Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Christmas Memories

Christmas is filled with memories both happy and sad. The unpacking of ornaments and decorations you only see once a year can produce a colorful mosaic of feelings as our world can change in so many ways from the last time our beautiful memories were hauled them up from the basement.

When life was different and I lived in the "big house," I had cabinets full of Department 56 Snow Village. I loved it more than anything, my collections were on display year round and lit up during the Christmas season thanks to many, many adaptors and cords. The small houses and stores with their tiny lights and colorful characters really added Christmas magic to the season.

Life changes, that's normal, and this house does not lend itself to the many display cabinets. They looked heavy and out of place, their former grand glory lost in the small cottage house we now live in and love. So the snow village went in large plastic totes stacked in neat rows in the basement. I thought about my imaginary towns and neighborhoods now and then but for the most part I just let it all go.

For some reason this year I had a nostalgic urge to have at least some of my Christmas magic to enjoy. I cleared a table and set up a scene with just a few bits and pieces. My daughter was ecstatic while helping me and loved the tiny lights and people.

She was so little the last time they were all displayed and didn't really remember much about them. She asked lots of questions about the pieces and loved helping to arrange them. It was a wonderful afternoon and we made some great memories.

 I do wish I was better with photographs as they look so pretty lit up and I couldn't seem to capture the look.

I have other memories as well. These two characters were bought for two foster placements I had years ago, they giggle when you shake them which the little ones did constantly as the laughter would make them giggle, also. When they moved on, I sent everything except the two "giggly" characters as I wanted to have something "real" to remember them by. I think of those children often, but especially when I unpack the "giggle's." They were going to a good place, I think, but you always wonder.

Part of the magic of Christmas, I believe, is to encourage you to stop and think about your life and where you've been and where you want to go. The value of our ornaments and decorations is not determined by how much you paid or what store you purchased them from but in the memories of where you were in your life the first Christmas they graced your home.


  1. Hi Debbie,

    You really struck a chord with me today! This year I am not decorating as my daughter is in Canada with ALL my family and I am feeling a little (okay, VERY) lonely without her and all of them, as I was spoiled the last two years, having been lucky enough to have spent Christmas and an extended stay (to find work for Libby and help her settle in Toronto) in my beloved Canada.

    Trimming the tree and decking the halls would have been a bit too tough for my heart to take, exactly for the reasons you mentioned.

    Glad that you are enjoying your tiny treasures with your sweet children and making new memories along the way.


    1. Poppy, I am so sorry you are so far away from your family. My parents moved to America from England and I know holidays were always difficult for my mom as her whole family was over there. We took trips every few years but that didn't always help as she would feel unsettled for months when we returned. I cannot imagine moving to another country and admire so much that you have. Please know my thoughts are with you and I love when I see you have commented, you have such kind words which I am certain come from a good and loving heart.
      Sending good thoughts......Debbie

  2. It is the Christmas memories that make the holidays special. I have a Santa doll that isn't particularly cute, but it is special because I have had it since I was a little girl.

    The cross stitch Santa I showed in my recent post was something I had just began making when my father went into the hospital. I finished it just after he died and hung it on our wall. I always think of him when I hang it at Christmas.

    I am not familiar with the Department 56 Snow Village. I have seen pieces, but I don't know much about the story behind them.

    1. Well, that cross stich Santa must have some powerful memories, then. I thought it was beautiful.
      The Snow Village is just a brand of houses and people and neighborhoods you can create, they are sold mostly in gift shops or some of the higher end department stores. I used to love creating streets and villages and every year when the new pieces came out, I just had to have them! It was just fun. A good memory!

  3. what a beautiful collection you have. I am glad you were able to bring some of them out, and with that, some wonderful memories as well

    1. Thank you, Daniela! Hope you are back on your feet!