Have you ever lusted after a “designer tree”? You know the kind. The trendy decorations are large and usually completely colour coordinated with a million lights? I never have – because, as beautiful as these trees may look, they lack soul, character, but most of all, they lack memories.
Reliving memories are what makes decorating our Christmas tree special. Each decoration reminds me of a person, a trip, or an experience that was special to me. Some memories are bittersweet but special non the less.If you have children and you’ve been hanging on to the decorations they made as children, you know that the most expensive, fancy bauble will never replace them.
I’ve attached photos of a few of my favorite decorations, although it was very difficult to choose from among my collection of 150+ decorations. The first one, a pink pig, is definitely one of my favourites. It was handmade by a glass artist in the 1990’s and I sold his works in my store. They were gobbled up like hotcakes – in spite of their price tag, and I was disappointed when I learned that he wasn’t making any more. This pig, apart from being a small piece of art, reminds me of how much I enjoyed decorating my store for Christmas.
The second decoration shown here is special because it’s a part of my antique collection. Although it’s a bit understated in terms of colour (being just silver and white), what is amazing about it is that it has survived 60+ years. Look at the delicate handles on both sides of the urn. These are made of glass! Suffice it to say, I wrap this one very carefully each year.
This urn decoration reminds me of Jackie, an avid collector and dealer of all things Christmas. She gave a workshop on antique Christmas decorations at my store and I bought several from her collection – as did my customers. I remember sitting in a group in front of the fireplace (my store had a real fireplace), drinking cider and eating sweet treats as she taught us how to evaluate decorations for collecting purposes.
My third example is also from my collection of antique decorations. The pine cone has always been a popular subject for Christmas decorations, so today a collector will come across different versions. I have some made of glass in gorgeous jewel tones of pink, blue, red and gold. This one was made in East Germany but I also have some made in England and the USA, by the Corning Comapny. Yes – the company that makes Corning Ware today.
For more examples of my favorite Christmas decorations, stay tuned for my next post just before Christmas!
PS: If you’re interested in Corning decoration history check out this web site: http://www.mantwp.com/downloads/Shiny%20Brite%20Story.pdf
PSS: If you’d like information about how to evaluate Christmas decorations read this post: https://fromtimespast.com/2010/12/21/antique-christmas-decorations/