Saturday, December 3, 2011

Enduring Christmas Ornaments- Part I

No matter how old your ornaments are, they are something special, if only to you. Once they're on the tree with the twinkling lights gently glowing, those ornaments are captivating. Memories of long ago, cherished Christmases come to mind, and the smells of those times trigger more. Does it matter how old the ornaments are? No. Does it matter where they came from? Sometimes, yes.
I am one of the lucky people who are in possession of ornaments that came from a family member, or two. Some are from my grandmother, and there are some precious ones from my mother, as in her bell collection. These are the few that are left, and will be on my tree this year:

I just adore bells. Many of the decorations in my kitchen this year are bells- a wreath of bells, bells hanging from ribbon, clusters of bells dangling from the table lamp, and a few left over in case I think of someplace else to put them. But, the bells pictured above are for the tree.
Some bells are glass, some are collectibles, a half dozen are plastic (and still cute), and there are two wood bells (not vintage). The triple set of small brass bells in the center of the picture are affectionately known as the 'Cat Alarm" bells. Mom's Siamese used to love to climb the Christmas tree, with the resulting breaking of ornaments, so this set was always placed on the lowest branch to sound the alert when he was trying to climb! Keeping the tradition, I always place them on the lowest branch, even though my cat won't go near a tree.
The pretty blue bells and gold bells are plastic, as far as I can tell, and they are delicate.
The next picture is of my favorite bells- the lacy kind. There aren't many of them left, and luckily they have their own box.

The bell on the far left of this next picture has me baffled. The bouquet is beautiful, and looks like it might be a decal. Any thoughts? Let me know if you have any information on it.

Now, for the vintage ornaments. I'm sure there used to be many more Shiny Brites in grandma's collection. Some were probably broken by cats and kids over the years. So, here is what I have:

Just recently I learned quite a bit about ornaments and their origins, mostly from one of my favorite sites, She has a number of posts on the backgrounds of Christmas ornaments. I never knew it would be that interesting!
The little stray on the lower right has me stumped. There's almost no pike. Another mystery. If anyone knows anything about it, please, let me know. I find their histories fascinating.
I call the ornaments in this next shot, rainbows, for lack of a better word. I don't even know if they were made by Delta (as printed on the box).

A few indents remain. Those no longer with us were quite large.
The stagecoach ornament is really wonderful. It looks like it has retained all its 'snow'.
This clear lantern was from the World War II era, when silver was not used to coat the inside of an ornament, because the silver was needed for the war. As in all the others, there used to be more in this collection.
The last picture is of lose ornaments that have no box of their own, but do have a home- mine. The blue ball in the rear of the group seems to have a long pike, possibly made in Poland. I'm not an expert in the field of ornaments, so this is only a guess.
The pine cones are cute, aren't they?

These are now, happily, my collection.
If you have any background on these ornaments, please leave your info in the comment section below. I look forward to reading it!


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