Bossy’s Christmas Tree Ornaments.
Combined, the ornaments on Bossy’s tree are probably worth $7. But — and who saw this coming — what they lack in refinement they make up for in sentimental value.
It may help you to understand that the things hanging on Bossy’s tree are only ornaments in the academic sense. Let’s take a tour, shall we?
You are looking at an origami star created by Bossy’s friend Martha. They are especially pretty when jammed up against the hot pink bulb. The hot pink bulb that rests on the dry ignitable balsam needles.
Speaking of paper, Bossy’s tree is filled with the Ghosts of Christmas Cards Past. For instance:
This card was from Bossy’s friend Ronny. Every year he and his extended family would send out these group shots to an impressive mailing list, where impressive equals Yoko Ono was on their mailing list. And Bossy.
Next up we have an ancient Bossy family christmas card featuring Bossy’s son, alongside a mass card for Bossy’s best friend Johnny, who died several years ago from cancer. Bossy doesn’t like to be maudlin on Christmas, but she always hangs Johnny on her tree because Johnny was a real fan of Christmas, where fan equals The Man Bought Invisible Tape By The Gross:
And speaking of the deceased, Bossy has another habit she picked up from her parents, who, during the Vietnam War, scribbled the names of deceased Vietnam soldiers on all of their Christmas balls.
When a relative or friend or notable person dies, Bossy writes their name on a glossy ball and hangs it from a limb, which is kind of like including that person in the Christmas celebration. And it’s a chance for people like Miles Davis to mingle with Aunt Sadie:
But the deceased aren’t the only ones who get tree time. Bossy likes to remember notable events with Christmas Balls. For instance last year after her son’s acceptance into college, she scratched the word Columbia into ten silver glitter balls with a Sharpie. Except, don’t try this at home, because Bossy is still finding glitter under her fingernails:
Bossy’s tree also features a few classic ornaments, such as this Loon, which was the first ornament purchased for her baby son:
And classic like this ornament, which Bossy made 102 years ago when she was newly married and thought it would be cheaper to buy a dozen styrofoam balls, a can of gold spray paint, and a grocery bag of ribbon flowers and gemstones. News flash: it wasn’t:
What’s your favorite ornament?
kristin saysDecember 30, 2008 at 9:29 am
The gold Disney-character one my grandparents bought the year I was born and had engraved with my name and the date of my birth. My parents still have it at their house, though. What’s the protocol for getting that, do you think? Can I ask for it now that I’m an old married lady with a house and a tree of my own, or do I have to wait for them to will it to me after their death? What would Anne Landers say?
MariaV saysDecember 30, 2008 at 9:53 am
@kristin: I would ask for it. Worse case scenario: Your mother says no because it is “her” baby’s first ornament.
My favorite oranments are the ones from my childhood that my mother hasn’t let see the light of day in 20 years. Some are handmade, some bought at Woolworth, etc.
Your tree is beautiful, Bossy.
David saysDecember 30, 2008 at 9:55 am
Momo Fali saysDecember 30, 2008 at 10:07 am
Our tree is a sentimental one as well. There are ornaments I made as a child, alongside the ones my children have made, and for every year that my husband and I have been together there is an ornament from him to me, and me to him. The kids now get one each year too. Sometimes, it takes me longer to pick out the ornaments than the big gifts.
Jill in Vermont saysDecember 30, 2008 at 10:14 am
When my daughter got married and bought a house, I wrapped up all of “her” ornaments and gave them to her as one of her gifts. The package also included holiday ceramic statues that my grandmother had made thru the years. When she opened it, it brought tears to both our eyes. I say, ask your mother for your ornaments.
Little Miss Sunshine State saysDecember 30, 2008 at 10:52 am
Hard to pick just one. My Mom bought my kids an ornament each year from birth to age 18. She chose something meaningful for that year and added the date.
We have a car for age 16, Brownie for my daughter in second grade, Nutcracker for the year my daughter danced in a production, Disney characters and Cap and Gown for graduation year.
They will each have a set to put on their first tree and I plan to do it for my future grandchildren.
Jamie saysDecember 30, 2008 at 11:05 am
My favorite ornament is a “gift box” that I made in first grade – consisting, natch, of an empty juice box badly wrapped in aluminum foil and bandaged in red and silver twine with a red jingle ball at the bow. I remember being SO PROUD of making it, and my mom cries just a little every time we hang it on the tree. Now, as an adult, I still love wrapping presents. Just not with aluminum foil.
