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December 15, 2008

The Christmas Tree Thread

O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree
Thy leaves are so unchanging;
O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree
Thy leaves are so unchanging;
Not only green when summer's here,
But also when 'tis cold and drear.
O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree
Thy leaves are so unchanging.

When I was a little girl I used to love waking early in the morning before my Mom, Dad, or pesky little brother were awake. The house was eerily silent. Often there was fog outside the windows, and if I got up early enough I got to watch the sun steal over the horizon and listen to the birds as they began to wake up the rest of the world.

When I was very small - about 3 or 4 - I used to get cold; so after inspecting the house for interesting things that needed getting into, I made a beeline for the kitchen. The little grate at the bottom of the refrigerator pumped out a small stream of warm air and a comforting hum, and if I grabbed the pillow from my bed I could make a little nest for myself in front of it and doze off until my Mother arrived to fix me a warm egg for breakfast. But at Christmas, I liked to doze underneath the Christmas tree. It was the most peaceful feeling in the world. Even now that I'm all grown up, I still love to wake up first thing in the morning and turn the lights on when the house is still dark.

There is something magical about it.

I can still remember lying next to the tree in my parents house, drowsing in the half darkness as I gazed up at the twinkling lights and the tinsel (why don't we use tinsel anymore?). Counting over the ornaments, I rediscovered ones I hadn't seen since last year and picked out the reindeer on the Christmas tree skirt my Grandma had made for us (and the dog had thrown up on after he ate Grandma Rose's gingerbread cookies). He was always throwing up on something.

I think dogs get paid to throw up on things; especially large dogs. It is what they do best. One year he ate a pair of panty hose. That was disturbing on a number of levels. When not actually throwing up, they are usually either thinking about throwing up or making extremely loud, melodramatic hornking noises so you can't enjoy your beer in peace and quiet, but keep having to jump up and let them out the kitchen door in case they have the sudden urge to regurgitate the remote control you've been looking for for the past two weeks.

We spent Saturday afternoon at a local tree farm stalking the perfect Christmas tree, which turned out to look nothing like the 8 foot tall, perfectly formed paragon of treedom in The Princess' imagination. Either we are getting more efficient with age or there is an astonishing and heretofore unsuspected correlation between the distance hiked over a muddy, windy, cold field and the rapidly dropping standards expressed by a certain blog princess for acceptable Christmas greenery. All I know is that by the time we got to the top of a rather large hill, someone suddenly became very easy to please :p

It didn't hurt that I really, really wanted to go have a beer.

We put the tree up on Sunday while watching Planet of the Apes.

Villa Cassandranita has a long history of somewhat incongruous Christmas tree decorating traditions. If you're thinking Christmas cookies and carols and folks dressed up in their holiday finery.... fuggedaboutit. Most years for some odd reason, the Princess likes to blast non-traditional fare like Steppenwolf, Spirit, or Van Morrison's Moondance (sorry no video). This year it was apes and ornaments.

But the tree turned out lovely anyway. We've got so many ornaments now I can't fit them all on the darned tree, and there's no room in our tiny house to put all our decorations out anymore (or maybe it's just that I can't stand all the clutter). But I had the best time just looking at all the different ornaments and remembering where they all came from. It really struck me this year, perhaps because I didn't put a tree up at all last year since The Unit was in Iraq, that most of them have a story. I thought, while putting them up, that might make an interesting post.

Our tree also has several different themes. They represent different times in our family's history.

There are the unfinished wood ornaments. I love them. Didn't put them up this year, but I bought them in North Carolina when the boys were tiny. They were about 50 cents a piece. I think I originally intended to paint them but I decided they looked better unpainted. Several of them have tiny teethmarks on them from our beagle puppy. They filled the tree for years when we didn't have many ornaments.

Then there are the German ornaments: these are from my Mom. We took a skiing trip to Garmisch when I was in junior high and visited Oberammergau. We bought the most wonderful wooden ornaments. Over the years Mom gave me some and they bring back wonderful memories of our trip and of childhood Christmases at home with my parents.

There are silver bells and Scandanavian ornaments. From the time I was a little girl, my Aunt Sandy always put a Christmas ornament on the bow of our presents. Each year I kept it and put it on the tree. She's gone now, but every time I hang one of her ornaments, I think of her.

