Gini's Research Toolbox

Friday, December 3, 2010

Advent Calendar ~ Day 3 ~ Christmas Tree Ornaments



Please note: This post originally ran for the Advent Calendar of Memories in December 2009 ~


Our tree always had traditional German ornaments, the most beautiful kind. Some glass, some handmade and very delicate. Mom still has many from close to fifty years ago. I have several heirloom ornaments that have a very special meaning to me so I have chosen a few to share with you.
  2010 Update: Since this post last year, my Oma passed away the 5th of April 2010...these ornaments are truly a treasure more than ever.

My Oma, Lieselotte Haf, who is ninety-six years old, alive and well and living in Germany, made these walnut ornaments. Oma traveled every few years to California to visit us. During one of her visits she wanted to make some traditional walnut ornaments, the kind she made back home during tough times.

We bought a bag of walnuts, red yarn, and gold paint! Oma and I sat and carefully cracked open the walnuts so that we could glue the string inside, glue the walnut back together and paint them gold. That was 29 years ago this Christmas. I will never forget sharing this time with her, laughing as we would try not to crack the walnut shells into pieces! In mom's own words, German's like handmade ornaments, nature type ornaments. I have cherished the walnut ornaments Oma made me and proudly put them on my tree each Christmas.

My aunt Gitta in Germany is an expert at "Kloppeln". It's not embroidery, it's not needlepoint, or cross stitch - it's German Lace Making. Aunt Gitta has her own style, but I can tell you it's amazing. Aunt Gitta has spent many hours making these beautiful heirlooms and I cherish each and every one of them she has made for me.

She has made several items for me over the years, the Christmas tree ornament is truly beautiful along with this Kloppeln doily that I use under my mini memory tree in my kitchen. My mini memory tree has photos of loved ones and ancestors passed. I always have a mini tree in my kitchen, it use to have Christmas cookie cutters on it, now it holds photos as ornaments of those we want to remember and we miss so much.

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    Advent Calendar 2010


10 comments:

Barbara Poole said...

I love all your Christmas posts, and have learned quite a bit about your customs. Can't wait to read about Santa and all the other things that go with Christmas.

Claudia's thoughts said...

I was catching up on my blog reading and came across this post. It struck a memory in my brain that my mother (born in Germany) had made them for our tree in PA.

I had forgotten all about them, what a nice post to jog my memory. Gerda had painted ours silver and I think it was probably because the money was tight.

Amy Coffin said...

Such gorgeous treasures! I'm really enjoying your Advent Calendar posts.

Gini said...

I am so glad that my posts are jogging memories! I am learning and remembering myself as I do each days Advent Calendar post!

Amy, I am so glad you are enjoying these posts, it's fun doing them. Sure brings back memories I hadn't thought of in many years.

Thank you all for your wonderful comments and stopping by.

Cheryl Fleming Palmer said...

How wonderful that you have these ornaments! I wish I had just one from an ancestor. Very nice post. AT first I thought the lace making was going to be tatting, but it is not. Tatting is another lost art anymore.

Kristin said...

The walnuts make beautiful ornaments! I like the small tree with the ancestors pictures. i would like to think of something along those lines to use.

Gini said...

Thank you Kristen...I am actually re-doing the Ancestor tags as we speak. They will be homemade and much prettier than the ones from last year.

When I get them done, I will post a photo of them on their tree. I love our Ancestor tree and they are very much with us through out Christmas!

DianaR said...

What beautiful, beautiful ornament - and beautiful memories!! Thank you for sharing them with us.

hummer said...

Beautiful. Your Aunt is so talented.

Lori said...

These truly are treasures! I really enjoyed reading about their history.