Sunday, December 15, 2013

Advent Calendar: Christmas Ornaments

It's the annual Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories!  I've participated the past four years (2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012), but this year, there are some new prompts, and the sequence has changed for some old prompts used in previous years.  For the latter, in some cases I'll simply re-post, while in others, I will link to the older posts, and - when applicable - post about something else that's at least somewhat related.

The prompt for today is:  December 15 – Christmas Tree Decorations

Do you have unique decorations that you use each Christmas? How did you get them or were they passed down to you from family members? Do you have certain traditions surrounding Christmas decorations such as purchasing one from every state or country you visit? Describe your favorite decorations!  Tell us about your Christmas decorations and your memories of Christmases past.

As empty nesters, we're now in downsizing mode when it comes to a Christmas tree.  Last year I started going through my ornaments (I've written about a few in the past), to figure out which ones I wanted to keep and which ones I am ready to pass on to the offspring.  In the process, I've been photographing the ornaments, in hopes of doing some sort of series in a future December on just this prompt!

One ornament with an interesting story is this one.  It's a painted wooden ornament picturing a (very old-style) microcomputer.  I believe this was part of a set of wooden ornaments my sister Karen gave to me for my first Christmas in my new job and apartment, out on my own, in 1979.

You'll notice that this ornament is pretty beat up.  That's because the bird got hold of it.

The bird was a bare-eyed cockatoo named Genius, or Gene (or Jean - we weren't sure if it was a boy or a girl) for short.

The ex-husband acquired this bird in July 1995.  My son Eric had just turned nine and was crazy about Gene - and Gene was crazy about (and with) Eric.  They spent a lot of time clowning around, as can be seen in these two photos from late 1995.

Bare-eyed cockatoos are pretty smart birds, and can learn to talk a little bit.  In fact, the favorite thing for this bird to do was to mimic me calling "Eric!"  Eric also taught him to say, "cockatoo's a pretty bird," although sometimes it came out sounding like "cockatoo's a shitty bird" - which was also true, at least in the amount of fecal matter it produced.

Anyway, Eric let Gene get a little too close to the Christmas tree that year, and the computer ornament was hanging a little low, so Gene started using his powerful beak to grab at it.  I'm surprised it wasn't more damaged than this.

Eric also loved and loves computers, and his first one (an Apple IIe) looked a lot like this ornament - so guess who gets this one?

© Amanda Pape - 2013 - click here to e-mail me.

The Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories (ACCM) allows you to share your family’s holiday history 24 different ways during 24 days in December! Learn more at

No comments:

Post a Comment