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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Garland of Christmas Past

Are you ready for a true tale of long ago love?
I don't have a mantle over a fireplace or even a shelf. So I hang a garland at the foot of my bed. It is an ordinary garland made up of faux greenery, icicles and pine cones. But the ornaments on the garland make it very, very special.


My parents were married in September of 1967. They had but one Christmas together before my dad passed away in February of 1968.
They lived in a small apartment in the Bay Area. I like to think about the conversations they must have had when they were selecting the ornaments for their very first Christmas tree. Did they pick the soft color palette of pinks, blues, yellows and greens because they were dreaming of their baby? (Yes, me.)

I love to imagine the soft laughter and gentle kisses that were exchanged as they tenderly hung the shiny new ornaments on each branch.



After my mother passed away, my Grandma Mary (her mother) kept them in storage.
The first year I was married money was very tight. I thought that there would be no decorations. My grandmother had other ideas and presented me with these ornaments. It was so bittersweet.
Over the years the ornaments have been unpacked many, many times. They have hung on several trees in many different states and countries.

Some of the ornaments are no longer able to be hung on a tree or garland. I have placed them on my nightstand next to an angel that also belonged to my mother. She plays "Silent Night".

Although a few have been lost and many are scratched, all are treasured. All are a rememberance of a long ago love.

53 comments :

jewelstreet said...

Awww. That is such a sweet story and beautiful garland!

Thanks so much for sharing that with us!

Mildred said...

Laura, What a blesing that your Grandmother saved these ornaments for you. I know you treasure each one and the musical angel is so sweet. It's wonderful to be surrounded by keepsakes to remind us of our loved ones. Thank you for a very loving tribute to your parents today & God bless you through the holidays.

Things That Inspire said...

Wow - what an original idea! I don't think I have ever seen garland at the foot of a bed. Your garland is particularly lovely because of the ornaments.

Kass said...

Im crying-
what a story.
I'm so happy you have those ornaments- they are beautiful. Your bed looks fantastoc- I'm going to put garland above my bed since I dont have a foot board.
God Bless!

Creations from my heart said...

I love your garland idea and the ornaments on the tray. I have been visiting your blog and have you marked as a favorite. I just posted about a garland last night. I would love to have you see what I've been up to with garland. I'm heading over to the Nester for her "Garland Party!" Blessings this Christmas season...Sherry

Amber said...

What a wonderful story. The garland and the memories are just beautiful.

Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality said...

So pretty, Laura! I love those old vintage ornaments. My mom still has the ones she used on our tree growing up & I appreciate them SO much more now. Yours are beautiful!

Kristi said...

I have tears in my eyes....I love this post. Thank you for sharing the story behind your ornaments. Christmas blessings to you and your family!

jewelstreet said...

Oh, did I mention I got my giveaway package?! It's awesome. I love it. Everything arrived perfectly safe.

Jess said...

That was so sweet and I love the way they look!

ceekay said...

How wonderful that they were saved for you! Precious story.

Denise K. said...

So pretty! Your garland is lovely and I too loved the ornaments on the tray and the story behind it! Merry Christmas! :-)

Katy Lin :) said...

what beautiful decorations and even more beauitful memories that they bring to your Christmas season! :)

Erika said...

Wow! What a story you have to pass down! I love the antique ornaments my mom and grandmother have, yours are so pretty! I read a comment you made on another blog about three presents being enough and think that's a great explanation and keeps the focus on Christmas where it should be!

Lisa @ Take90West said...

Your post was absolutley beautiful. You are so lucky to have those cherished ornaments.

Sandy said...

ahh, great memories and beautiful garland!

Lorrie said...

What a beautiful garland with an even more beautiful story. How lovely that your Grandmother kept those small things for you to treasure.

Lorrie

Lady Dorothy said...

Lovely place for a garland, especially one honoring your parents' love. What a special gift your grandmother gave you.

I really like that you display the "broken" ones, too. So very beautiful.

Marci said...

Hi! I stopped by from The Nester. I love your garland and the story behind the ornaments. What a lovely way to honor your parents. Merry Christmas.

Stephanie said...

What a touching story, thank you so much for sharing it with us.

heather said...

That is so sweet. I never would have thought to put a garland on the foot of a bed.

Judy @ In His Grip said...

What a wonderful idea to put a garland on the bed. I will do this next year. I have trees in each bedroom but have not ventured to garland in there. Thanks for the idea.

What specail ornaments you have that come with such thoughts of love.

KDLOST said...

Lovely! It really must make you happy. :)

Bonnie said...

A very lovely post! Thank You for sharing the story behind your ornaments with me.

~♥~ Monica S said...

Oh that is such a lovely history ... very sad, yet sweet, I understand why you keep them close!!

Monica

Carrie said...

What a special treasure you have in these heirloom ornaments.

Laura,
Please go to the following link for an award nomination for your blog.
Carrie
http://oakrisecottage.blogspot.com/2008/12/angel-giveaway-and-two-awards.html

Shimmy Mom said...