There are the Christmas eggs my Grandmother made: fantastically detailed miniatures in hollowed-out eggshells covered in glitter and braid. I remember staring at these as a little girl: a tiny deer gazing into a mirrored lake. The Three Kings. A pink pig. A crimson bird, complete with feathers.

And then there are the birds. My oldest boy - the police officer - the one who is so formal and gruff now, loved animals as a small boy. He knew the name of every animal and bird on the face of the earth. I remember taking him to the Smithsonian when he was only three. As we walked by the antelope display he chirped out, "There's the little Thompson's gazelle!"

And so it was. The man next to him must have jumped two feet. That was my son. When he was in kindergarten I started buying feathered birds at a craft store to put on the Christmas tree. Each year I bought each of the boys a few new ones to put on the tree. Now we must have 30 or 40 - way too many to put up. Everything from a huge peacock to tiny pheasants and hummingbirds no longer than your fingertip.

And several varieties of angels from my craft show days and the times when we didn't have money to buy Christmas presents and I made them. Battenburg lace angels with Spanish moss hair, angels made from craft paper, fabric angels.

And that doesn't even begin to cover the ornaments I could never part with - the ones my children have made over the years. The piece of bread ornament, the candy cane reindeer with the googly eyes, the sea shell ornament from California, the classroom ornaments with their pictures inside. Moments frozen in time.

Every year I buy my boys (and now their wives) two new ornaments and give them two from their growing up years. When they were in their teens I started buying them each a Christmas decoration each year. I wrote their name on the bottom and the year. Now I give them each one of those decorations for their homes each Christmas.

What are the ornament you look forward to hanging every year? Do you have tree decorating traditions?

I never thought of a Christmas tree as a living record of a family's history, but ours is. There are traces of so many people who are no longer with us, so many good times half forgotten. Once a year we carefully unwrap tiny mementoes of bygone eras and with them we regain memories of people and passages in our lives we have loved and lost. It is sad in a way. But in another way, enormously comforting to realize that we never entirely lose the ones we love so long as we take the time to remember; to unwrap those memories so carefully stored away while we're busy going about our every day lives.

Perhaps that is the real magic of Christmas.

Posted by Cassandra at December 15, 2008 07:26 AM

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Since most of us move around so much, never staying in the same house for longer than 5-6 years, the old symbols get painted over. Growing marks on a doorway disappear as we make the house ready for the next buyer and unmarked pet graves in the backyard rest quietly and unmolested for the most part.

The only diary available in modern times is the Christmas ornament. Passed on, bought during special times and times ginned up to be special, and burning the skinny remnants of our "yule log" as we sip some beverage boiled with fresh/stale mulling spices wraps a neat bow around each families experience and traditions.

As for tinsel, maybe it will return as we switch to LED lights, which are cool in more ways than one, presenting less of a fire hazard to the tinsel. The old ornaments are the wise men on the tree that temper the edge of inexorable technology with the quiet persistence of the ties that bind.

Merry Christmas, wherever you are!

Posted by: vet66 at December 15, 2008 10:02 AM

"I think dogs get paid to throw up on things; especially large dogs. It is what they do best. One year he ate a pair of panty hose. That was disturbing on a number of levels. When not actually throwing up, they are usually either thinking about throwing up or making extremely loud, melodramatic hornking noises"


Posted by: Chris Muir at December 15, 2008 11:14 AM

I like the disgusted expression dogs wear when you put those stupid felt antlers on their heads, too.

We got my dog (a mini Weinerdog) a red and black ski jacket last year because he is old and shivers all the time. When we put it on him, he looks like some sleazy Austrian ski instructor cruising for jailbait on the slopes ... all except for the expression on his face (which is pure agony).

Posted by: Cassandra at December 15, 2008 11:27 AM

Ahhhh....now you have unwittingly twisted my arm that I should go ahead and put up my fake tree and decorate with my vast collection of (mostly after Christmas purchased) decos & ornaments.

Because of ultra small space and clutter therein (for obvious reasons), it's always a logistical houdini-esque feat. (Coupled with what the cat does & gets into being also of great concern. That doofus is insanely fond of silk poinsettias!! (emphasis on INSANELY))

Sadly, this year we (a group of 30 some yr long friends, their kids & kids friends) broke with a 5 yr tradition of going up the 30 minutes to the mountains---armed with hatches, saw, winter gear, blankets, homemade 5 star chilli---[my friends are foodies--], cornbread & "ghetto" cocoa & various drinks---to fetch our $10 trees (permits only $10).

