Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Simple Christmas

As many out there can relate, we plan to spend a very simple Christmas this year. We've pared down the gift list and sent fewer Christmas cards, yet to me it seems like a far more relaxing way to spend the holidays without shopping myself ragged at the dreaded mall. Instead, we're concentrating on family and old memories.

Some of those memories came rushing back today as I decorated the Christmas tree with mostly handmade ornaments created by friends when we participated in ornament exchanges. One in particular I have such a fondness for and I keep him in my curio cabinet so that each year, he can be the first one to adorn my tree: Vella's Nut Boy.

Vella was someone very special to me and a group of special ladies. We literally hung onto her pearls of wisdom and adored her positive attitude towards life. We were all so sad when she sudden passed away. You couldn't ask for a nicer person to be in your corner...she sent this darling little Nut Boy as part of an ornament exchange that we had, and I just cherish him. So simply made with felt, fluffy wool, and nestled in a half walnut shell.

Vella was also famous amongst us for her unusual way of celebrating the season with an upsidedown Christmas tree! She'd have her husband hang this thing from the ceiling by the trunk with heavy wire so that the top of the tree would be pointing towards the floor. She did this to save space in their tiny home...before it was the trendy thing to do.

The first Christmas after she passed away, I was thinking about her while I was Christmas shopping...we were window shopping when we came upon a pure white Christmas tree...hung upsidedown!!! "Now, who would do a silly thing like that?" said the person I was with. "Vella!" Chills ran down my back since I had just been thinking of her...I took this as a definite sign that she was doing ok wherever she was...

Merry Christmas, Vella...I still miss you.


Riet said...

Hi Jacqui. Glad I found your blog. I love your story about all the handmade ornaments and the one special one. I found out that I have so many handmade from swaps these days I hardly need any balls to put in the tree . It looks so lovely. I peeked through your blog and saw your dad, opa, with the mussels. A Dutch favorite and so delicious. Riet

Annelies Dease said...

I miss Vella too....what a fun and delightful person she is. We need to get together some day and look at the VHS tape we all did. Do you remember that???? I have always thought it wonderful that some of my dearest friends are nestled in my computer....have never met them face to face, yet I can't imagine life without them. Love your tree...cute and festive. Sending you hugs, Annelies

Christine said...

Your tree is beautiful Jacquie. I love the little walnut boy, it sounds as though Vella was a very special person

Marianne said...

Your tree is beautiful! Loved your story about Vella. She sounds like she was a very special lady.

Pam said...

Each year as I hang Vella's ornament I think of her and all the wise advice she gave ...we are so lucky to have our little group. Gosh, it was such a long time ago we all met.

I LOVE your tree ...you did a beautiful job decorating it.