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Christmas Crosses

Christmas Crosses

Every year when we start to decorate the Christmas tree I pull out the box of Reed and Barton Christmas Crosses that H’s mother started collecting in 1971 – the year the first one was made. Every year H says, “you don’t have to hang them all. Just pick a few.”

“Now why would I do that?” I ask him. “We have them so we might as well get some use out of them.” Then I start opening boxes and boxes and boxes….

We have thirty-eight of these beautiful yearly silver crosses out of the forty-eight that have been manufactured. They are all in their original boxes and all but two have the paperwork inside describing the cross for that year and what it signifies. All but one have their red silver cloth bags to hold the ornament.

These crosses are limited editions and in the seventies era the paperwork for each one said how many crosses were made. The amount was anywhere from 15,000 to 25,000 of each one. The paperwork from the later years just says they are limited editions and after the season is over the die is broken.

It’s always easier to hang the crosses than it is to take them off the tree and put back in their boxes. Maybe I should listen to H. It was interesting this year to read about a few as we put them up and reminisce about what each year means to us. Eighty-three, the year H graduated from LSU. Ninety-two, the year Andrew was born. Seventy-three, the year I graduated from high school, and so on and so on. Usually we are in more of a hurry. I think when you get older you take more time to enjoy the little things.

H mentioned the crosses needed to be cleaned while I just noticed the great patina. I told him that could be his job next year.

In one of the boxes from the seventies editions there was a pamphlet describing the cross and stated what a good buy it was for $12.95.

In a 1990’s box there was a receipt from a local jewelry store – now out of business – for the purchase price of $35.00 for one cross.

The earlier crosses came with a silver chain so you could also use it as a necklace. In later years they had a red ribbon for tying on the tree, and now I don’t think anything extra is added in the box.

We are missing the crosses from 2006 – 2015. They never got bought. In 2016 we decided to start the tradition back up of buying a cross each Christmas season. The cost was $81.00.

This year I spent $100.00 on the newest edition. Our goal is to acquire the ten that we are missing along with purchasing the current yearly cross. I’ve found them online on different sites from $59.00 to $150.00. Most are in the higher price range. The longer we wait the more they will cost so I might as well get started!

Reed and Barton started making Christmas crosses in 1971. You can read about the history of these crosses here.

~Elle

The Hazard Of Putting Up A Christmas Tree And How To Avoid It

The Hazard Of Putting Up A Christmas Tree And How To Avoid It

I know Christmas is coming – every year – same time, same place. But I’m never completely prepared. I used to love to put up my tree when the kids were little. Everyone helped. Hot chocolate and popcorn was made and ornaments were fought over or broken, tears were shed, then replaced with smiles and laughter. It was a fun experience.

Now it’s just Harry, Andrew, and me to decorate for. Andrew flits in and out quickly, between semesters. But if I didn’t decorate for the holidays I would be sad and I hope they would be too. Sometimes I wonder.

To put up a tree now, I have to go to the storage unit to find it. I’m pretty sure I know exactly where it is in that mess of a storage unit. Someone has to keep inventory and since I’m the keeper of all things, that would be me, but I do not – I repeat – I do not take credit for the state of this storage unit. H is the culprit. The words I use when faced with this dilemma can not be printed here. This instead:

⚠️ WARNING – STAND CLEAR OF FALLING OBJECTS! ⚠️

The tree box is standing in the right front corner, with some bed parts leaned up against it, which you can see after you move the stack of never-to-be-used-again vinyl albums and some sort of mechanical part to something, off the top of Andrews chest of drawers which stands in the doorway because there is no more room, and then you can move the chest of drawers out of the doorway, so you can move the bed parts away from the box, so you can pull the tree box out of the corner and then shove the chest of drawers back in and re-stack the albums and the mechanical part on top of it, so you can, using great strength, close the door and lock it. Did I use too many commas – or not enough? Sentence structure does not apply in this situation. Now the box of decorations I can get to easily enough. I put them in Andrews storage unit. It’s nice and orderly and not junked up. I can open the door, walk in, and pick up the box. No shoving and pulling, or rearranging and cursing. I cringe every time H says we may have to put something in Andrews storage unit. I’ve dared him to do it.

I could string lights around this pile of boxes H moved to the living room, two weeks ago, and hasn’t sorted through yet. I guess it’s the thought that counts? I’m probably giving him too much credit though.

Pile of boxes After this year I intend to store the Christmas tree in Andrews unit. He won’t mind. That way I won’t be so stressed out about having to get to it and wonder, what’s the point? After I get the tree up it’s all worth the trouble it took! Nothing is more comforting than sitting curled up with a good book in the dark with the tree lights on. (On my kindle of course. I don’t have night vision!)

Have you done your Holiday decorating? ~Elle

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