Saturday, November 22, 2008

Mrs. Christmas

If anyone could be labeled "Mrs. Christmas," it would have been my mother. I think I've posted often of things connected with her at Christmas--her early shopping for one and her cherry cheesecake tarts. Mom had a way of stretching Christmas out especially when it came to decorating. She would start with the mantel and often unrolled a large piece of cotton swabbing (this was before they made it into all those nice little balls) across the top of it to make it look like snow. Then she'd add little houses or angels or miniature trees. It was never the same way two years in a row.

On the front door that opened directly into our living room and was rarely used, she would tape all the Christmas cards. As I grew older, that became my job. One that I was very proud to do.

Decorating the tree was one of the last things to do since growing up, we always had a live tree. There were some ornaments that Mom absolutely cherished and those were always hung by her and high enough in the tree not to be knocked down by over-zealous children reaching for gifts. I don't remember when she bought them, but I do remember the box of a dozen colored glass ornaments in the shape of teapots. Each was a shiny color, red, blue, green, gold, and had a little sprig of flowers or Christmas greenery painted on the front. It sticks in my mind that those were her favorites. Maybe because they were so delicate or maybe because we were never allowed to hang those until we were grownups.

Some years after I was married, Mom decided to sort through her old ornaments and get rid of those that were tarnished. There were only two little teapots left. For the record, I do not remember breaking any. It must have been my brother. (How's that for sibling rivalry?) The teapots were tarnished pretty badly. One was gold and the other green.

Today, you cannot tell the color of either teapot. They have taken on a reddish-brown patina but they still look as delicate as ever. They are placed each year in the center of my dining room hutch where no one can touch them. They are there just for me. A reminder of Mom and how much she loved Christmas and sharing it with her family.


Cathy Messecar said...

Karen, This is such a lovely remembrance and way to remember your mother.

Your description of the little teapots intrigued me. I have about 60 teapots, placed all over my home. I'v never heard of teapot ornaments. How wonderful!

A Frugal Friend said...

Thanks for sharing. This made me think of my mother....she loved Christmas so much. Lost her to breast cancer 3 years ago next week. The last time I saw her and well was when all of us were decorating the house (mom, dad & sister without husbands, kids) A great memory...

Karen said...

Dear Frugal Friend,
It is so difficult to lose a parent even if you know she is heaven. I had to share my story in our book about my mother with my church this Sunday and there was a sweet-sour feeling as I recalled her knitting my children's Christmas stockings. I miss her even after over 20 years. But now I remember fondly and rejoice in the memories.