I never gave it much thought growing up. Every year just after Thanksgiving mother would start dragging boxes down from the attic marked “Christmas.”
Inside these cardboard cubes was her collection of Christmas lights, decorations, and other paraphernalia associated with turning the average picket-fence home into a holiday wonderland. Or at least that’s how it looked from the eyes of a child.
To talk about ornaments you first have to talk about the tree. In the Mills household we always had a tree.
I don’t know if you remember those aluminum foil trees with the rotating wheel of multi-colored lights. We had one of those for many years. I think it was mainly because it was so easy to put up and take down. Mother was known to use every short-cut at her disposal where managing the house was concerned. But come Christmas she went all out in spite of the work involved
In later years I claimed squatter rights to the rotating color wheel. It found its way into my bedroom as a compliment to the blacklight and Jimi Hendrix posters. And that’s all I’m going to say about that.
I’m pretty confident we retired the silver spruce when mother upgraded to the new and improved artificial tree. No muss, no fuss, no pine needles to clean up. We had arrived.
I don’t exactly know when but somewhere along the way mother picked up doing ceramics as a hobby. I know before it was all said and done, and she moved on to her next hobby, she had made enough Christmas trees and candy dishes to decorate The White House and half of congress.
She had these little ceramic Christmas villages that would take up table tops, window sills, and mantel space all over the house.
It makes me wonder today what happened to all that stuff. I’d put out a little Christmas village of my own but this little spotty dog would have it in the backyard before breakfast. We can’t have anything nice.