“The only real treasure is in your head. Memories are better than diamonds and nobody can steal them from you”

When I let Gracie out, it felt warm, but the papers aren’t here yet so I haven’t been outside. For some reason I woke up at 6. I can’t even remember the last time I did that. That early was too much for Gracie. She is already back to sleep on the couch. The sky is lighter now, but it’s still grey. What a surprise!

One side of my cellar is filled with Christmas decorations. For a while I collected really ugly 50’s decorations, those ceramic pieces we all had as kids and plastic light up Santas with holes in the back for lights. I remember my mother had four ceramic Santa mugs. Each handle was a letter and all of the handles together spelled out Noel. I found a set just like that and was thrilled. It was like finding an old friend. I have Santa head salt and pepper shakers and several angels wearing red dresses. They’re holding ceramic candles. All of the angels are blondes. I have a whole village of cardboard houses, some with intact windows, some without. I have a Tom and Jerry serving set and a couple for egg nog. They too are from the 50’s. In an antique store the other day I saw similar pieces to ones from my collection. They were expensive. Those ugly decorations are now treasured antiques.

My tree is hung with memories. Many of my ornaments have stories attached. A few hung on our family tree every year. My mother gave each of us some of those ornaments a long while back, and I treasure them. Some ornaments are from different trips I’ve made, and I have a few from Ghana. When my friend Michele came to visit last June, she gave me some ornaments she’d had since we were in Ghana together. I can’t wait to hang them on the tree for the first time this year. They’ll be memories of Michelle and Kumasi and hot water. I know the last one seems strange, but I remember how amazed I was when I stayed with her and found out she had hot water straight out of the shower. I have ornaments my mother stitched for me. My favorite is a K with the three kings on it. One year I made name ornaments for my whole family out of blocks. I have the one I  made for my mother and I put it on my tree every year. She loved Christmas, and by putting it on the tree, I keep her in mine.

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17 Comments on ““The only real treasure is in your head. Memories are better than diamonds and nobody can steal them from you””

  1. So true! I love your thought about how so many of those tacky things from back when are now treasured antiques. …wish I’d kept a few…

    • Kat Says:

      Who knew back then that tacky would be in so many years later!

      When I first started buying them, they were really cheap, and I took a lot of joshing about the uglies I was buying. No joshing now!!

  2. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    I still have some old ornaments that we made as kids. One is a star made out of straws that have been covered in glitter and pinned together with one of those old tacks that you fold back the legs and it holds notebooks together. I forget what they are called. There was another old ornament that was a tiny bird house covered with bird seed that had been glued on.
    My favorite Christmas decoration is my Christmas Cheese Mouse. It’s a cheese board with a place to insert a cross stitch piece. The piece I chose was a mouse inside a Christmas wreath. Another favorite is a cloth sculpture of Santa on a ladder hanging something on the tree while a small white terrier is nipping at his pantleg. I’m not saying that the small white terrier reminds me of my old dog Tegan but… yeah. 😀
    It’s damp and cold up here. Cloudy, too. Another innersittardag, as Christer would call it. 🙂
    Enjoy the day.

    • Kat Says:

      Hi Caryn,
      I just got back from my usual Sunday breakfast, and my elves are busy putting up my Christmas lights. Skip does it every year so he didn’t me to help him. Already the front fence is lit, and he’s going to start on the side fence next. Tonight my house will be all aglow.

      Favorite ornaments like yours and mine connect all the Christmases over generations. I love them.

  3. im6 Says:

    So many songs about light! In recent years, but there seems to be one that has been covered by more bands than any other: The Smiths’ “There Is A Light That Never Goes Out.” Here’s one of my favorite covers: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mrxo54Ia6y4

    • Kat Says:

      I haven’t ever heard this, original or cover. Thanks! I have added it to my file entitled Light.

      Speaking of which, the outside lights are up and ready for it to get dark. I’m excited to see how the house looks!

  4. olof1 Says:

    It felt cold when I let my dogs out, -4F cold actually 🙂 But the day has been sunny and we’ve had no wind so it was actually quite nice after some time.

