I wanted to do something really special for my sister this past Christmas so I made her this wreath as her big gift.
She has an awful lot on her shoulders these days and since I live several hours away, there is a limit as to how much help I can be. Since our Dad died in 2011, Nanny has more than just her own house, business, and 3 girls to take care of. She not only sees to the care of our Mom (if you read my last post, you know our 91-year-old Mom had a stroke just before Christmas) but to a myriad of other interests that our father always took care of. It’s a lot to contend with and I am so grateful that she is there to take care of it for all of us. I don’t know how she manages, quite honestly.
I had such a good time making this one. I wanted it to be fun with references to what we liked as kids but without it ending up being juvenile. We led happy, charmed lives as children and Christmas was the pinnacle of the year. It was almost Dickensian in its splendor.
I started with this goofy Santa. The minute I saw him in a dusty old antiques mall, I snapped him up with her in mind. This is exactly the sort of thing we loved as kids. Who knows, we might even have tried to make one like it ourselves. Somebody, sometime took a plain old red ball and gussied it up with a delightfully homemade face, beard, and hat. I love it for its homespun look and think about who might have made it. I hope they like the fact they it has a new, happy home. Right next to him is a sequin decorated felt reindeer that takes me back. We would have had this fellow playing with our trolls in an instant.
This is a little bit of a wider shot of the top. Can you see the little bottlebrush tree next to the reindeer? Then there’s the terrific gold ball with the stenciled child riding a broomstick pony; we spent years riding our own stick ponies in addition to the real thing. There’s also a red Poland ball with a little house to reminder her of home and that fabulous ball in the bottom right corner with the guitar-playing Santa (it is very special and I don’t part with those easily). He is to remind us of all the music we grew up sharing together.
LIke the Beatles. At the risk of dating myself I will tell you that I remember vividly us sitting in our jammies in front of the black & white (!) TV watching the Beatles make their US debut on the Ed Sullivan show one Sunday night in February 1964. Now, that was something. Ok, so I digress…
I had been saving this wonderful 1960’s white plastic Santa with his reindeer and sleigh for her, too. I added the tiny shopping bag as a touch of whimsy (we do like to shop!). Of course, there is a host of other great stuff on the wreath, too. The palette is a traditional one of red and green with dots of other colors to spice it up. I added fabulous vintage green and gold Doubl Glo coiled garland to sperk things up a bit.
Can you spy the red C9 lightbulb on the bottom? That’s a nod, with love, to our Dad, who always decorated our fresh-cut cedar tree with those big colored lights. He especially loved red. Daddy would go out scouting our farm for a suitable Christmas tree months in advance. On Christmas Eve morning we would troop out into the woods and cut it down to bring home. We got one for our grandmother, too. Daddy would also get his shotgun out before Christmas and shoot mistletoe down from the top of an oak tree for Mom to make a kissing ball with. If you have never had a cedar tree for your Christmas tree you can’t possibly understand how prickly they are to try to decorate – it’s torture! But it looked awfully sweet when we were done. I admit, though, I was glad when the day finally came where my parents decided to actually buy a Christmas tree – hallelujah!
In this close-up on the left side, you can see a jazzy jumbo Poland ball with multi-colored dots all over it. Just above that is tucked a yellow Jewelbrite and to the left of it is a gold plastic bell. Then there is that great blue Poland with the mica snowman as a reminder of childhood snow days spent out in the country where we grew up. Moving to the top, directly next to the gold stenciled ball, is a clear red glass ornament with tinsel inside – that’s unusual and has quite a bit of age on it. There are also a Shiny Brite striped bell and a Japanese lantern, too.
Here’s a close-up on the other side of the wreath with some wonderful ornaments including a big swirly teardrop, a fab red ball with a comet, the cool little teardrop-shaped indent, and a green plastic bell. Up on the tippy top is a Shiny Brite striped top, upside down.
I wanted you to get a really good look at the Shiny Brite musical Santa ornament (I love, love, love it), the comet, and our cozy little house welcoming us home in the snow.
I am going to leave you with this close up of the adorable little 1960’s elf tucked under the reindeer. We no doubt played with his cousins when we were little. But perhaps the most important ornament of all is the red ball just behind the elf with the hearts stenciled on it. That’s to remind her of me. Because I made this with love. Just for her. I love you, Nanny. Thank you for being my sister.