Every year, we acquire new Christmas ornaments. Not a whole lot of them, but we pick up four or five each year. We do an "eclectic" Christmas tree, with ornaments of all types and sizes and shapes. We have traditional ball ornaments, painted-glass Santas, ornaments made by The Daughter in various school grades, novelty ornaments bought over the years at different stores that no longer exist, ornaments that have been gifted to us through the years. I've never understood the folks who do an entire tree in one color or motif or theme or whatever.
Christmas ornaments, to me, are only partly about putting pretty things on a tree. They're also about memory. Each ornament puts me in mind of something or someone special to me and my family, and as we unpack them each year, I get to revisit those people and places in my memories. That's what Christmas ornaments are about.
Anyway, as I said, we get new ones each year. It's getting harder and harder each year to find room enough on the tree, and it may become necessary one of these years to get a bigger tree to hold them all. As it is, we find ourselves sadly relegating some ornaments to "back of the tree" status, where we can't see them. But do we stop acquiring them? No way. Here are the notable additions to our tree this year.
The first three are from my parents, who took a trip to England earlier this year and brought these back for us. This is Queen Elizabeth I, who on our tree looks nothing like Flora Robson, Cate Blanchett, or Dame Judy Dench.
Here is Ann Boleyn. Look how bright her eyes are, as she looks forward to long and successful marriage to King Henry VIII! It's almost like she has no idea that her head will, not too many years hence, be separated from her shoulders. Oh, those whacky English Royals through the centuries!
And here is the King of the Britons himself, the Majesty of England, the Once and Future King, Arthur Pendragon:
Ahhh, Arthur, I've missed you so. I should reacquaint myself with King Arthur one of these years. Heck, I had a book in progress about him, once upon a time....
Maybe the Christmas tree wouldn't be the first place you'd expect to see a bizarre matchup of fantasy hero versus sci-fi villain, but that's what's unfolding on our three this year:
Arthur doesn't seem aware of the danger that lurks behind him! Turn around, Arthur!
A few weeks ago, The Daughter and I took a trip out to look for new ornaments. Every year I let her pick a few, in honor of the brother and sister that she lost. For the latter, she chose this pair of birds.
And for Little Quinn -- whose "official" color we always took to be red -- she chose this.
So there they are, the new additions to the tree for this year.
(You can see more of our ornaments here, here, and here.)