive! It is a sweet little trinket, though, if a tad more evangelical in spirit than I am in my daily life. I’m more the type to wear my spiritual heart on my sleeve, so to speak. Still… this ornament rocks, for so many different reasons.



Secret Santa

December 8, 2010

OK, so I can’t remember what I ate for breakfast this morning — blame Mommy Brain! — but I can tell you that Katie Hartmann was my Secret Santa in 7th grade, and this oh-so lovely Santa ornament she gave me hangs on our tree to this day. The fact that my 3 year old identifies it as an elf gives me no little pleasure, since I’m pretty sure the original giver put zero thought into the gift and it is now turning into a family joke. “What’s your secret, Santa?” “I’m an elf!” Ba dum bum! :P

Tad’s ornament

December 1, 2010

One of the biggest motivations I had for starting this blog is the fact that we have a stellar collection of ornaments on the tree — ornaments remarkable not because they are innately beautiful or exceptionally valuable… or perhaps because they are both, though not in measurable terms. Each of the ornaments on our tree carries with it a piece of our history, which makes trimming the tree each year the best kind of walk down memory lane. Call me self-indulgent, but I wanted to have a place to catalog our ornaments and their stories.

And so today, on World AIDS Day, I give you Tad’s ornament. I discovered this piece somewhere just after my step-brother died, and my mom and I bought up enough to spread around the family. For so long, all I could do was cry when I pulled the fragile glass ball with the red ribbon inside out of its box, but this year I smiled. With a heavy heart, I smiled.


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