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Christmas Crisis

For more than twenty years, I have managed to preserve all of my childrens’ homemade Christmas ornaments that they made in Kindergarten.  These ornaments trigger some of my most precious memories.  Each ornament was made to resemble a gingerbread-person, topped with a cut out photograph of my childrens’ faces.   They were painted and decorated by their little hands and have proudly hung on the Christmas tree every year.

This morning, my husband and I built our new Christmas train around the tree, (now that we live near a train, I HAD to buy Chris a train for the tree!)  hung the white lights and the shiny red, silver and green balls. It was finally time to break open the special decorations –  the really meaningful ones, gingerbread people included.

I was aghast (defined as “struck with overwhelming shock; filled with sudden horror”) when I realized that over the year of storage, water had gotten into the plastic bins and the homemade ornaments had absorbed most of the moisture.  They were covered with mold and broke into little pieces when I touched them.

I can’t fully articulate the sadness I felt as I gently rescued these precious homemade crafts and placed them on the kitchen table.  It felt like a death.  I’m not one to hold onto “stuff” but at that moment, I was definitely feeling a deep loss.  I thought of the character,Tevye in my favourite movie, “Fiddler on the Roof” as he struggled so intensely with the threat of losing his family and cultural TRADITIONS.   There’s something enchanting and comforting about tradition but as Woody Allen once said, “Tradition is the illusion of permanance” and things don’t last forever.

As I was pondering, I heard my husband snickering in the background.  In the midst of this great tragedy…

disasterous day

…the water-stained homemade angel that my daughter had made seemed to be looking over this disaster and saying “DAMN”, not “DAWN”.

That’s exactly how I felt.  It was a good moment. And it made me laugh.  Things don’t last forever.

No Comments

  1. kathy taylor

    Know how you feel….but before I scrolled down as to why Chris was snickering, I stared and stared at the letters on the angel and thought, “Didn’t they notice before that Dawn had been spelled wrong…I thought it was MY eyes!!
    PS Drew looks like Phoenix!! And so blond !!

  2. Karen Perrott

    Feeling your Pain…
    thanks for the insight, as someone who has trouble letting go of those sentimental treasures from their children’s childhood!

  3. Emily

    It’s really a shame that the ornaments were ruined. I hate to admit it, but that picture made me laugh. It was perfect for the situation! But I was a bit curious as to why one of your kids had damn on their ornament.

    • diane

      Hi Emily! When Dawn (actually, her name is Dawne, with an “e” but that’s another story!!) was young, she made that angel and put her name on it. It wasn’t “damn” on her ornament – it was Dawn! 🙂

  4. Emily

    Yes, I knew Dawn made it. Ws tend to be a little warped, is it a W? is it an H? is it an M? Will the story of DawnE be in a future blog post? Sounds very interesting 🙂

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