Here's one that could have a tint of bassackward morbidity to it (if you let it). But my father died New Years eve, the result a jeep wreck we were all in. An elegant and affluent lady who's mother was in the nursing home where my Mama worked. This lady took the ribbons from my the plants at my Papas funeral, and with styrofoam balls, velvet piping, decorative hat pin type pins, sequins, et al., made the most gorgeous set of silky (ribbon) ornaments, 1st neatly wrapping, in perfect sort of pleated form each ball with the ribbon.
With a family of "thing slingers", not all of them are anywhere to be found anymore, BUT a couple-few still are. I may have even snagged one in the last year while visiting home and going through & packing up some of the stuff in our house.

I agree with Vet66 about the decos being a veritable diary. How many 'pages' are read when hanging those decos.
[BTW--chandelier crystals make for very cool tree decos! (-:).
OK...that settles it..I'm unearthing my decos and if I have to hang the tree from the ceiling, so be it. (yes, there are those who have hung the tree upside down and deco'd it. Such was the case in the office building where I used to work. It is a cool look though. Not in intended as an anti Christmas statment, of course. oy!)


Posted by: CHILLIN Cat O' the FRIGID Rocky Mtns. at December 15, 2008 11:32 AM

Clothes on animals is cruel. Unless it makes them look ridiculous. Then it's just hilarious.


Posted by: MikeD at December 15, 2008 11:34 AM

Christmas: where the light fades and the darkness comes upon us all.

After playing the new Prince of Persia, and seeing the dramatic ending, this theme is very grave.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at December 15, 2008 11:43 AM

The ritual humiliation of domesticated animals is something of an artform at our house :p

But then family members who fall asleep on the sofa risk the same fate. The camera is not your friend at halftime.

Posted by: Cassandra at December 15, 2008 12:05 PM

I'm permitted to put the Christmas trees (yes, plural) into their stands, but I am no longer allowed to decorate them. According to mrs. claus, I fail to string lights or hang ornaments in the correct fashion. I can't begin to tell you how heartbroken I am about this.

Posted by: spd rdr at December 15, 2008 12:42 PM



This Christmas, we have a three-legged cat to entertain us. Heh. Our cat broke her leg jumping down off of a ladder, which broke the tibia in her hind leg. After many dollars spent (don't ask!), she is home with a cast on her rear leg, hopping madly about the house.
Three years ago, she tipped over our last "real tree" that my wife let me buy; it was about 13 feet tall, and she (the cat, not my wife) thought it would be great to climb in. So she did, and climbed out in one of the branches and tipped over the precariously balanced giant X-mas tree.
Well, we cleaned up the mess and took two feet off the bottom of the tree, which made it better balanced (think of the tree in the National Lampoon Christmas movie that Clarke Griswold brought home, and you're close), and all went pretty well after that, except my wife is now pretty firmly against a live tree.

The tree is up, the lights are up, a winter storm is coming our way. Unlike some, I like winter, the cold and the snow. Hiking or X-country skiing in the woods during a snowfall is the most peaceful time to be outdoors.

Posted by: Don Brouhaha at December 15, 2008 12:46 PM

spd, it is not easy being female :p We're insane, you know.

I will admit to having severe control issues around decorating, the tree, etc.

It bugs me, for instance, if the small ornaments are not put at the top of the tree (I actually put them in a separate box so we can decorate it that way) and the big ornaments at the bottom because the tree looks better that way. And I like the colors to be spread out, and God forbid we hang too many of the same *kind* of ornament close to each other - they should be appropriately *spaced* for a more pleasing look and feel...

Several years ago while watching my kids and their dates decorate the tree (to loud music) I just decided to let go, though. My aesthetic standards be damned. My house may not look like something out of Southern Living the way I wish it did (and I used to spend inordinate amounts of time planning the decorations so everything would look "just so") but I don't want to decorate the tree all by myself every year.

I still do most of it. I don't think that's something my husband particularly gets a thrill out of. But it makes me happy if I can coax him into hanging a few ornaments with me before he gets bored and wanders off back to football, and he is very good with lights.

I still have to stop myself from moving his ornaments after he leaves the room, though... :p

Posted by: Cassandra at December 15, 2008 01:01 PM

Oh Don!

That is beautiful :) You know I love George Winston. My daughter in law walked down the aisle to that. Isn't it the most sublime arrangement?