OH, Laura, What a beautiful post.
Your garland looks so lovely with your parents ornaments. How wonderful that you still have keepsakes of theirs.
I have a Nativity that my grandmother made and I cherish it more than anything on earth, so I understand how attached you must be to them. Thank you so much for sharing them with us.
*hugs*

Ells said...

That is a beautiful Christmas tradition and special way to honor your parents! Thanks for sharing your story and garland!

Elizabeth said...

What beautiful vintage ornaments, some are very unusual. How nice that your grandma held on to them for you.

Christie said...

Such a beautiful post, and how precious to have the ornaments your parents had!

Deb said...

This is one of the sweetest things I've ever heard. I love the garland on your bed!! How precious. Hope you and your family have a blessed Christmas!

Jen said...

Laura - I love the idea you have of hanging your garland on your bed. Totally cool, touching and romantic at the same time - using a garland to connect your past and your present and the treasured memories to come.
I adore the tray of special items that look fabulous and take you into your family history, with but a glance. Decorating with love and honor- thanks for sharing :)

Andrea Singarella said...

oh gosh, I'm sitting here crying. How incredibly special it is that you have these cherished ornaments. Thank you for sharing such a beautiful story, Laura.

Cherry's Jubilee said...

That is soooo lovely. I love the soothing vintage quality. cherry

Tater Mama said...

Thank you for stopping by Tater Tales and leaving a comment. I have enjoyed reading your posts and am now a huge fan of your blog. What a beautiful way to remember your parents and a wonderful way to display the precious ornaments. Very touching.

I hope to see you around the blog again soon. Merry Christmas!

~♥~ Monica S said...

Hi

I have something for you!

Monica

M.L. @ The House of Whimsy said...

Be still my heart...On Your Bed??? Ooh...the fun and frolic of it all. Great thinking outside the box. And LOVE the old ornaments that are sentimental too!!

Tracy said...

Very pretty, Laura. And what a perfect, special way to display something with such sentimental and personal value. Makes me wish my bed had a footboard. And do "I spy" Martha paper on your bedside tray? I'm totally stealing that idea!

perilloparodies said...

Happy Birthday to your man!! I love to check in... and... you have been TAGGED. Check it out on my blog! :-)

perilloparodies said...

again, thank you for sharing yourself with us... I am sorry for the bittersweet times that seem numerous in your life, though... I think that those bittersweet times helped to mold you into who you are today. You have compassion because you knew what it was like to go without on many levels, you have love because you know the sense of loss and enjoying who and what you have. you have joy because God has made "beauty from your ashes." God is so faithful and loving. I would think that your life, no matter how much you have passed, is a testimony of God's faithfulness, His Love, His joy unspeakable, and His peace. I know, noone is perfect, but I appreciate this. and, I am so glad you will do it... I really have enjoyed learning about you, Laura, you are a sweet friend. Hope things go well with finals, and that you Have Happy Holy-days!!! :-)

Shannon @ Silver Trappings said...

I love your garland and where you put it. Very touching story. I'm so glad you still keep and display all those ornaments!

Shannon

Blue Castle said...

Your garland is lovely, and it is even lovelier because of the story behind the ornaments. How wonderful to have something of your parents' to treasure.

Glenda said...

This was such a nice story to tell us.

It is wonderful to have their treasures.

The garland at the end of the bed is so pretty.
I use to place my garland around a door when I didn't have a fireplace. Now that I have one I don't put the garland up there, go figure.

Ciao

Cheryl said...

that was just the best story, thank you...how touching...

Jorgelina said...

Hi Laura!!
What a wonderful story.
Beautiful garland!

Tea Time With Melody said...

What a lovely story. So much love in those ornaments. Thanks for sharing.

Mimi Sue said...

Decorations with a history like that are so precious. I love that you've put them on your bed. So unique. Mimi

The Nester said...

oh. my. wonderfulness.

The best garland writing that I read over the past two days. Thank you so much for sharing this and the garland on your bed is such a great idea!

Those glass ornaments are priceless!

I noticed you leaving so MANY comments yesterday--everyone got one from you! Thank you--when I click on your chair avitar in the comments--it gives me a "blogger profile unavailable" error and won't let me get to your blog that way.

I ended up googleing your name to find you after I read your comment on today's post!

So glad I did!

Maija said...

That is a sad and beautiful post!

Amy said...

What a great way to honor your parents memory and keep a visual reminder of them. My favorite Christmas ornaments are the ones that have special meaning.

Jessica said...

Such a sweet story! That brought tears to my eyes and at the same time made me smile :) Thanks for sharing!

Super Saturday said...

Love your home! So cozy I would love to visit! You have so many fun ideas! Thanks for sharing. Paula from Idaho
http://bucketideasforchristmas.blogspot.com/

Stephanie ~ Angelic Accents said...

This sweet post seals the deal ~ I'm officially one of your "followers" now!!

Big TX Hugs,
Stephanie
Angelic Accents