Three Sentimental Decorations

Cock-eyed Cardinal

When I was about 13, my grandma was in the hospital for a few weeks.     When she left,  she bought her grand kids gifts at the hospital gift shop (because that’s what Grandmas do).

I got this plastic cardinal with the plastic eyes glued on crooked.  It’s cheap, and actually kinda ugly, if you think about it.

But I’ve kept it all these years, because Grandma bought it for me.

Every year, when we’d decorate the tree, I’d take it out.    And every year my Dad would roll his eyes, and tell me to get rid of that piece of junk.

And every year,  I’d still insist on putting it in the tree and his blood pressure would go up.

Dad and Grandma are gone now.

But 35 years later, I’m still putting up the cardinal.


Cardinal IMG_5891

Silver Pine Cone

It’s nothing much to look at.   A pine cone spray-painted silver, with a nail in it so you can hang it on the three with a thread.

I got it a few years ago.   Friar’s Mom said my grandpa made this.   She remembers it from when she was a little girl, before she went to school.

Which would date this around 1944-45.

And that’s what I think is pretty cool.

Pine Cone IMG_5898

High Birds

This would be going back to the early 70’s, when I was 6 or 7.    My grandfather gave me, my brother and my sister one of these birds for the Christmas tree.   They had real feathers on them, and we’d throw them to make them fly.   I though these were the coolest decorations ever.

We’d also have a contest, to see who’s bird would end up highest on the tree.   We’d go tippy-toes on chairs and push them as high as they could go.

Someone would always be messing with the other person’s bird, putting theirs higher and and re-locating the other siblings’ bird lower in the down.    It was mostly my brother and myself that would do this…and this pissing contest would go on for days, if not weeks.

I think we did this well into our 20’s.

Bird IMG_5895

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One Comment on “Three Sentimental Decorations”

  1. Friar's Mom Says:

    Dear Friar,
    I remember those cones from preschool days, almost seven decades ago. My dad gathered those cones in the summer during his wild mushroom picking excursions in the Quebec Laurentians.
    Just before Christmas, I remember watching him patiently hammer small nails into the tops of those hard cones. He spread newspapers over our green wooden kitchen table and patiently with a small paint brush, hand-painted each cone with a coat of light green paint. Once the paint dried he added a second coat of silver on the top surface. I don’t know if this was a tradition he learned in Poland.
    There were dozens of cones decorating our Christmas tree. Eventually my parents replaced most of them with shiny Christmas ornaments.
    Thanks for taking me back in time to my very young childhood. Memory is the best. That single cone placed me and my dad in a sunny kitchen warmed by a coal fed Quebec heater (pot bellied stove without a belly).

    Friar’s Mom

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