Posted by: Cassandra at December 15, 2008 01:05 PM

I still have to stop myself from moving his ornaments after he leaves the room, though...

I'll bet you also rearrange the dishes he puts in the dishwasher, too.

Posted by: spd rdr at December 15, 2008 01:19 PM

Actually of the two of us, I am by far the more laid back one :p

He rearranges EVERYTHING I put in the dishwasher. It drives me nuts. It makes me feels about 2 inches tall, especially considering I have been doing the dishes far longer than he has. The thing is, he is better at it than I am. But I don't really care how they fit into the (*&^ thing, just so long as they get clean, and he does.


I only have 1 or 2 things that I care about a lot.

The way my house looks is one. But I am trying (now that I work and the kids are gone) not to be territorial about it because that makes a person kind of hard to live with. When your kids leave there is a lot of adjusting that happens or else you bicker all the time. I don't like arguments so I guess I am trying to change.

Posted by: Cassandra at December 15, 2008 01:28 PM

Heh, the Christmas tree is the domain of MH and SWHNOB. I do the village. It's my *baby*. I started it over 25 years ago with the purchase of a set of street lights and an animated ice skating rink. (both of which still work as well as the day they were bought.) Today it is 27 *businesses and city buildings* as well as heaven knows how many *houses* along with the accompanying entourage of trees, cars, people, etc. This year I will include the scaled train set my father had bought earlier this year and put away for Christmas. A bittersweet addition that will be cherished for years to come.

Posted by: DL Sly at December 15, 2008 01:30 PM

Also, I screw up a lot. If I try to be agreeable those times when I figure something out in advance, I figure it's money in the bank.

Posted by: Cassandra at December 15, 2008 01:31 PM

Oh Sly. That will be very special.

Hard, though. But what a wonderful way to remember him.

Posted by: Cassandra at December 15, 2008 01:32 PM

I want Don's snow!

Posted by: Cassandra at December 15, 2008 01:41 PM

Is Lutefisk considered a "scandinavian ornament"?

Posted by: a former european at December 15, 2008 02:16 PM

Nailed it, Cassandra. That's exactly how I feel about Christmas Tree decorations. I think I've always felt that way--the connections to the past and the continuum of family life--but maybe it just started after my Dad died (I was 11), when the Christmas tree ornaments were such an obvious connection to "before."

Posted by: FbL at December 15, 2008 02:28 PM

I will admit to having severe control issues around decorating, the tree, etc.

It bugs me, for instance, if the small ornaments are not put at the top of the tree (I actually put them in a separate box so we can decorate it that way) and the big ornaments at the bottom because the tree looks better that way. And I like the colors to be spread out, and God forbid we hang too many of the same *kind* of ornament close to each other - they should be appropriately *spaced* for a more pleasing look and feel...

Oh my, another case of twin-ness, LOL! :P

Posted by: FbL at December 15, 2008 02:35 PM

Is Lutefisk considered a "scandinavian ornament"?

I think it's actually considered a biological AND chemical weapon.

Posted by: MikeD at December 15, 2008 02:38 PM

For those who have not experience the horror of Lutefisk:


Posted by: MikeD at December 15, 2008 02:39 PM

I'm not in favor of decorating for Christmas, or any other holiday--not because I don't like it, but because I can't be bothered. But the Christmas tree is different--it's possibly the one thread of tradition I hang onto.

I don't care how the ornaments go on, and we can be listening to Black Flag or Sean Jean, for all I care. I just like it that my grown kids like to come over and put the ornaments on, and we remember years and events and people associated with them. I don't care if they're clumped together or in any kind of order at all.

I do rearrange the dishes in the dishwasher, though. I even rearrange the dishes *I* put in there.

Posted by: April at December 15, 2008 02:55 PM

Oh man, not "lutefisk" again!!!

Posted by: Ymarsakar at December 15, 2008 04:31 PM

So very beautiful, Cass. Reading this brought back a lot of memories.

And *everybody* knows smaller ornaments belong towards the top of the tree.

Don't they...? ;-)

Posted by: MaryAnn at December 15, 2008 05:06 PM

I have an artificial tree for the house in the valley; it always goes up and gets decorated after Thanksgiving dinner.

I took my ladyfriend up to my place in the mountains to show her how Mother Nature decorates her trees. It's a combination of Cedars, Giant Sequoias, and Pine, all covered with ice and snow.

