AT Inbox: Holiday memories

Holiday a time for nostalgia

I put out the old hard plastic Santa and reindeer, among gold-sprayed authentic pine cones and cotton on the shelf of my antique organ. I hang my tree with the stars crocheted and starched by my great aunt, made when she was in her 50s. She died 40 years ago at 98 years.

My Christmas dinner table is decorated with an original Spode Christmas Tree dinner set, the pride and joy of my Christmas collection. Extra serving dishes consist of green Depression glass, hard to find patterns.

For me, Christmas properly enjoyed is a nostalgic time of home made, fresh made (pumpkin pie from a real pumpkin) and served on valued antique Christmas collectibles. Perhaps this delights me because as an only child with my career military father away at war during most of my youth, my mother and I had some very lonely unadorned Christmas seasons.

— Ethel Geary

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Old bell rings in Christmas

Hi Robyn

I have a 7-foot bottle brush tree that we have used for at least 25 years and I love it. I have all my handmade ornaments on plus I made the angel for on top. We also have a 4-foot aluminum tree with the colored light wheel in our sunroom plus I have a 2-foot  aluminum half tree that hangs on a wall. I have never seen another one of these anywhere.  

I also have about 20 Mr. and Mrs. Santa salt-and-pepper shaker sets that I set out and I have a huge red and green honeycomb bell that was my grandma’s that I hang from ceiling. I remember the bell hanging  in grandma’s house when I was a kid and I’m over 60. It has a 10-cent price tag on it. I just love the holidays and decorating for it. I also have a lot of the holiday Lefton figurines with the candy cane stripes on.

— Kathy Kakuschke
Wisconsin

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Fragile: Handle with care

I remember as a kid helping my mom decorate the tree. After we’d reached a certain age, it was her job to hang the many blown-glass ornaments. It was us kids’ job to dust and wipe them all down before she hung them. (And, of course, it was our job to hang the tedious tinsel, too!)

Every year there were Christmas ball casualties. More than once I remember sticking my thumb through the delicate ornaments. It’s a miracle I never cut myself!

It’s no wonder she now uses those silk and Styrofoam balls. There’s no one left at home to dust – that is, even if there are any of those delicate Christmas balls left.

— Elizabeth

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Before there was safety…

I vividly remember one kind of decoration on my grandparents’ tree. These decorations would never be found today … they’d be deemed way too dangerous. Two multi-colored hard candy balls, about an inch in diameter were connected by a thin wire. They were meant to hang by that metal wire across the boughs of the tree.

Let’s see: candy balls, just the perfect size to choke a child or grown-up and wire that could poke someone’s eye out if it came out of the balls or broke. Nope. We’ll never see those again.

— Marcia

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