Are you busy digging out Christmas ornaments like me?
I’ve decided mine have grown either more precious or more ridiculous with age. Sometimes I have to laugh over the things we’ve hung on our tree.
For years we hung a parking ticket on our tree. We got the ticket on Christmas Eve, one starry night in the 70s. We were busy with Christmas when Darrell looked out the living room to see a parking ticket on the windshield of our car, which we had parked on the street and not in our driveway.
When Darrell spotted the ticket gleaming brightly in the street light —on Christmas Eve — he marched out the door and down the sidewalk, huffing and puffing all the way to the car. Minutes later, he came back in the door dancing a jig.
Our friend, Lieutenant Ed Sweeney on the Aurora [Illinois] Police Dept., had left us a ticket, and the ticket read, “Fine $40,000 – Merry Christmas! Ed!” We hung the ticket on the tree that night and laughed about it for years.
Speaking of Christmas laughter, I bought a jester doll at a garage sale and resold it on eBay. I don’t shop to buy-and-sell often, but a customer in Spain had asked me to look for the Wanderer Hummel and I was on the hunt for Hummels.
The garage sale was hosted by a fellow senior citizen. As I looked over the tables of stuff, I spotted a dashing jester doll with a bell on the tip of his hat and decked out in Christmas red and green velvet. I couldn’t help but pick him up. When I did, the lady remarked that it was a gift from her husband. He told her that he bought the jester for her because “she was always smiling.”
After hearing her love story, I couldn’t put the jester down. The doll embodied happiness, and it became my mission to rescue him from the garage sale.
I didn’t want him for myself, but I knew someone would. He was French. His manufacturer’s tag read St. Michel, France 2000. The suave French Christmas jester sold on eBay later to an international buyer for $29, plus international shipping, a Christmas decoration worth every penny.
It’s our family tradition to add at least one new ornament a year to our tree.
Many of those are from Hallmark, bought when our children were young. Our tree topper is Miss Piggy and our branches are filled with Garfield, Snoopy, Charlie Brown and the Sesame Street gang.
Since my husband and I are vintage, most of our ornaments are vintage as well. As our tastes have changed, I’ve started to thin out my ornaments and have sold some on eBay.
One of the first to sell on eBay was an angel from Hallmark’s line of Merry Miniature ornaments, 1974. The collector’s guide valued the ornament at $200 in 2010. But it sold for $99 on eBay, which I thought was a whopping amount for a resin angel a few inches tall.
I was glad I had taken good care of her. Each Christmas I would stand the hopeful little angel inside a translucent, Czechoslovakian crystal goblet in our dining room to give her the best view in the room.
Many of our vintage ornaments were Made in Japan. Recently, I fell in love with these little beaded angels, which led to an Inkpad angel doodle on my iPad as I watched Christmas movies.
And for some merry news of the season, the renowned ornament designer Christopher Radko has revived the Shiny-Brite line of ornaments from the 40s, including the classic Shiny-Brite packaging. He’s released a large collection of blown glass ornaments, including the spinning-top shaped tree topper.
We live in the Ozarks, where glass blowing is an art.
This beautiful blown glass ornament was bought at Silver Dollar City, Branson, Mo. I love large, shiny ball ornaments. They double as an ornament and a looking-glass. For a festive photo, take a selfie of your reflection in a shiny, Christmas ornament.
And speaking of angels, you must listen — and watch — at least once this season to The Piano Guys play Angels We Have Heard On High from their album, Family Christmas!