Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Finding Christmas #6: Decorations and Ornaments

Barbara from My New Life Rules is going through a bit of a rough time right now and mentioned that she had only been able to put a wreath on her door this year. And as I thought more and more I realized that a single wreath can have more meaning than a houseful of decorations. I found this from a google search:

Much symbolism can be attributed to the wreath. The shape of a circle has no beginning and no ending. This may represent the eternal nature of a god's love, or the circle of life. It is a sign of faith in humanity and life and of victory over life's challenges. Evergreens are used to represent immortality and the victory of life through darkness and challenge. The fact that evergreens live through winter signifies the strength of life. 

Wow, did I just make myself cry? Yup.

I have two wreaths hanging on the front of my house and until now never realized just what they represent. I did put up my lights outside and they sparkle when it gets dark at 4:30. And I will also admit that I have only put up about half of the decorations that I usually do. It's really nice though. My tree (artificial) is up and in my basement because that is where I spend most of my time. There are even presents underneath because I did some wrapping tonight.

The ornaments I hang are eclectic. Love that word, Meaning, they are all a bit different but as I hang them I am awash in memories. Years ago I began buying ornaments when I travelled, as souvenirs. I think Lori from A Journey to Embrace does the same thing. I have some from all over the world and this year I have my Chicago ornament hanging in front. It reminds me of all the people who have been there for me in the bad times and the good over the last year. But this ornament does not just represent the bandsters I met in person. Chicago was a symbol for this whole bandster community whether you were able to come or not. When I found it in one of the stores (can't remember-memory going!) I loved the little feathers and sparkly thingy's.
And I love my band. Without it I would not be where I am today. I still have a ways to go but I will get there. No one can change that. Today I left a comment on Dinnerland's blog (someone who is also having a bit of a bad time these last few days). It said: Let's get on with our journey because we are all taking a different path to get to the same place. Some are on the freeway, some taking the backroads, some are doing stunts on motorcycles to get noticed. Me-I'm just taking the scenic route and stopping whenever I can to enjoy the view.

Here are a few of my favourite decorations I have put out this year, some with history, some new. I will show you in pictures.
New last year, it hangs on the inside of my front door.

In the late 80's I did a lot of Tole Painting. Here is my Christmas Goose.
I add the bell and ribbon and greenery to make her pretty.
I also painted some Santa candle sticks, the one on the left with the Maple Leaf to represent Canada, the middle Wizard Santa and then there is Flaming Head Santa given his name because the wooden candle holder on the top of his head (no longer there) caught on fire one night and burst into flames. The picture on the right is skinny leg Santa (with a wreath!). But he is kind of cute.
And my last Santa is Jazzy Santa. Push his button and he plays 2 different Christmas Carols. I will say it gets rather irritating when the small ones push it repeatedly. Thank goodness the batteries can be easily removed.
Sitting on my mantle is SNOW. Sorry to all who are still digging out from the major dump in the Midwest and Southern Ontario. We have about 6 inches on the ground here, just enough to use the snow blower and make it feel like Christmas. You should come visit if you like. And no, we didn't have to stock up with food or bunker down for days til the roads were clear. We venture out in our SUV's with snow tires and freshly plowed streets and life goes on. 
Lastly I have to show you my tree. It holds all those ornaments collected over the years. It isn't Martha Stewart but it is full of memories. We used to have real trees until DH's asthma got really bad and we had to resort to artificial.

Well peeps. That's just a little look into my house this Christmas. I also hope I have not offended any of my Jewish friends who recently celebrated Hanukkah earlier in December. Many of the lights, candles, traditions are celebrated at that time just as Christians celebrate in the coming weeks. I find this year, with these multiple posts that I am getting more reflective about the true meaning of the season. It is so much more than food.

I will be pausing my Finding Christmas posts for a few days because I am going away. Not to the funny house but to visit my BFF in Hamilton. We met at University and instantly bonded. We have been friends for over 36 years. It is a respite during this busy time. A time to talk and laugh and reminisce.

I leave Friday after work and come back on Tuesday the 21st just in time to bring on Christmas. I work between Christmas and New Years but only 3 days and since many will be off, it should be rather quiet. I have one more post about Food and Drink. But after all these posts I have come to realize that Christmas or any holiday is no longer just about food. Food is only one piece of the puzzle. Isn't it nice to be free from the constant thoughts of food.

I hope you are gathering some spirit in your soul by now. And if you can, light a little candle or hang a wreath to remember those in special need this year. It's the least we can do.


12 comments:

Gen said...

Wonderful post Sandy. Thanks for sharing this with us. I want a Chicago ornament!!!!

P.S. No snow in Colorado yet!

Read said...

Man Sandy, I totally love this one too!!! I bought an ornament while we were down in Disney a few weeks ago - but only because it was so close to Christmas that it was on my mind - but now, I am so stealing your tradition of buying ornaments when you travel - what a fantastic idea!!! Thanks for that. I love each of your santas and especially like the flaming head one - I love love love stories like that that linger forever.

The rest of the decorations and bits of your house are absolutely beautiful. Thank you again for sharing it with us all!!

~Lisa~ (Mrs C) said...

Incredibly beautiful post, incredibly beautiful photos!! Thank you so much for sharing yourself and your home with us.. And thank you for the information on the Christmas wreath - I didn't know that... What an amazing story!

Enjoy your time with your BFF. There are few things in life better then taking a day or two in the middle of absolute craziness and just spending them with someone special - a true Christmas gift!

Will be looking forward to "seeing" you when you get back!!

(((hugggsss)))

Maree said...

Your decorations are fabulous. Have a great time with your friend.

Stephanie M. said...

Sandy, I'm one of those Jew friends and I LOVE your posts! We celebrate Christmas since my husband is not Jewish, and I am not particularly religious (we pretty much skipped Chanukkah, which is a VERY minor holiday by the way, altogether this year) but we don't decorate or anything. We have gone to the same friends' house for Christmas dinner for the last 12 years and I enjoy it every year. So I have really enjoyed seeing inside your world.

tessierose said...

Lovely post Sandy, as always you manage to make me smile and cry at the same time. I love, love your Christmas goose, I want one! It's all lovely, Merry Christmas!

Lonicera said...

Love the 'deckie' behind your front door. Nice post. Have a lovely time in Hamilton!
Caroline

Jacquie said...

Family & friends. That is what Christmas is all about! Enjoy your visit with your friend Sandy.

I love the info about the wreath and I love your Chicago ornament. I didnt think to get one. I think we need a do-over. What do you say?

Nella said...

Amazing post...you do them so well and I look forward to reading them all!

Merry Christmas to you and your family!

Jess said...

Great post! And I really like that quote about the wreath. It's interesting. My heart goes out to poor Barb, I just can't imagine what she must go through day to day.

Sam said...

I think your house looks lovely and this was a truely great post!!

Dinnerland said...

Sorry I missed this one until today and appreciate the shout out!
As one of your Jewish friends-- I'm not sure why I would be offended by a look into your celebratory world. I welcome all faiths and choices-- I only get my personal back up when people try to tell me how I ought to live my life.

Anyway: I love the symbolism you found about the wreath being the circle of life.
As a matter of fact, our marriage contract (which is called a 'ketubah' and is traditionally a beautiful piece of artwork with the contract written in it) is written within a circle... I will take a picture to share it one of these days!

Happy Christmas!

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