Saturday, November 8, 2008

Christmas

Some of you might have noticed the countdown to Christmas on my sidebar.  Let me tell you, I am just a little crazy for Christmastime.
Christmas Eve and Christmas Day are not my favorite though.  It is the whole time leading up to Christmas, from the day after Thanksgiving to Christmas Eve.
Let's start with the tree.  All of my ornaments are handmade.  When my daughter was little there were some of hers on the tree.  Now they are all stitched or crocheted.  Mostly stitched.
I have stitched some of them.  Well, a lot of them.  I also belong to an EGA that has an ornament exchange every year at Christmas.  You might as well say an ornament fight.  We all make and wrap a stitched ornament.  Then we draw numbers and like a Chinese gift exchange, the first person picks an ornament.  The next person can chose a new ornament or can take the first ornament from the first person.  It goes on until all the ornaments have been opened.
This is a group of lovely, well refined ladies (and a gentleman or two).  But there is so much lying, conniving, hiding, cheating that it might as well be a back room poker game.  But in the end we all come out friends and have a new ornament.  Since this is my 16th year in the group, I have 16 of said ornaments made by friends, some who have passed on out of this world.  I treasure them.  
I also have a few made by some friends other than my EGA.  One is made by a 90 year old blind lady, thirty years ago.  She crocheted a little green and white pair of ice skates, with paper clips for the blades.  They are precious and are the first thing I put on the tree, after my cross stitched pickle of course.  More on the pickle in another post.
One ornament is made by my best friend Caroline, who died of cancer several years ago.  I get teary eyed when put her ornament on the tree.  But things weren't always fun with Caroline.  I will post this story later also.  Let's just say it had to do with the ornament exchange I mentioned earlier...
I am so crazy over all my ornaments that I did an inventory of them, with dates and who made them.  They will be passed onto my daughter once she has proven that she will care for them with all her heart.  Actually they will be taken from my cold, stiff hands once I pass from this world!
What are your traditions?  Do you have a special tree or a special way to celebrate?  I will be posting more this month into next month on my love of this holiday.  More about the tree, the pickle and Caroline.

6 comments:

J Rae said...

Your tree must be beautiful! What wonderful memories you have with each ornament!

Don't you just love Christmas?!!!

Bliss said...

I can't see the counter on the sidebar, but I do understand the enthusiam for Christmas. We have Xmas in summer here, so the focus is slightly different (no snowmen), but it's still w-o-n-d-e-r-f-u-l! LOL Enjoy the excitement, Donna.

Carolyn NC said...

Oh Donna,
You are speaking my language. One of my favorite parts of Christmas (besides the real meaning) is the tree. We have ornaments for each of my children for each of their years - some years they got several; ornaments that my mother passed down to me from when I was a child, ornaments from when I was just married and each year; ornaments that my children made; some very elegant; some not; some stitched; some photographs, etc. Each year our tree has to grow to hold half these things! But the memories behind all of these are priceless. :)

Sadie said...

I have just stitched my first christmas ornament. One day i hope to be able to say that my tree has all handmade ornaments, all with stories or special memories, just like yours. Thanks for sharing, and I'm intrigued about the story of your friend!? And the pickle?!?!

Cindy F. said...

What a wonderful tradition and story!! Thanks for sharing with us.
We've always collected Hallmark ornaments since my almost 26 yr ds was born. I'm going to start stitching some too.

Laura-Leigh said...

Your tree sounds very special. I have lots of meaningful ornaments, too (including a pickle!), but not so many are handmade. I'm working on that, though!