I love to discover remnants from the past as I unpack my Christmas décor every year. The first of my discoveries this year were the stars. Oh my! There were lots of stars, but not as many as I used to have as I have shared them with all my girls who have an interest in family traditions. Andrews’ stars I still have and may never give to him. You see, he doesn’t like them – never has – and probably never will!
There is a story behind these stars. They are plain old plastic five-pointed stars used most commonly in store window displays. They probably date back to the late fifty’s. They hung on Aunt Tishy’s Christmas tree every year. There were probably a few hundred of them sparkling and twinkling down at us from each limb.
The story I remember being told was Aunt Tishy was in New York during the Christmas season one year and spotted them in a window display of a department store. There they were – shining and giving life to what ever scene they were a part of. Falling in love with them instantly, she had to have them for her tree and marching right in that store she persuaded the manager into selling them to her. Picture this… she was a short, wiry , hot-tempered, feisty little bit of a woman. You did not want to butt heads with her because you would not come out on top…ever! She usually got her way and that department store manager didn’t stand a chance from the get-go!
Through the years the stars were separated and passed on to Aunt Letaine, and to my dad and mother for their trees and as time passed they were divided again and all of Aunt Letaine’s children and the five children in our family were blessed with stars. As Dr. Seuss would have said – “There were stars upon thars!”
One year I happened upon some stars at Cracker Barrel. They were really prettier than mine, having more detail and were not faded with age. “That’s it! I’ll buy Andrew his own stars and mix in a few of Aunt Tishy’s and surely he will be pleased and cherish them as I have mine.” I purchased about two dozen of those stars and wrapped them up and put them under the tree for him from Santa. Nope. He doesn’t like those stars either. What it is he doesn’t like about stars I don’t know. I continue to put them on my tree every year along with the ones Santa left for Andrew and turn a deaf ear to the grumbling. After all, they are a tradition.
Another thing I discovered while unpacking decorations was Andrew’s mini Wizard of Oz Christmas ornament set that his Aunt Debbie gave him one year when he was about four years old. At the time, ‘The Wizard of Oz’ was his favorite movie – except for that flying monkey part. There were four figures included in the set – Dorothy, the Tin Man, the Scarecrow, and the Cowardly Lion. His imagination was something else at that age and he snitched a piece of red velvet ribbon and fashioned a red carpet, placing a set of red stairs, confiscated from parts to one of his toys, at the end of it. The figures were set up around the carpet displaying a scene from the movie. Every Christmas since then we have had the Wizard of Oz set up with our Christmas decorations.
What am I going to do when one day Andrew leaves for good and takes his Wizard of Oz setup with him? For sure, he will – he likes that one. I guess I’ll just look at all those stars!
Do you have Christmas traditions that continue year after year?