Friday, December 19, 2014

Deja Vu Blogfest - A Lesson From Mama

As promised, it's time for DL Hammons' "The Day of the Do Over." 

DL is giving us a chance to re-post special news, maybe an important event, or perhaps something that just bears a second look.  (Thanks, DL!) 

Here's mine. I trimmed it at bit since there are lots of blogs to visit in this blog hop. This was the part I wanted to share again.

An After-Christmas Gift

As far back as I can remember - and that goes pretty far back - we always had tinsel (or icicles) on our Christmas tree. It was the only decoration that we considered 'disposable'.  The last thing to go on and the first to come off, and be thrown away, before all the other ornaments were packed away for next year.

But a few years back, when it was time to decorate our tree, I discovered most stores had stopped selling tinsel. No one we talked to was quite sure why. Probably a health hazard of some kind, another one of those things I've used or done for most of my life that has now been deemed unsafe. So there would be no tinsel on our tree. There would be a lot more ornaments, though. That was the first Christmas after my dear mum-in-law had passed and we had brought her Christmas ornaments home to add to our own.

Not surprisingly, all of Mama's ornaments were very old and very well cared for. Most were still in their original boxes. But there was also something wrapped in several sheets of tissue paper. I carefully unfolded the paper and discovered...tinsel. About two boxes worth, I guessed, each strand carefully laid out and saved from previous years.

We used Mama's tinsel that year, and saved it for the next. I've since found a store that still sells tinsel and I bought several boxes but they remain unopened  For now I use Mama's, and I take the time to remove each strand after Christmas and return it to the tissue paper wrapping for next year. It reminds me of her, and it also reminds me of how easily we throw things away. We've become a disposable society. It's easier to discard what's old or broken or would take too much effort to save. Things, relationships, people.

Mama knew it's important to save what we have. To care for, repair, and cherish. She left this knowledge for us, wrapped in tissue paper, to be opened and remembered every year. I thought it was a gift worth sharing with you.

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Here are the links to the other participants in this Blog Hop. Happy hopping and don't forget to say hi when you visit.


Heather Holden said...

Aw, I remember this post. Such a perfect choice for the holidays!

Clarissa Draper said...

We live in this world where we love to throw away everything and sadly we're just pilling up garbage all over our planet. Great reminder. You're mother was very loving to teach you that.

Suzanne Sapsed said...

Oh gosh I remember tinsel, we always had it on our Christmas trees when I was growing up :) We have definitely become a throwaway society, but you know, with the recession and more awareness, I do think people are returning to the old make do and mend mentality :)

Lexa Cain said...

Christmas traditions and old family ornaments are wonderful! I loved your post. Have a very Merry Christmas!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I remember that post. Awesome you found her stash of tinsel.
Merry Christmas, LD!

DL Hammons said...

What a wonderful post and I'm so glad you re-shared it with us today. I loved the timing, the message it implied, and the emotion it communicated. Thank you for this! :)

Chris Fries said...

Lovely! I really enjoyed the way you showed how a simple, taken-for-granted thing like tinsel can be turned into a treasured family heirloom. Simply beautiful!

Happy Deja Vu!

LD Masterson said...

Heather - You have a good memory. And thanks.

Clarissa - It is a lesson we all need to learn.

Suzanne - I hope you're right. Thanks for coming by.

Lexa - Thanks. You too.

Alex - I used it again this year. A continuing Christmas gift.

DL - And thank you for giving me the change to share it again.

Chris - Thank you. I think Mama would be pleased.

To everyone who stops by - I just received an unexpected Christmas gift. My hubby has volunteered to help me finish our Christmas shopping today. So please forgive me if I'm slow responding and hopping. I'll be back online later today. (Jingle bells, jingle bells...)

Vanessa Morgan said...

Wonderful. This was definitely worth sharing again. Have a lovely weekend.

Robin said...

I remember reading this the first time. Just as touching the second go-round.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Yes, it is good to reuse the gifts we've been given!

Stephen Tremp said...

Oh man I missed this Blogfest. Too much going on. Anyway, Happy Holidays to you and yours and a prosperous New Year!

Linda G. said...

Great post to rerun. I loved the tinsel we put on our trees when I was a kid. :)

cleemckenzie said...

I'd forgotten about tinsel. We used to have it on our trees when I was little, but somehow I lost track. I enjoyed reading your Deja Vu post. Thanks for it.

Anonymous said...

Oh, what a fabulous gift to share with us! This is a perfect "do-over" post! I was smiling throughout most of your post, thinking about how carefully your mother-in-law packed the icicles and what a treasure that must have been for you to have found it! I remember icicles so well...and yep, they are certainly a thing of the past. They likely went to the same place that the spray-on window snow went! :) Thanks for sharing and reminding us NOT to be so quick to dispose. Happy Deja Vu!
Michele at Angels Bark

dolorah said...

