Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Snow Stars

I put away Christmas today.

You knows it's time when your 3 year old tells you the tree is melting.

I packed up all the decorations. Boxed up the glitter and the ribbon and the wrappings. Put away the pictures of sweet children sitting on Santa's knee. I wrapped up the Christmas tree angel that has topped our tree since our first year of marriage and I nestled her back in her box.

After taking down the angel, I took a long look at the sorry sight of a tree. Pine needles all over the floor. Broken branched here and there. Decorations all askew. But my snow stars still graced the branches with delicacy and love.

The first Christmas after The Husband and I were married, one of my oldest friend's mom, Mrs. S gave me a wonderful gift. Snow stars. She made them herself, every one a unique design. I loved them.

For a number of years, the snow stars graced our Christmas tree. I always had comments about how pretty they were. Aside from our angel tree topper, they were my favourite part of our yearly tree. But one fateful year, there was a flood in our crawl space and we lost most of the snow stars to water damage. Then the following year, our few remaining stars ended up as mouse food when a family of rodents moved into our back shed.

No more snow stars to grace our tree. I was still grateful our angel had survived two bouts of Christmas carnage but, oh how I missed those stars.

Fast forward to March 2003. My sweet mom handed me this.

And inside?

She had asked Mrs. S. if she would make me some more snow stars for my birthday. Mrs. S went to town and made me an entirely new and wonderful collection of snow stars. All of them different. All different sizes. All different designs. All wonderfully delicate and sparkly.

Mrs. S refused to let my mom pay for any of them. That's just the kind of person she is. Wonderful. And talented. She included a note in the box to remind me how they're best put on the tree....small on top, medium in the middle and the large ones down below.

Every year when I pull out the old Eaton's box, I have to smile. Every year when I have the sad task of taking down the Christmas tree, I make sure to find that old Eaton's box and carefully tuck the snow stars away amongst the tissue. I look at the card that's tucked inside the box, reminding me to take the hooks off so the stars won't rust. And I say a prayer of thanks for a lovely lady who's work graces my tree every year.

I love the simple things of Christmas. Sitting around and watching The Griswold Christmas Vacation. A sip or three of Bailey's. Taking pictures of what happens when The Eldest and The Princess are left alone while making whipped shortbread.

I love gingerbread houses.

And I love putting baby Jesus in our nativity scene when we get home from Christmas Eve mass. (Which we forgot to do this year and in my defence, The Princess had a fever and had been throwing up and let me tell you I almost threw up myself when I realized that baby Jesus was still hiding behind the poinsettia plant Christmas night.)

And I like my snow stars.

Thanks again, Mrs. S.


bridget {bake at 350} said...

My mom used to make those. I remember seeing them all stretched out and drying...waiting to be given away. I wish I would have paid more attention when she made them.

Thanks for the sweet memory. :) PS...I'm sure baby Jesus forgives you. We were bad and had ours out all season.

Captain Dumbass said...

Looks like it was a pretty nice Christmas. I took down everything yesterday except my monsterous tree which is still taking up three quarters of my living room. Eaton's box? So you've had those for awhile then.

MahoneyMusings said...

Hehe. I knew a fellow Canuck would get the Eaton's box.

Je said...

My mom phoned me this morning to tell me that apparently you had blogged about her stars. So I brought it up on the computer to read to her and didn't get two sentences into it when I started to cry and couldn't go on. So I had to copy it into an email for her. She was surprised at me but I haven't heard back from her to see if it made her cry too. I love my stars as well. They are the favourite part of my tree!

MahoneyMusings said...

Je - Awww. That's just so sweet!