    I have all my family’s Christmas tree decorations, they followed me for some reason and no one else wanted them. But my tree is still way to small so I’ll hang straw figures and some thing that’s glittering in it this year too 🙂

    My favorites amongst the decorations are two birds made from glass and hand colored. They too comes from the fifties and I know they are rare because they are a bit too fragile. I don’t understand how they survived all animals that done their best to make the trees fall 🙂

    Have a great day!

    • Kat Says:

      It is really warm here right now: 53˚. The sun came out for a few minutes then it rained then back came the sun. The clouds are back now.

      My tree is usually 5 feet or more, and I fill it as much as I can. There can never be enough lights either. I love sitting on the couch looking at the tree.

      My sister loves straw figures, and I have given her several over the years.

      My dig Shauna, another Boxer, knocked the tree down trying to eat popcorn strings. When it hit the ground, I could hear all the glass ornaments breaking. Luckily, I didn’t have my old ones back then so they were new, expensive but still new with little sentiment from me for their loss. It was the mess which bothered me more. I tun used my father’s string solution.

  5. Bob Says:

    Here is my favorite one about the light of a candle.


    If only my dad had not thrown out my baseball card collection when I went off the college, I could now retire 🙂

    • Kat Says:

      I love this song and seeing and hearing them reminds me how much I miss Mary.

      • Kat Says:

        P.S. I can’t imagine throwing out baseball cards ever!

      • Bob Says:

        I miss her too. It can never again be Peter, Paul and Mary. I don’t even know if Peter and Paul are still performing. Several years ago I saw them perform live at the Meyerson Symphony Center here in Dallas. We bought seats in the choir loft, which is directly behind the stage. I was very close to the performance rather than sitting three balconies up. We had a rear side view of them performing and it was a wonderful evening. After the performance I met Peter in the green room and he autographed my program to my daughter. He wrote Puff lives, Peter Yarrow.

        It was a long time ago, September 1965, and no one, especially my father, would have thought that a baseball card could be worth anything. He threw out my Mickey Mantle and Sandy Koufax rookie cards along with such greats as Stan Musial and Ted Williams. Today baseball card collecting has hit on bad times. Kids are no longer interested because of the internet and video games. It has become a hobby of middle age men.

  6. Bubba Says:

    oh those signs. I remember back when….well just listen

    [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n22-Xk4MTEc?feature=player_detailpage&w=640&h=360%5D

  7. Kat Says:

    My nephews collected cards and signed baseballs when they were little. Now, the 30 year nephew sells them on e-Bay and makes some good money. He has several duplicates, and those are the ones he can let go of.

    Last year my friends gave me a Fenway brick for Christmas. It was in the concourse at Fenway Park in the Frank Malzone section. My nephew gave me a signed Malzone to go with it!

    • Bob Says:

      I remember when you got your Fenway brick. What a thrill that must be to have your name as a part of Fenway Park. Unfortunately, there are only two real ballparks left. The only two are Fenway and Wrigley Field in Chicago. One of my bucket list items is to see a game in Wrigley Field I already saw one in Fenway Park in 1994. All the other major league owners have moved into neoclassic looking new ballparks with lots of suites for the country club set. I know that both Fenway and Wrigley have been remodeled with suites but they kept the original ballpark for future generations.

      Good to hear that baseball cards are still worth something. I saw a piece on one of the TV magazine shows about a monthly baseball card collecting show in Parsippani New Jersey whose attendance has dwindled down to several middle aged men. Then years ago the event was filled with kids collecting the cards.

      • Kat Says:

        I was so excited when I first saw that brick at Fenway. Yup, I’m with you in wanting to see a game at Wrigley.

        Have you noticed that some of the newer parks are being built a bit along the lines of the older ones though I wouldn’t include the new Yankee Stadium among them.

        They have left suites but taken away most of the sky boxes, and they added those great Green Monster seats. I enter the lottery for a seat there every year but haven’t been lucky enough to get one.

        That kids are far less interested in baseball cards is a bit sad.

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