Christmas decorating is under way here at Casa de Costello. By the time you read this, all of the decorations from the attic will be prominently displayed throughout our house. I've enjoyed watching how excited the girls get each time they unpack a toy or ornament that they haven't seen for almost a year. Little Tiger is fascinated by how much her drawing and writing skills have changed since Christmas 2010. As she pulled them from their boxes, The Milk Belly Princess greeted all of the members of the nativity like old friends. In the mornings, she is often found moving the animals around so that they can get a closer look at Baby Jesus.
In the coming days, I will post a lot of words and pictures about the projects Little Tiger, The Milk Belly Princess and I are working on this holiday season. But right now I want to share some of our ornaments of Christmases past...way past (as in before there even was a Little Tiger). These decorations that have made the transition from whimsical to revered because the people who made or first displayed them are no longer with us. For The Mister and I, they serve as souvenirs of our childhood holidays. Today I'll focus on The Mister and the decorations from his side of the family that are special to us.
The Mister has fond memories of sneaking M&Ms out of this little guy. We still put M&MS in his belly, but his fragile state is such that he stays out of the reach of the girls so we dispense the candy instead of letting them help themselves.
In this post I mentioned that The Mister's mother (Grammy Mary Rose to Little Tiger and The Milk Belly Princess) was a talented wood carver. In addition to the ducks pictured in my post from this spring, she also enjoyed carving Santas and snowmen. One thing that makes this snowman stand out from her other carvings is that The Mister had the pleasure of helping his mother put the finishing touches on this and the other five wooden snowmen that she made for her six children. I love the contrast between his black and white body and the colorful string of Christmas lights. We have several Santas carved by Grammy Mary Rose, but this is The Mister's favorite. His mother gave it to him one Christmas because she knew he really liked it. He especially likes the comic interplay between the cat and the bird. Although this bead tree was made by The Mister's sister Kate ( who is very much alive), it was inspired by the bead trees made by their beloved childhood neighbor, Mrs. Mericle. Mrs. Mericle was a close friend of Grammy Mary Rose so she made a tree or two for Kevin's mother and they were loved and appreciated by the whole family. Unfortunately, when the family Christmas decorations were divided between siblings, there simply weren't enough bead trees for everyone to have one of the originals. ( Kevin was thrilled to be able to share the joy of the M&M Santa with our girls.) But his sister Kate, being a can-do kind of gal and the benevloent older sister that she is, made one for Kevin and gave it to him the following Christmas.
I love that it includes not only beads, but buttons and small jewlery findings. I can't look at this without thinking about how much fun it would be to make. I want Kate's to remain the original objet d'art that it is so, if I'm really going to do this, I need to come up with a slightly different angle. With the help of Pinterest this shouldn't be very difficult.