As the wind blows the ice and snow falls slowly creating rainbows in the bright sun. Truly magic.

Posted by: Allen at December 15, 2008 06:17 PM

And *everybody* knows smaller ornaments belong towards the top of the tree.

Meh....what do I know? I am just a woman.

Posted by: Cassandra at December 15, 2008 06:28 PM

When MacGyver and I were married, my MIL gave us a large box full of his childhood ornaments for our first Christmas and my mother did the same for me. The next Christmas, we spent hours decorating our tree together, talking about the ornaments and the stories behind them.

Putting up the tree is an event in our house. Complete with the first Christmas carols of the season, hot cocoa, candy canes...the whole shebang. The kids love it and I do too. It was hard when MacGyver was gone but the kids literally craved it so I stuck a smile on my face and dove in. It was therapeutic to say the least. We videotaped part of it and sent it to him as well.

When I was a child, my Daddy bought a small potted Blue Spruce that we used as our Christmas tree until the year it was just too big to haul into the house. So Daddy planted it in the back corner of the house and we would decorate it out there for the birds and other small animals - birdseed ornaments and popcorn strings and other yummies for them. One year, the tree had become so big that Daddy had to cut it down because it was interfering with the phone lines in addition to the block wall that defined our backyard. That was a sad day.

Our tree, too, is a living history of our family. Each ornament has a story behind it - the wooden egg painted like a cow, the Avon porceline nativity ornaments, the Barbie wedding day ornament, the Christopher Radko Red Cross ornament that came out after 9/11, the crocheted Santa that my mom used to wear on her business suits when she worked at the bank...my life is on that tree.

Posted by: Sly's Wardrobe Mistress at December 15, 2008 06:37 PM

Three years ago, she tipped over our last "real tree" that my wife let me buy;

I know I've told you all the story about the time my Grandmother came to visit and I decided the family Christmas tree would be good for climbing. I think I was either 2 or 3 years old.

My Mom came home to find my Grandmother sitting on the floor comforting a very small, sobbing princess :p

Posted by: Cassandra at December 15, 2008 06:37 PM

I love it, HF6. Thanks for sharing that.

I love family stories.

Posted by: Cassandra at December 15, 2008 06:39 PM

When I first read your comment about climbing the tree, I thought your grandmother climbed it, not you.

Then I wondered if she was related to airforcewife's MIL...

Posted by: Sly's Wardrobe Mistress at December 15, 2008 08:27 PM

My dad hangs the first ornament on the tree: the Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer ornament he had as a child. My parents had all kinds of ornaments - ones they have had since they were first married, ones me and my siblings made over the years The salt dough Cav soldiers my mom made when we were at Bliss... I have many of my ornaments, since I had moved out of the house to be on my own years ago. We all have countless ornaments from our years in Germany: wooden ones, wax ones, pewter ones and straw ones. When I was in high school on my dad's last overseas assignment, I realized I wouldn't have easy (and much less expensive) access to all those wonderful German ornaments, so in addition to the one new ornament my parents always bought us kids each year, I made a point to "stock up" myself. I could spend forever in Kathe Wolfahrt's in Rothenburg...

We always had real trees when I was a kid. That meant having to hold off before getting a tree - at least back then, and when in Germany, they just didn't have trees out that early. And, in Germany, at least, their tradition was to decorate on Christmas Eve (we kids were too impatient for that...). It was always a production - after the family went out to find "the perfect tree", for Daddy to get the tree properly set in the tree stand, and then to get it strung with lights. Then, and only then (after Rudolph went up), were we allowed to dive in.

In more recent years, my sisters and I, and some of the cousins, have taken over decorating at my Grandma's house. My aunt used to do it every Thanksgiving, since my grandmother can't do it herself (confined to a wheelchair from polio she contracted back in the 50s). My aunt passed away New Year's Day 2007, and before then, she was too sick with the cancer to do it herself anymore. We put up the tree (now a pre-lit one) and add all the apples - big ones with the names of Grandma & Grandpa, all kids and their spouses, and now not only us grandkids, but whatever grandkids' spouses, and even the great-grandkids of which there are several now. Also, the felt stockings my grandmother made all those years ago, handsewn with felt cut-outs, sequins and seed beads are hung on the living room side of the fireplace. The Hummel nativity my parents bought for her while in Germany goes on the mantle above the fireplace on the den side. I'm sure I'm forgetting something....