I've had tinsel on my trees for as long as I could remember. Until the cats decided it was too pretty to resist. I kept mine from year to year when it wasn't torn up. So cool you get to add your mum-in-laws traditions too now.

LD Masterson said...

Vanessa - Thank you. I'm glad you thought so. A lovely weekend to you, too.

Robin - It's nice to know people actually remembered the first posting. Thanks.

Tyrean - Something we need to remember.

Stephen - Thanks. I wish you the same.

Linda G. - I never feel our tree is complete without it.

cleemckenzie - I hope it triggered a pleasant memory of Christmas past.

Michele - It was special and I get to have that moment every year as long as we keep saving it. Thanks.

dolorah - I'm so lucky. None of our dogs has ever been interested in tinsel nibbling.

Arlee Bird said...

I remember commenting on this post when you first put it up. Your Christmas memories are much like mine in the respect of the tree trimmings.

Tossing It Out

Murees Dupé said...

Your mother-in-law was a smart women. Have a Merry Christmas!

Anonymous said...

Perfect for deja vu! I remember putting on that tinsel, my own mother cautioning us to go one-strand-at-a-time when we impatiently descended to flinging handfuls. I heard that tinsel was banned because of its lead content, but I'm not sure if that's true. I do miss it, but my children have never even seen it.

Susan Scott said...

Terrific post thank you! What is a Christmas tree without its tinsel? I keep mine year after year! And wrapping paper to be re-used.

Happy Christmas!

Elizabeth Hein said...

I remember tinsel. I liked the way it reflected the colored lights my mother strung on the tree. I don't know why it seemed to disappear from store shelves along with those long ropes of sparkly garland. I have a box of glass icicles from Germany that we inherited from my husband's grandmother. We think of her each year as we hang them near the top of the tree.

This was a nice post to recycle.

Elizabeth Hein - Scribbling in the Storage Room

Donna Smith said...

The first tinsel we had was breakable, then they came out with the plastic-like strand tinsel that didn't really crinkle and break like the original. That was probably a health hazard to cats and puppies who might swallow it. At any rate, we always saved ours, though a few strands would be too tangled to get off. A while back they stopped offering it at stores, as you said. It was a sad day when we could no longer replenish our supply.
I am so glad I came across your post today!

Kimberly said...

I love this Deja vu post! So wonderful that you found the carefully wrapped tinsel and that you continue the tradition.

I remember tinsel too, every year, and had forgotten about it until your post. :)

Bish Denham said...

In this day in age when our Christmas is made in China it's nice to know that somewhere tinsel has been save from years ago. Very sweet.

LD Masterson said...

Lee - Yes, I remember you talking about your tree memories, too.

Murees - Yes, she was. In so many ways. Merry Christmas to you too.

barbtaub - The lead thing could be right. I sometimes wonder how my generation survived our childhood. My brother and I were always chastised for throwing handfuls instead of single strands and I did the same thing with my sons when they were little. Another holiday tradition.

Susan - Yay, another tinsel fan. I don't try to salvage the wrapping paper but I hoard the gift boxes and bags. Happy Christmas!

Elizabeth - I'll bet those glass icicles are beautiful. Thanks.

Donna - I will definitely miss it when what we have dwindles away. I've been lucky with pets. Never had one go after the tinsels.

Kimberly - I've been lucky. We've have had a tree without it.

Bish - Sadly, I think almost everything these days is made in China. But we have both my parents' and my husband's parents' ornaments from decades ago so we'll probably be set for life.

Chippyminton13 said...

I'll be honest I had no idea that tinsel was considered throwaway or that people had forgotten about it.

We currently have tinsel on our tree and wrapped round the bannister, hooked over picture frames... mirrors... anything that stands still long enough. We just have to make sure it is out of reach of the dog. And we keep it and use it until it falls apart.

thanks for visiting my blog and sorry for showing up to the blogfest a day late.


Mike Keyton said...

Yup we have tinsel in Wales,and we keep it - though not in tissue paper. We're not as careful as your mum. Black plastic bin bag, I think. The only thing I don't like is glitter on Christmas cards. It gets all over the place, though thinking on it I thought it was magic as a kid. said...

Tinsel carries so much love and meaning for you.

Being as I don't decorate Xmas trees, I didn't know that tinsel has basically gone extinct. That is crazy to me. Tinsel MAKES the tree.

Love and blessings for a wonderful Christmas. xo

LD Masterson said...

Chippy - That's great. I was starting to think we were the only ones that still used it. We pretty much limit it to the tree now but when I was a kid, we used it more like you do. I think we tinseled my dad once while he was napping. And, hey, I'm even later on my comment responses.

Mike - I agree about the glitter but I'll share this. A co-worker brought glitter into my office and accidentally spilled some around my table just before a meeting with some disagreeable clients. We cleaned it up before the meeting but when these "gentlemen" in their dark suits stood up to leave...glitter butts! We laughed for hours.

Robyn - Tinsel absolutely makes the tree. I guess it would be inappropriate to hang a strand of two from a menorah.

