December's here, and it snowed last night, so I thought it was time to do a little decorating. Lights in window - check. Wreaths on doors - check. Tree hauled out and trimmed - check. Complete with feline supervisor.
My tree is a foundation of tomato cages, wrapped in grapevine, which my mother made. It's been enlarged, but there's still not enough room for all the ornaments in my collection, so I've started choosing a theme every year and rotating the ornaments that way. This year I decided to hang primarily the handmade ones. I rather like those, they have more of a story to them than generic pieces.
One of the reasons my collection is bigger than the tree is that it's been a tradition in our family that we get ornaments each year at Christmas. I have a number of dated ones of my mother's making, plus each of us kids had a 'theme' for our ornaments and our own little tree in our rooms, and we might get ornaments for the theme also. For me, there was angels and bells, and a number of them are from local craft fairs.
There are also some ornaments of my making, some from ornament exchanges, in my Pathfinder group and later in my knitting group.
The red and purple star came from a craft fair years ago, the little Red Riding Hood nut person has been on my tree ever since I can remember, and the bear-in-the-box was from one of the Pathfinders. The horse just showing at the bottom is Mom's, in crewel embroidery.
The red crochet angel is one of three I have from my maternal grandmother's tree. The gingerbread man was my first needlepoint, back in Brownies ( I would have been about 8). I suspect the slightly lopsided red-and-white panda is about the same era.
The choir mouse is another of Mom's making. There is a full choir at home, complete with a leader who stands on an empty wooden thread spool. Dated 1986 underneath, so he or she is already closing in on 30.
The dark green knit behind the mouse is a bell. Very much handmade, and I suspect the red rounds that trim it were cut from Remembrance Day poppies, since the back is flocked.
A whole assortment here. The bear is Mom's and says Mandy 1981 on the back; made for my third Christmas. The pink sweater was from the local knitting swap a few years back. Most of the others are craft fair pieces - one of Myrosia's lovely eggs, a salt dough candy cane with two mice, a crocheted angel (and a safety-pin one at top right), a felt tree and the beaded Joy round.
A few of the choices for this year are commercial, but I'd hate to leave them off. The silver bell in the photo above and the gingham-eared mouse below are certainly not handmade, but they have been part of the family since the 70's, and they have their counterparts on the big tree at home.