Monday, January 05, 2009

Our Totemic Christmas Customs - #11

The Gilbert Shoe Company of Thiensville, Wisconsin, makers of fine children's shoes, went out of business in 1978. My Aunt Tommy was the office manager; working at the shoe factory had been her only job for over fifty years, starting right out of high school at the age of seventeen.

When all available personnel had claimed ornaments that they had added to the office Christmas tree over the years there leftovers. Aunt Tommy decided I would be the perfect recipient for the unclaimed ornaments. Rick and I had been married that June. Money was, in newly-wed fashion, tight. Free ornaments were very much appreciated.

To be honest, I took in those ornaments thinking that as years went by they could be replaced by 'better' ornaments of my choosing. But they have been integrated into our traditions, as a sweet reminder of the humble beginnings of our particular nuclear family. Additions of been made. My parents died and my sister and I brought the ornaments of our childhood back into our respective homes. And things have come back around. Now it is time to start spinning ornaments off to the children for their own respective trees. (Emily, your pig is ready when you are. I now this Christmas has been a bit chaotic!)

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