Almost everybody loves that special Christmas holiday time of year. Somehow, without planning it, another amazing thing happens – we all end up with collections of items that reflect our own personal tastes and wishes for memories of past special holidays.
Oh, those Santa Claus figures! Whether made of cloth or porcelain, resin or wood, there is just something about collecting different representations of the jolly old elf. There are so many types of Santas that some folks limit their collection to a specific subgroup, like nutcrackers or porcelain figurines. Every year we decide not to get any more, our collection is large enough, and yet somehow every year we find “just one more” we have to have. There are Santa lights for indoors or out, Santa driveway reflector stakes, and the beautiful Mr. and Mrs. Santa dolls dressed in velvet with snowy-white beards that move and say Ho-Ho-Ho.
Snowmen have become increasingly popular in the past twenty years or so, or at least more popular in the sense that it has become easier and easier to find snowmen and snowwomen figurines every year. The cool blues and whites of snow-people work well with or without the greens, golds, and reds of the more traditional holiday color themes.
Every year brings another wonderful selection of Santa Claus and holiday china, glasses, and linens, so much so that it is easier to decide we need to replace that old tablecloth with this new one, or need to add another piece to the ever-expanding holiday china set. Certainly the bathroom needs a new Santa soap dispenser, and the kitchen needs new towels and potholders. And then there are the candle holders and pinecone candles, which work so well with the reindeer figurines and mantle stocking holders that spell out the meanings of the season – peace on earth, joy, faith, and love. And all the different scented candles, like balsam or vanilla cookie – yum!
What about the tree ornaments? The thematic possibilities are endless, from silver and gold with crystal icicles to Mardi Gras themed harlequin dolls with purple, green and gold bows. Want rustic North woods? Use pinecones and rust colored bells with birds and wood animals. There are sea-inspired themes, with mermaids and shells and fish and flamingos, and food-inspired themes with ice-cream cone and cheese ornaments. Even the trees themselves have changed. Some artificial trees today have artificial fiber-optic lights that rotate color and have dramatically changed the way we look at our Christmas trees. Need a tall, skinny tree with white lights for a special corner in the house? And multiple trees, or upside down trees over the dining table – there are just endless possibilities to decorate your home.
For many of us, though, there are always those few special reminders of Christmas. Whether the item is from long-ago or brand new, the feelings we get from those special reminders stay with us year after year. Nostalgia and hope for the future intermingle every year as we unpack our Santas, snowmen, special ornaments, and trees.