Thursday, December 03, 2009

Christmas Traditions Day 3

When I was younger, and my kids were smaller I decided that I wanted all handmade ornaments on my tree. Our youngest daughter had fallen with a glass ornament and it had broken in her hands which required stitches. This started a tradition that would last for many years to come, my annual ornament party. I would pick 12 friends that were artsy or craftsy and invite them to the party in October. It was not only an invitation but they had to make a committment to make 12 ornaments. The party always took place the first week of December so that these new ornaments could be added to our trees for the year. I would make signs with each artist name and had a half of a shirt box for each person to place their ornaments. We would play games and visit for awhile then I would introduce each person. Some where friends from church, others from the neighborhood but each person brought a unique gift with them. Each artist then got up and explained their ornament and shared how they made them. It was great get the story behind each ornament. I would like to share one of mine....

At that time my brother had a goose, she would lay one egg a day. I decided that I would paint goose eggs for my ornament exchange. They would try and collect them and save them for me but sometimes I would have to go in and wrestle the goose for the eggs myself. Geese are not very nice birds actually, in fact they are mean. But I guess I was stealing her children! I can remember spending many days blowing and cleaning eggs before I could ever paint them. Once painted they were sealed with a shiny sealer and then metal decorative pieces were glued on to cover the holes and provide a place to add the hook. Signed and dated, I still have two that I did after all these years, I think the dates on mine are 1984, carefully packed away each year.

When that was complete each women got a small box and we would make our way around the table, taking one of each of the twelve ornaments, we now were leaving with 12 new ornaments for our tree. It was a great party, filled with friends, food and fun. A perfect way to start the month of feastivities. It was amazing how quickly I aquired many ornaments, enough to fill my tree. I always had the extra ornaments that the kids made too, the ten ton cookie ornament with the paper clip stuck out of his head as a hanger. The cheerios glued together ornaments and pasta too. One year the kids made these lovely ice cream cone ornaments. They used satin ornaments and glued them onto a ice cream cone. They were amazingly simple yet so cute, I packed them carefully and stored in the attic. Next year I pulled the ornaments down and as we unwrapped those ice cream cone ornaments all that was left was a satin ball, the mice had eaten each and every cone off, all that remained was a line of glue around a satin ornament! I will try and gather some photos of the ornaments to add to this post. The picture is one of my pastel Christmas cards

Other similar ideas would be a cookie exchange, an ATC exchange if you know 12 local artists.


Joan said...

I'm really enjoying reading about your Christmas traditions. I like the idea of the ornament swap...much less fattening than a cookie swap. lol I have a lot of homemade ornaments on my tree, and when I travel to someplace new I always buy a Christmas ornament from there. That way each ornament has a special meaning that I think of as I place it on the tree. I even have one that my niece made back in girl scouts (she's now 41 years old) with a Hershey kiss inside.

Africantapestry and Myfrenchkitchen said...

I LOVE this tradition! And where is your goose egg...?

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