This time of year, that old Christmas tune "Carol of the Bells" darts through my brain and often out of my lips dozens of times each day.
But after unwrapping my Christmas ornaments yesterday, it is all about the balls.
Is it silly that this ornament above (and its gold and green mates) are my favorite ornaments? I have two trees loaded with animal, bird, and Santa ornaments. Ornate vintage balls from antique shops. Lovely ornament gifts from all over the world. But these are the most important.
Back in the winter of 1950, my parents were newlyweds. Newlyweds with little money. My mother went to the five and dime store and brought several dozen boxes of inexpensive glass balls, a bottle of glue, and 3 bottles of glitter. These balls were the mainstay of their Christmas trees until my sister and I came along. Eventually, we loaded up the tree with our own little misguided Christmas crafts. Every now and then, a ball would come crashing to the ground. It still happens.
When my sister and I went off to college, my mother decided it was time for a color-theme tree. Peach and gold and white it would be. The original red, green and gold ornaments were divided up and remained in boxes until my sister and I had our own homes. I'm not sure how many ornaments survive at my sister's house, but I think I'm down to 12-14. I'm hoping to have enough to pass on to my daughter one of these years.
There are still a few ornaments left to hang, mostly these special balls. I'm dreading that awful little smashing sound that is inevitable each year, but I'm off to hang them up and remember the woman that made them.