Vintage Polish ornaments.
This is the stuff of which Christmas collections are made.
It seems that Christmas decorating lends itself to themes, to the collection of lots of a particular kind of decoration.
So many different kinds of decorations are available, maybe it’s inevitable that we must make choices and collect one kind of ornament, whether for the tree or for the mantle or the sideboard.
Maybe it grows out of a childhood fascination, as with toy trains. Maybe it’s an extension of another passion or hobby. I knew a woman who collected pigs, in all forms, throughout the year, and her Christmas tree was a spectacular piggy fest.
It’s no different at our house. Our Christmas décor, while eclectic, still features certain collections.
For atheists, we have a peculiar number of nativity crèches.
We have an inordinate number of tree decorations that have an Adirondack, outdoorsy look to them.
But the favorite collection, the one that comes out every year, even when we are pretending Christmas is just another day, is the collection of Santas.
They line the mantle. They gaze out at us with their impassive, nonjudgmental eyes.
I like them because they are folky-looking—not too shiny bright. I like them because they represent things we care about—they are diverse and represent many lands. We have Santas that represent Haiti, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Australia, Ireland, many places.
The dark faces fit among the white ones.
Others are tied to our region and to our college alma mater.
I like them because they bring their pets, to visit ours. Of course Santa would care as much for animals as for people.
I like them for many reasons.
I love them because of what Santa represents—a kindly soul who, somehow, knows what each of us desires most, in our heart of hearts, and brings it to us and leaves it without expecting or wanting anything in return . . .
Our Santas have not taken their place yet this year.* That should happen this weekend. When each one comes out of his box, we’ll greet him like the old friend he is and place him carefully among his fellows.
They will remind us that we already have our hearts’ desire, everything that’s really important, and we need nothing more from them, none of their presents.
Just their presence.
I imagine some of you will be spending the weekend in similar ways—unwrapping ornaments that delight you, finding some you had forgotten about and will fall in love with anew.
Of all your decorative Christmas items, is there a collection, or even just one special ornament, without which Christmas would not be complete?
* The photos come from a previous post. I like the Santas so much, I just keep writing about them! It wouldn’t be advent with them.