Cat saysDecember 30, 2008 at 11:07 am
My kids both had the same Kindergarten teachers so they both have an ornament made with a photo of them wearing reindeer antlers “reading” Rudolph, pasted into a mayo jar top with glitter. I’m keeping them forever. They’ll be on my nursing home tree.
Jennifer saysDecember 30, 2008 at 11:21 am
I’ve always thought that trees filled with “ornaments” that mean something were much more beautiful than the color-coordinated, matchy-matchy trees some people put in their homes. It’s wonderful to look at a tree and have someone tell you the what, where, when, and who of each ornament.
Your tree is precious, Bossy. Thanks for sharing it with us!
Cheri @ Blog This Mom! saysDecember 30, 2008 at 11:26 am
My favorite ornament is all the ones my kids made.
Your tree is lovely and sentimental and sweet.
Grandma J saysDecember 30, 2008 at 11:36 am
My favorites are the ones my kids made me. Your tree is memorable, and I think your tinsel is very retro. Where did you fnd tinsel?
Emily saysDecember 30, 2008 at 11:58 am
My favorite ornaments are a nutcracker ornament (not that I crack nuts) and a Big Bird one from an old sesame street set. I have had it since I was a baby, and always looked forward to putting it on the tree every year.
Lisa saysDecember 30, 2008 at 12:24 pm
I work in an awesome small business, owned by my beautiful mother, every year we buy the most beautiful ornaments of any kind and shape..to sell. uhhh. Funny how many have found their way to my home. They are all gorgeous and fun to look at. My favorites, however are the ones my children have made at school over the last 8 years. I treasure them like they were made out of silver and gold- not paper and glue.
Happy New Year Bossy!!!!
Maria saysDecember 30, 2008 at 12:31 pm
Well, Bossy, I don’t have a favorite ornaments because I don’t celebrate Christmas. That is my PovertyParty Secret. I have saved UNTOLD millions by not being a celebrant. At any rate, I had to write because looking at the photo of your Xmas tree, well there seems to be a CHILD at the lower right side of the tree. Either this is an odd ornament of a deceased loved one OR it’s a child stuck in your tree. I didn’t know if you knew and maybe she got thrown out with the tree?? YOU MUST answer and tell me what/who it is!!!
Margie saysDecember 30, 2008 at 12:56 pm
Hi Bossy- I’m with Maria on this… I hate to be the one to tell you this- but there seems to be the spectre of a small child living in your tree- lower right side… please explain what must surely be an optical illusion- cuz it is making me nervous!
My favorite ornament this year is the paper angel that my 6yo made for the top. We couldn’t seem to find our topper this year, and I had gotten distracted and was going to just let it go- but 2 days before Christmas- she made the sweetest, lopsided, and most adorable angel any 6 year ever made- so that we could have a tree topper. I love it so much more than the fancy schmancy one that we couldn’t find.
BOSSY saysDecember 30, 2008 at 12:57 pm
There’s a photo of Bossy’s young son stuck in the lower right branches of the tree which you can see in the large photo. Bossy promises she didn’t stick an actual live child in her tree.
Maria saysDecember 30, 2008 at 1:10 pm
It is a relief to know that Bossy has standards where the living are concerned.
Victoria saysDecember 30, 2008 at 1:18 pm
One that I made for my parents in Grade 1 that features a polaroid picture of me. I always insist it goes front and centre on their tree!
anne marie in philly saysDecember 30, 2008 at 2:07 pm
an eggshell ornament encrusted with seed beads; eggshell has a front cutout; inside is an angel on a cotton ball cloud.
handmade by a cousin about 40 years ago.
Sharon saysDecember 30, 2008 at 5:10 pm
My favorite ornamens it an oval-shaped ornament covered in some type of bird feathers. It’s very cool. Although one of my best friends gave me 5 sparkly black ornaments for Christmas this year that will be my favorite next year.
Stacey Ball saysDecember 30, 2008 at 7:25 pm
Probably the pickle or the bottle of Budweiser. Boy do I have my priorities in order!
kj saysDecember 30, 2008 at 8:44 pm
I have a set of about 5 ornaments that belonged to my Grandmother (who passed away at the age of 84). They are not a “set” but they were all hers and I remember them on her tree. They are hard to describe, but the one that I can explain the best is a half-walnut shell with Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus all scrunched inside.
