Holiday Memories

For the Christmas season, I decided to go off-topic a little and write about some family stories about decorations.

I don’t have any pictures of my these ornaments because they are all in storage.

My grandparents were married in May of 1942. Soon after that my grandfather was drafted and when he went into the draft office, they decided he “looked Navy”. When all was said and done (after training), they ended up in San Francisco (if we’re remembering correctly). Between the war and being in the military, they didn’t have much money that Christmas.

I can’t remember where they got the tree (although I seem to remember them saying they had a little one), but they still didn’t have any ornaments. So my grandfather bought a bag of shell walnuts and patiently halved them and cleaned them out. I believe there was originally between 75 and 50 walnuts, but only about 20 survived the intervening 72 years.

After he’d glued them back together, the two of painted and glittered the shells, decorating each one as uniquely as possible. After attaching string through them, they had their Christmas decorations.

The other half of this story comes after they had settled in Pennsylvania a few years after the war. My grandfather was now working for a company called ASARCO (a metal working company) in management. The company was on strike that Christmas season, but Grandpa still had to go into work. He would work ten hour shifts so he could take a day off during the week to spend time with my grandma and their three girls. Since he had nothing else to do while he was at work, he decided to make “his girls” a Christmas tree. He had a lot of copper wire available, so he designed and built a small triangular tree. I believe it’s about a foot and a half tall and he decorated it with little Christmas balls.

So that’s my Christmas decorations stories. I wish I had pictures to share.

What are your favorite memories of Christmases past? Do you have any unusual decorations? Or family stories? I’d love to hear them!

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