Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Prologue, Story, Epilogue

I’m in the mood to tell a story. Many stories have a prologue. Some have pictures.  Mine has both.


As I sit in my studio in a short sleeve t-shirt on this rather warm fall day in the South, I am thinking if this weather holds through the weekend, we might be able to get our decorations put up outside and maybe inside too. In the past, we have had to battle drizzle, freezing cold and blustery winds. Winnie the Pooh we are not.


It might be a little too early for some – decorating for the holidays. Some may already be enjoying the twinkling of Christmas lights. Would you like to know how I decide when to decorate?

I look at the calendar and find the one free day that exists sometime in November or December and decide “Okay! That’s the date!” It just so happens that it arrives this weekend. Where am I going with this, you ask? I was wondering the same thing myself.

So here’s the tale:

The Story

We have lots of Christmas tree ornaments. Many of them were gifts – from extra special people we love and bringing them out each year reminds us of them. Some we purchased as mementos of our travels or special events. And when you’ve been together as long as we have, there are a lot of memories and a lot of ornaments. I made the first one for our first tree when I was about 16 while we were dating. Yes, I know, you thought I was 16. You’re so funny! Here it is:


As time went by, our children also contributed to the decorations.


I also have some of the best sand dollar ornaments that my mom and dad made when they were in the business.


My sister has started making them now.


One year after I had hung the last ornament on the tree, I stood back and looked at it and thought to myself, “Something is missing”. Have you ever had that feeling? You can’t put your finger on it but something is just not right. I decided there must be a box of ornaments I had not added. But how could that be? Then it dawned on me. I smacked my hand to my forehead and said “Silly me! I’ve forgotten the box of teddy bear ornaments! No wonder the tree didn’t look right!”

I don’t intentionally look for more teddy bear ornaments. I love the ones I have and they are enough. But it does happen that sometimes when I am out and about one or two end up in my possession with the thought, “This teddy bear would be a great addition to the tree this year.”


Artist made ornament I found at a teddy bear show back in the Spring.

This year we have four to add. It will be fun to bring them into the mix. And a mix it will be too.


This one came home with us from the beach in August.

There are days when I so admire those of you who do themed trees with that special artistic touch – ribbons that match, ornaments that coordinate and of course, all your lights burn, right?


Duffy the Disney Bear – came all the way from Florida this year.

Our tree is a mix of old and new, memories and mementos, fat and skinny, fuzzy and plain.


This one is unlike any others I have.  More on that at a later time.

When we’ve finished decorating it, we sit down with a ‘whew!” and turn off all the lights except the ones on the tree. We sit and enjoy its twinkling. To me there’s just something really magical and peaceful about a lit Christmas tree in the dark.

And many stories have an epilogue too right? Here’s this one:


I have good intentions. I don’t really have a game plan to decorating. Just a goal. One simple, forthright, easy to understand, goal. This is it: To get finished so we can get to the sittin’ and enjoyin’ part. It’s our winter counterpart to our summer porch sitting. You are welcome to check back to see if we were successful.


  1. Oh Ginger, you are so like me. My tree is not all co-ordinate it is full of memories. Things Grand children make. The kids up the street bring me things, some of my mothers things, and little bells with all the grand children"s names on. Usually one little grand daughter comes and helps,,,,HELPS did you hear me. We often have all the red baubles together.e "Granny, put all the birds together because they are friends." I dare not alter it.
    To me that is what Christmas is all about. Even if the tree is not perfect, it's perfect in my heart.

  2. I have the same kind of tree...I used to have the 'story' to each ornament in its wrapping but somehow they never made it back so now, I've bought some of those little price tags at the hobby store and I tie them to the ornament with the date we received them and who they're from are where we bought them. Helps when your memories are many like your years...I have many 'bears' too...seeing as I collect them, friends and family give them to me...I also have a collection of picture frame ornaments and I enjoy seeing these each year...I hung a photo of Mama and Daddy on the tree...its a comfort to have photos of loved ones on the tree, kind of makes them a part of the celebration.
    Mama Bear

  3. Love the mixture of ornaments. My mum and dad's tree is the same (I don't have one as I never have Christmas in my own house, it seems a waste!)

  4. i love the moment turn on magical!.

  5. This was so sweet reading this passage. We call all of those special ornaments our memory ornaments, each one has a story. :)

  6. Hello Ginger :)

    Our tree is the very same...handmade ornaments the children have made over the years, gifts, memories. Each year we decorate and remember the story behind the ornament :) it's wonderful.

    I just love this time of year and the joy that it brings.

    hugs, doreen


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