All my own Christmas things are in storage. Here's to hoping that by next year, I'll have a place of my own again to decorate.

Posted by: Miss Ladybug at December 15, 2008 09:55 PM

We had to start collecting new ornaments five years ago. That first Christmas after his death, it was just lights. The ornaments have come along, slowly, and they too, reflect a bit of our family and what we have to look forward to. It is a magical time of year, to remember, smile, and cry, but if you are together, there isn't anything better than that. One tradition we started that year was on the first of December, we put an electric candle in the living room window. It gets lit at dusk, and we keep it there for a month.
Merry Christmas to you all.

Posted by: Cricket at December 16, 2008 03:57 AM

I think that is a fine tradition, Cricket. A candle to light his way home :)

This weekend I caught up with my sister in law. It was so good to talk to her. The girls are growing up, getting ready to go off to college now. We talked about them and about their plans. And part of that was imagining where my nephew would have been now: what he would have looked like, where he would be going to school, what he'd be doing with his life.

He's still there, in our hearts. He always will be.

Posted by: Cassandra at December 16, 2008 06:34 AM

Cass, I love this post! On our tree are the 3 ornaments I made in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade. Danbury Mint ornaments my mother collected, a keepsake angel given to me when I was born, the 2 ornaments my daughter has made, and the collection I started for her. THEN we start adding all the other ornamnents - my 9 year old directs placement! and the final touch is tinsel.

Yep, we are a tinsel kind of family!

Final touch is the homemade, giant stockings, with our names on the top,that my mother makes. A lot of Santa goodies can go in those! In fact, this year since the entire family will be together, I bet we will get a picture of all those stockings laid out in a row. 15 stockings all lined up in front of the fireplace!

I think that is why I love to decorate for Christmas. Memories of joy, laughter, goofy times, making it through the sad times, and the anticipation of not only the season, but of what the new year will bring.

Merry Christmas!!

Posted by: Nina at December 16, 2008 08:14 AM

Ornaments grow every year with little ones making new and interesting things. KJita (and when she gets older, KJitados) make all the important decisions (except fragile goes high while KJitados is dangerous to precious things).

We listen to Christmas music while doing this of course. No TV to watch Charleton Heston movies on in the tree room. I like decorating to Trans Siberian Orchestra.

Posted by: KJ at December 16, 2008 10:01 AM

Yes...that is what the candle is for. While death is the wound that linear time cannot heal, eventually there will be that reunion. Sometimes, I think about the Fields of Cormallen when I picture it. The Fields of Cormallen and Christmas, all rolled into one. What is not to like and look forward to?

KJ, do you and the KJitatados have a Wizard's Duel with the ornaments? As in "I like it here."
The youngest CLU decorated the house and the tree, and all the balls were on one side.
I couldn't stop laughing.

Posted by: Cricket at December 16, 2008 10:26 AM

My Mother's "kids at work" (she was a school secretary) gave her some very nice sugar ornaments. I don't have them, because Mom's dog ate them. I came in to find Patty standing at the tree crunching down the last of the sugar eggs. I don't recall if she got sick. After that, fragile and tasty things went higher on the tree.

Posted by: Leslie at December 16, 2008 11:59 PM

My wife and I were married in 1985. That year, for our first Christmas tree as a married couple, we bought a Hallmark acrylic "12 Days of Christmas" ornament. The one we bought was "Two Turtle Doves".

Every year we went to Hallmark and bought that year's acrylic ornament, and when we got to the "12 Lords a-Leaping", we had them all.

Well... not really. We were missing the Partridge n the Pear Tree.

About 5 years later I decided to look on eBay and see if I could find one as a surprise gift to my wife. I did the search and I found one...

To quote Rod Blagojevitch, it was "f$#%$ing valuable!!!" $285 by the time the auction was over.

Over the next couple of years I tried to find it. It was hovering around $300 which was too rich for my blood, and besides my frugal wife would have killed me if I had splurged that much on an ornament. Sort of defeats the purpose of trying to surprise her.

A couple of years ago, I got this bright idea of searching for "Hallmark and Partrige" (not the misspelling). I put it in a search alert and about 6 months later got a hit. There was one of these ornaments at $31 with less than a day to go.

I waited to snipe that sucker and finally got it for $41 shipped. Woo hoo!!!

It was a nice Christmas present for my wife, and now we have a complete set.

Posted by: Tony at December 17, 2008 04:58 PM