This year there was a new twist. Along with your gift you also had to - oops, I mean - got to pick one of my grandmother's ornaments to keep. My grandmother is still with us, but she moved into a retirement community this year and she couldn't take all of her things with her. She and her kids went through her stuff and picked out the Christmas decorations she would like to take with her and left the rest behind for the kids to sift through. After they chose what they wanted, what was left ended up in the slush pile that we all got to dig through on Christmas Eve.
We were all cracking jokes about the quality and condition of these misfit ornaments. Everyone kept "forgetting" to pick an ornament or two and had to be reminded.
When the night was over and it was time to head home my kids asked if they could have another ornament (they are really the only ones who have any sentimentality in our family, plus they're tiny hoarders and they can't pass up free shit). There were several left, so I told them it shouldn't be a problem. I helped them dig through the box to find something that wasn't too hideous - like the angel made from a corn husk or the dingy needlepoint Santa. And then all of a sudden I saw something that made my heart stop!
There amongst all of the shabby, broken, old and decrepit ornaments were two tiny treasures. Two little wooden ornaments that MY precious snowflakes, Gomer and Adolpha, had made for their great grandparents five years ago. (I know, because I always write the date on their ah-may-zing and adorable works of art that they foist on relatives.) Gomer had been a beautiful little three year old boy when he carefully painted the ornament. Adolpha had been barely one when she slapped a bit of paint on hers as well.
|Would you put this beauty Adolpha made in the junk box?|
"What?" she asked, clearly confused.
I held up the ornaments to show her, "My children - your great grandchildren - made these works of art for you! And you just tossed them in the junk pile?? Like trash?"
"Not me!" Grandma said looking for an out. "Your Aunt Marcy!"
"Me?" Aunt Marcy cried.
"Yes. Aunt Marcy helped me choose to take and what to give away," said Grandma.
Aunt Marcy tried to smooth things over, "Now, Jenni, you don't understand. She couldn't take them. All of Grandma's ornaments match now."
"Oh they match now? Well, I'm sooo sorry to hear that my little children's ornaments were too ugly for her tree!"
Grandma and Aunt Marcy gave each other a knowing look and then Grandma said, "Actually, it was Uncle Filbert! I remember now. He was the one who went through the ornaments. He did it. Aunt Marcy and I didn't have anything to do with it!"
How convenient for them to throw Uncle Filbert under the bus. The one uncle who wasn't there to defend himself. He's got a lot of explaining to do when he gets back in town.
In the meantime, Aunt Marcy is trying to make me happy. She rescued the kids' ornaments from the box before it headed for the Dumpster and hung them on her "good" tree. It's killing her to leave them there. It's also killing my little OAM (Overachieving Mom) in training. As soon as Aunt Marcy hung the ornaments on the tree, Adolpha said, "Oooh, yeah, those do not look good there. I would take them off. The tree looked better before."