Ornamental

I kind of wanted to do an Advent calendar of posts in December, but considering that it’s December 3rd and I haven’t started yet, it looks like that ship has sailed.  And let’s not even talk about post-a-day November.  That ended with a whimper instead of a bang (or video blog like I had intended.)  Oh well – what can I say?  It’s been a year.  I don’t believe one bit in the Mayan end-of-the-world prophecies, but I will say that energetically, I don’t think that things have ever been more tumultuous either for me personally or for so many people I know, so maybe there’s a little something to it.  That said, I will fully admit that there’s a high likelihood of confirmation bias in my assessment of the situation, but it doesn’t change the fact that things are topsy-turvy for both me and for so many people in my immediate sphere as well as those more distant and detached.

But in spite of all that – or perhaps because of it – I decided, what the hell, I’m still going to attempt a bit of an Advent calendar.  I can’t promise it’ll be daily.  I can promise I’ll give it my best shot.  I was inspired yesterday because we put up our tree and every year, I’m stunned by the number of ornaments we have.  I remember growing up and the Christmas ornaments all had a history.  They’d been around for so long and we would fight to put them on the tree.  Of course, that reminds me of the year at church when we got Chrismons for the Christmas trees.  Each of the kids got to walk one up and down the center aisle of the church to show it to the congregation.  I can still remember what mine looked like.  Anyway, I got back up to the altar area, hung it on the tree and then proceeded to jump down the four stairs to the place where all the rest of the kids were sitting.  I was instantly admonished by the pastor in front of the whole congregation.  As you might imagine, I was mortified, but it isn’t even close to the most embarrassing thing that ever happened to me in church.

The funny thing is that somewhere along the line, the ornaments we have gained the same sort of history.  So many of them Heidi and I have hauled from place to place, pulling them out year after year.  Every year, we all get a new one in our stockings so they just keep multiplying.  For years, Heidi’s mom gave ornaments for Christmas until one year, she stopped for unknown reasons.  Some of them are god-awful tacky, especially the ones that are still hanging around from our childhoods.  Did anything classy come out of the 70s? ( I mean BESIDES disco?)

So anyway, I’m going to spotlight a bunch of the ornaments in upcoming posts.  And why not start now, right?

The first one is from when I was a kid.  It’s a red piece of felt shaped as a stocking with a bit of cotton at the top of it.  My name is spelled diagonally down the front of it in alphabet pasta.

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As our ornaments go, it’s probably one of the oldest.  I made this in Mrs. Burrows’ preschool class which I can only remember in bits and pieces.  My mother is fond of telling the story about how, one Christmas when I attended preschool, she dropped me off in little red pants (my mother really did dress me funny) but I came home in little blue pants (much more acceptable.)  When my mom asked Mrs. Burrows about what happened, she said “well, he had a little accident.”  Apparently, Santa Claus showed up at preschool that day and I was so excited by it I completely lost control of my bladder, thereby necessitating my change in pants. Fortunately, subsequent sightings of Santa Claus have not provoked similar responses.  Maybe when I’m old and demented in the nursing home, I’ll start up again.

Whether or not that was the same day that I made the stocking with my name spelled in alphabet pasta, no one can recall.  Hanging it on the tree this year, I was amazed at how old that macaroni is and that none of it has fallen off in 36 years.

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