Ornamental Tales

When I married Mr. Restaurant Gal, I bought an ornament to commemorate that event, and hung it on a very small tree along with a few generic ornaments I’d bought at the mall. Several years later, when I was expecting our first baby, I saved the ornaments my friend had tied to the baby shower packages and hung them, too. The next year, with an 11-month old son on the crawl, I felt compelled to buy a “Baby’s First Christmas” ornament inscribed with the date.

Another baby and several milestones as a family later, I continued buying one ornament every year for each of us to commemorate something that happened during the year. One year it was a golden fan from an exotic spot, thanks to Mr. Restaurant Gal’s job that sent him all over the globe and gave me the opportunity to follow him. When Restaurant Gal Son was learning to read, a porcelain Man in the Moon reading to a tiny mouse captured a favorite story. A Mickey Mouse globe harks back to a long-ago trip to Walt Disney World that Restaurant Gal Daughter has never forgotten.

Over the years, I bought fewer and fewer ornaments and coveted the ones the kids made. Paper angels with no necks, painted and shellacked bagels, wax paper “stained glass” scenes, incomplete beaded loops and other somethings–we hang them all every year.

I love hanging the commemorative ones, too. I’ll never forget that, in 1996, Restaurant Gal Son pitched a mean game of Little League baseball, because the sports figure with his name and date on it recaptures that winning season. I can’t help but laugh at the memory of the numerous cats that have made our family theirs, thanks to Restaurant Gal Daughter’s incredible power of persuasion to convince us to keep any she took a fancy to. We have multiple ornaments that memorialize each feline that’s happened into our home, although only one lives with us now.

The year both kids took karate is perched on an upper left branch. My daughter’s one-time fascination with marine life is hanging just so to the right. The high school trip my son took to Spain is hanging a little lower.

Graduations, transitions, sports, special firsts–all are captured in pewter and clay and pre-cast figurines dangling from the lighted limbs of a slightly askew tree in my living room.

This year, with both Restaurant Gal Son and Daughter stuck in Colorado as a blizzard blocks their way home, and Mr. Restaurant Gal and I running in different work directions, I alone hung the trinkets on our tree that represent our 20-plus years together.

As I straightened the tiny ballerina’s skirt and adjusted the wheels on the mini mountain bike before finding just the right spots for them, I lingered just a few seconds longer to savor the moments and memories that these fragile figures represent.

With luck and a change in the weather, we’ll all be together by Monday.

A very merry Christmas and holiday season to all from The Gal.






8 responses to “Ornamental Tales”

  1. sueybear Avatar

    Merry Christmas, RG. I hope the kids make it back in time.

  2. raven44012 Avatar

    I hope the weathe takes a turn for the better and you are all together. I love ornaments. My teenagers look at the ornaments they made when they were little and say, “Mom, why don’t you get rid of this junk?” I tell them hands off, I will defend them with my last breath. Nothing like a 2 pound glitter encrusted snowflake ornament to remind you of when your children were little.

  3. Phil Avatar

    Merry Christmas to you, RG!

  4. Melani Avatar

    we’ve done the same thing since my husband and I got married. Once the kids got a little older, everyone got to pick one ornament of their own for that year. It’s fun to look back and see what they felt would commemorate that year for themselves. We have very few generic ornaments since the number of our special ones has grown so much.

    I hope that you have a wonderful Christmas and all the “Restaurant” family makes it home.

  5. Aaron DeLay Avatar

    I;m stuck in Denver with your husband and son…er…wait. That didn;t come out quite right. Best of luck for them getting home!..:) I have a flight out Sat at 6am…I hope I make it. IT’ll be another long night for me in DIA. Woot!

  6. restaurant Gal Avatar

    Aaron–I am so sorry you are stuck in that airport. Good luck getting out of there today!

    UPDATE: My daughter got out on a very expensive (just charge it!) one-way ticket out of Col. Springs. because that airport never shut down. She was very lucky to even get there and to get on a flight that was horribly overbooked.

    My son ended up following his college’s bus caravan out of the mountains after the hotels threw them out (nice). Very scary drive, but he ended up in a Motel 6 outside of Denver and waited for the interstates to open up. We hope to see him sometime tomorrow.

    This is why The Gal HATES snow.

    On a happier note:

    Sueybear, Raven, Melani, and my pal Phil–Merry Christmas to you all, too!

  7. Kim Ayres Avatar

    A very Merry Christmas to you and yours, RG

  8. Reeta Avatar

    hmm…. thats so sweet…. Hope u njoyed on Xmas! Cheers! Happy Blogging!