Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Memories of Christmas 2

Back again!  These are photos of my favorite Christmas ornaments and decorations, along with a few lines about each one. These are things I want to remember in my "older" age and I want to make sure my children and grandchildren know their importance before they chuck them out the window or send them to a thrift shop after I'm dead and gone! Gotta luv me! I'm the Mama!!

The Fursdon Bicycles!  One year while we were in West Germany, my mother-in-law Valerie visited from England us and gave us lovely packages.  And on each package was a red bicycle or tricycle!  This was on the package for Nigel and myself!

This was on Laura's package!
This was on Elizabeth's package!

As you can well imagine, I put all three on our Christmas tree from then on, year after year. Then one year, in 2002 to be precise, another "special someone" entered the Fursdon Family!
And once again, Valerie managed to find a red bicycle and put it on a Christmas package - for Isabel! 

A camel from Afghanistan - from Elizabeth (my youngest), while deployed there with the Air Force.

A camel from Afghanistan - from Laura (our oldest), while deployed there with the Army Corps of Engineers. I'll be quite happy to stop this particular collection right now!

Now who can this sweet creature be?  Hmmmm......I love this ornament; it's a Hallmark. Just when I think they can't possibly make any more ornaments that will appeal to me, they come out with a new one! This one is about 3 years old and is one of Isabel's favorites too!

This is Isabel's ornament from Grandma Lorrie and Grandpa Jim Collier; sweets for the sweet!

Another Hallmark ornament!  Yes, they do this to me every year -come out with something I think I must have!  This one celebrated the Barbie Doll's 50th Anniversary.  And since it was "retro", including the really cool box it came in, with the original advertising on it, I "had to have it".  When I was little, we couldn't afford Barbie dolls, but I was given a Midge Doll.  I think Midge was a cousin of Barbie's and was also cheaper.  Anyway, I had a love-hate relationship with Midge. I loved her one minute, then hated that she wasn't Barbie the next! Kids are so ungrateful sometimes!  I remember Midge had freckles and long brown hair, just like I did. Which is probably another reason I didn't care for her. She looked like me instead of Barbie! Oh well.....such is life.  Now......if I can just find a Midge Doll, that would be really cool!!  Anyone out there seen one anywhere?  Oh Midge, where are you????

Bread dough butterfly ornament made by Laura for Me!!  Amazing it's lasted so long!  

 Bread dough rocking horse ornament made by Laura for me!  I think Laura was about 10 or 12 when she made these.  She saw me making bread dough ornaments one year and decided to give it a try!

No mention of Fursdon ornaments would be complete without mentioning the infamous clay ornaments Elizabeth brought home one year from the Day Care Center in Nuernberg.  There are about five different ornaments (this heart and another, two moons and a tree).  Liz was so excited when I picked her up one day after work; it was just before Christmas break and all the children had been making special surprises.  And Liz had a surprise for mommy! So we got home and out came these clay ornaments.  However, they all had the initials P.E. on them instead of E.F.  I didn't want to spoil the surprise for Liz, so I told her how lovely they were, how important they were to me and how I would always put them on the tree.  But my plan was to check back after the holidays when day care reopened, to see if anyone had reported receiving the wrong ornaments, and then do a quiet "switch-a-roo" without Liz knowing what had happened.  But no one ever reported anything!  So I just kept quiet about the whole thing and every year since, I've placed them on the tree! Of course, it wasn't long (probably the next year they were brought out) before Liz was asking why we had ornaments with the initials P.E. on them and I had to explain the whole thing to her. At first she was upset because someone out there had her ornaments and they should return them!  But it's now a family joke!

There must be something special about the Fursdon Family and clay ornaments!
  This star and the gingerbread woman and Christmas tree below were given to me by Nigel as a birthday gift.  Mind you, not just any birthday gift; it was my first birthday present from him after we were engaged!

Nigel and I met on 6 May 1978 and we were immediately attracted to each other; it wasn't until that fall that we spent more than a day apart! Well, along comes December and if I remember correctly, his Mom had booked him and his brother flights to England (from Huntsville, Alabama where we met) so they could spend time with their family.  But Nigel didn't want to go; he told me he didn't want to spend that much time away from me (2-3 weeks). Wasn't that sweet? Personally, I think he just wasn't overly thrilled about spending that amount of time with elderly family members, especially over the holidays!  But in the end, he went and according to his Mom Valerie, Nigel was miserable the whole time, asking about me, talking about me, complaining about the fact I wasn't there, etc.  Valerie later confided to me that she'd never been so tired of hearing about "Jan".  She said it was "Jan this and Jan that" every time he opened his mouth and she said he nearly drove everyone crazy.

In the end, Nigel ended up catching an earlier flight home by a couple of days.  He'd wanted to get home for my birthday on January 4th, but snow had closed down everything and he didn't make it back until January 6th.  It was then that he gave me these three clay ornaments, a lovely set of crystal liqueur glasses, and asked me to marry him!  Now I ask you - with Christmas ornaments and a proposal of marriage all in one, how could I possibly refuse??

Well, that's it for this entry.  Hope you didn't mind the stories.  It's always so much fun to look back over happy memories!

Take care and May God Bless! Jan