This is my favourite Christmas item…and I have boxes and boxes of Christmas things 😉 This is special.
My father made these chests for each of his children and grandchildren. Each has the owner’s name and a unique Christmas themed design painted beside the name. There are toy soldiers, mangers, candy canes, gingerbread men, stockings and many more. Each chest is unique but similar to the rest. The boxes hold our Christmas ornaments and stocking. Every year we would get a new ornament, so the older we got the more challenging it became to fit everything in the box 😀 I have many many more ornaments than fit in this box, but this box holds the ornaments I’ve had since I was tiny. These ornaments bring a smile of delight every year when I take them out of the box and see them once again.
This year, Elizabeth and Debbie found my box before I was ready to hang the ornaments up…
“What is in here do you suppose?” Debbie asked Elizabeth, her voice eager with anticipation. “Do you think it has Christmas treasure in it??”
“I think Emily said it was her Christmas ornament box,” Elizabeth answered. “That is sort of a treasure…it is very important to her.”
“Can we open it??” asked Debbie.
“Well, that wouldn’t be right. We have to wait for Emily,” Elizabeth told her.
“Just a peek?” begged Debbie.
Elizabeth was firm, but Debbie was too impatient to wait. So, they found me and asked if they could help with the ornaments. I told them they could unwrap them, but I would hang them on the tree. I didn’t want to risk having them drop them.
Debbie raced back to the chest and was jumping up and down in impatience, waiting for me and Elizabeth to get there. We finaaaaally did. Elizabeth and Debbie got ready to open the box…
“One, Two Three…Liiiiift!!!”
“Ooooooo ! Look at all the pretty things!!!!”
“Look at this one, Debbie!!” Elizabeth held up a pretty flower/star shape made out of seashells. “This one is from when Emily went to Marco Island. She got it at a store called Shells by Emily“”
“Aww! Look at this little puppy!!” Debbie squealed.
“And look! More Feliz Navidad Ornaments!! Emily must have liked international ornaments when she was little,” Debbie continued as she looked through more ornaments.
Elizabeth had gotten another ornament out – a cute mouse tea party ornament. (one of my favorites!!)
By this point, I had hung all the ornaments they had gotten out . They had to hurry to get some more out of their boxes for me.
“Oooh! Look at this one! Cookies!!!!” Debbie was always excited about cookies 😀
“Are mice Christmassy?” Debbie asked. “They seem to be on a lot of decorations for Christmas…so they must be Christmas-related right?”
“Only if they are wearing clothes….then they are cute…otherwise we don’t like mice,” Elizabeth answered.
“Look at this one! He is playing the harp just like Emily.” Elizabeth changed the subject away from mice.
“Except that Emily doesn’t have a penguin or a top hat like that..” giggled Debbie. Elizabeth gave her a look that said she thought Debbie was being silly.
“Look more mice and Cookies!!” Elizabeth told her as she held up two matching ornaments.
“See!! They are important for Christmas!!” Debbie was sure now. “Emily, can we get a mouse for Christmas??”
“No! Absolutely not!” I replied.
“Oh. ” Debbie was disappointed. “Well, I guess if we have them on ornaments that works. Wait! What is this mouse doing?” She held another ornament up high.
That lady mouse was sitting on a pile of popcorn that had a star like a Christmas tree. She held a needle that she was pushing thru the kernels of popcorn.
“Why is she putting popcorn on a string?” Debbie asked.
“Elizabeth! Why would she do that? Why didn’t she just eat it?” She persisted, trying to get her friend’s attention.
Elizabeth was busy with ornaments and hadn’t looked up yet.
“What? Oh that? I guess she is stringing popcorn for the tree, people do that for decoration.” Elizabeth said absentmindedly.
Welllllll that got Debbie excited! She had never heard of stringing popcorn for a Christmas tree before. She got so excited and animated about it that she jumped up on the edge of the box and was waving the ornament around .
“We have to string popcorn, Elizabeth!! We have a tree we decorated, and we didn’t put popcorn on it! We didn’t do it right!!”
Elizabeth said, “All right, we’ll see if we can string some tomorrow.” She didn’t seem to see the connection between stringing popcorn and “Doing it right”, but she was willing to please Debbie.
After listening calmly to Debbie delivering a lecture on the great history of Christmas traditions and why it was so very important to do it right because it was their very first Christmas together….Elizabeth gently reminded Debbie that she was getting behind on unwrapping ornaments. Unwrapping ornaments was a more important Christmas tradition then giving lectures about Christmas. Debbie said “oops…” and hopped down off her “soap box” to start working again.
“Is that all the ornaments? Is the box empty yet?” Elizabeth asked.
Debbie hunted around in the bottom a bit more and said she didn’t see anything else.
“Aww! Look at this little snow man with an accordion…He is so sweet!” Elizabeth cooed over the last ornament she unwrapped.
“What about this one? Is chimney sweeping something you do at Christmas time?” Debbie asked…. She knew snowmen were connected to Christmas, but she wasn’t sure about chimney sweeps.
Elizabeth said no, not really, it was just cute…and cute things are a part of Christmas decorations.
Time to repack the box! They seem to have very different styles of repacking…..
Elizabeth took over and straightened out Debbie’s side so the lid would close.
“Oh look, I found one more!” Elizabeth pulled out a handmade wooden ornament from inside a box.
“My parents made that ornament early in their married life. ” I told them, as I took it from her to hang it on the tree.
“Christmas ornaments certainly have a lot of memories attached to them!” Debbie said as she sat on the lid to make sure it stayed down.
“And every year they get more! because every year we make more memories,” Elizabeth told her.
What is your most special Christmas memory? What do you look forward to the most each year?