The others are just very old and make me happy too.
Ellie saysDecember 30, 2008 at 10:59 pm
Man, and I thought I rocked for being on Bob Hager’s Christmas card list. Because Tom Brokaw is on *his.*
Heidi saysDecember 31, 2008 at 12:05 am
But it looks like there is an entire CHILD in that tree!! All we can see is the face, but there is clearly a wee one down on the right hand side!!
Dorrie saysDecember 31, 2008 at 1:04 am
All of my ornaments are my favorite, but this year my most two favorite are two little mittens with dog prints on them and embroidered with ‘best pals’. One has a golden sticking out of the top. The other a black lab. I had bought them after Christmas on sale last year and forgot all about them until I opened my ornament box this year. I lost my two ‘best pals’ this year and love having them represented on my tree. They have a special spot, front and center.
Ms Cranky Pants saysDecember 31, 2008 at 2:39 am
Dorrie #25: *sniffle*
Bossy: you have the most beautiful tree. *sigh*
Naomi saysDecember 31, 2008 at 12:39 pm
all of them, the ones my kids have made, ones from my tree when I was a kid, ones that are gifts and of course all the angels that hang out on the tree
Kelly at The Glass Dragonfly saysDecember 31, 2008 at 12:49 pm
I love ornaments with history, with memories, with love. I never understood people who bought all new each year to match a theme that they created for the year. I don’t have a favorite, but the ones closest to my heart are the ones my daughter made as a young child.
missburrows saysDecember 31, 2008 at 3:52 pm
I think the decapitated kid’s head (bottom right) is a little creepy, but hey, it’s your tree.
kerry saysDecember 31, 2008 at 6:10 pm
File this under the Best Ornament Idea Ever: Every year – since the year of my daughter’s birth – my best friend and my kid’s godmother has given her an ornament. The idea is that when my daughter is on her own, she’ll start out with a treeful of meaningful ornaments. My daughter’s 20 and I still get to hang her “godmother ornaments” on my tree. Not for long, I fear.
Lesley saysJanuary 1, 2009 at 1:11 am
Happy New Year, Bossy! I just love your tree. Second only to my love for your blog. Sometimes it makes me laugh, sometimes it’s so touching and sentimental, sometimes – oftentimes – it’s both. And it is ALWAYS, ALWAYS a great read. Thanks for all the hard work you put into it this year. I look forward to what it may hold in 2009!
Gigi saysJanuary 1, 2009 at 11:32 am
Love your ornaments- the loon for the new baby and the Columbia ornaments are my favorites.
If I could only save one ornament from my tree it would be the Santa from our first Christmas after we married. That’s where it all began, baby.
Reeb saysJanuary 1, 2009 at 5:26 pm
My favorite: the 55+ year old Snowman Formerly Known As Christmas Light, that burned out before I ever remember it and had a paper clip wrapped around its fat little screw-in base, thus turning it into a prized ornament. Kristin, when my folks died, my sisters and I took turns divvying up everything, including the ornaments. (But why wait that long, for your childhood one engraved with YOUR name?) Boy did I score in that divvying! I got the Snowman AND the Santa former light also. Although the Santa’s a little scary in the face. LIKE THE CHILD IN THE TREE. I don’t care how you try to explain it away, Bossy.
Jill saysJanuary 1, 2009 at 5:28 pm
I have a hand-painted wooden sled ornament complete with a two-dollar bill inexplicably rolled up and tied to it. My grandmother made it for me. She wasn’t exactly a nice woman, but she lovingly painted my name on it and it always makes me remember the good things about her when I hang it up.
I love your tree!
Mama Bear saysJanuary 1, 2009 at 6:13 pm
My absolute favorite is an ornament given to me by my husband’s dear grandmother when we were first married. She showed off her ornaments to me, ones her own grandmother had brought from the Old Country to America in the 1800s. I was so enraptured, she gave me one of her favorites. Years later I found that her other grandchildren had tossed out the rest of the hand blown glass beauties during one of her hospitalizations.
The ornament is a relief of St. Nicholas stepping out of a background shaped like a leaf. The color graduates from (top to bottom) what was once bright pink to silver.
My own children have vowed to physically fight over who gets to inherit this prized possession.