Cynthia said...

I'm glad you found the tinsel. It's nice to be able to keep and reuse the things we have.

Empty Nest Insider said...

I just took a peek at your post from Wednesday, and saw your beautiful tree covered in tinsel! This was such a heartwarming story for the holidays! "To care for, repair, and cherish" is a wonderful life lesson that also applies to relationships. Merry Christmas to you, and yours, LD!


Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi LD .. we've always kept our Christmas decorations ... including the tinsel ... I suspect when I moved continents - that went awol. But now I'm back I keep what I need ... my mother was in a Nursing Centre and I decorated her room for her .. so had excess - that went to the Hospice ... as I see Julie confirms .. To care form repair and cherish - such important thoughts at this time of year ..

My thoughts are with you this Christmas season - Hilary

Kate Larkindale said...

We've always kept our tinsel year to year. And think now, after so many years, it shows…. But the mis-matched, often torn and crinkled tinsel is part of our tree.

L.G. Keltner said...

Great post! It's true that we've become a disposable society in a lot of ways. I think we miss out on a lot when we don't take the time to appreciate the things that can and should endure.

Tanya Miranda said...

I'm one of those people who don't mind spending a little more on decoration because I save them all. My husband and I are both big on nostalgic souvenirs, Christmas is no different. I have boxes-worth of decorations, and every year it just seems we do things differently though they are the same old ornaments from 6-8-10 years ago. It's nice that you use your Mum's tinsel. I hope my kids use our ornaments in the future. That would be cool.

Happy Deja Vue weekend!

Rebecca Douglass said...

That takes me back--when I was a kid, we always had tinsel, and always carefully removed and saved it! When I was very young, it was made of metal; I suspect it was lead. Later that vanished (probably because it was lead!) and we had plastic. That was shinier, but never as "real" as the old stuff.

Thanks for stopping by my blog earlier! This is a fun hop, and I hope posts will remain accessible for a while, as we struggle to get through the holiday rush!

Kristin Smith said...

What a beautiful, heartfelt post. Loved it.

When my grandmother passed away a few years ago, I inherited her artificial Christmas tree. Even though it is a beast to put up (especially compared to the pre-lit trees you can find nowadays) we still put it up every Christmas because of the meaning and memories attached. I'm so glad you discovered your mother-in-law's tinsel and continue to treasure it.

Dawn Allen said...

What a lovely story about your mother-in-law. There are so many sweet memories around the holidays. But you're right, no doubt that tinsel is deadly in design. I have no idea how I lived so long surrounded by such danger the entire time.

Susan Barclay said...

Lovely; what a great message in this illustration.

Sherry Ellis said...

My mom used to save the tinsel year after year. Finally it just wore out and we had to throw it away. Great choice for the post!

LD Masterson said...

Sorry to be so slow with these responses. A little frantic Christmas scurrying going on over here.

Cynthia - And so easy to forget to.

Julie - Thank you. A very Merry Christmas to you.

Hilary - It was lovely of you to give the extra decorations to Hospice so they could brighten someone else's Christmas. Another important form of caring.

Kate - Ah, but the old, well used decorations tend to be the special ones.

L.G. - So true. Thanks for coming by.

Tanya - My favorite ornaments will always be the ones my kids made when they were little, although most are showing serious signs of old age. Some of my mom's go back 70+ years. I really want to pass them down to my kids and grandkids.

Rebecca - Well, all the posts should be accessible in the blog archive so you can catch up on any you missed. I agree, this is a fun blog hop.

Kristin - My husband and I always cut a fresh tree but my daughter-in-law has allergies and needs an artificial tree. When my mom passed away, Dad gave their big pre-lit tree to my son. I love going to his house and seeing Mom's tree.

Dawn - I shutter to think of the danger that surrounded my childhood. And yet - here I am.

Susan - Thanks so much. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Sherry - I'm sure what we have now will wear out at some point. There seems to be less left every year. But I'm going to make it last as long as I can.

Kaye George said...

Lovely post! Thank you.

Michelle Wallace said...

I'm rather late (13 days late? Crikey!) in getting around to the Deja Vu bloghop participants. I've been soooo busy...
Thanks for sharing this heart-warming post...

Lisa said...

What a lovely tribute to someone you obviously cared for very much. I'm sure she is looking down and nodding her head with a smile on her face. Lovely imagery in this. Thanks for sharing and for visiting my blog and commenting. Happy New Year!

Kathryn McKendry said...

That's beautiful! What wonderful memories for you with something as simple as tinsel.
We are a wasteful society and that's one of the things I'm hoping to improve on in 2015. I'm going to buy less and waste less and hopefully save money and help the planet at the same time! :)

LD Masterson said...

Just coming back online to catch the comments I missed over the holiday.

Kaye - Thank you for coming by.

Michelle - We all get swamped this time of year. Thanks.

Lisa - Yes, she was a very special lady. Happy New Year to you, too.

Kathryn - It's a good resolution for us all.