Touch a Memory: Christmas at Auntie’s

Every December of my childhood, we would cut a tree in the family woodlot and carry it up to Gorham, where my great aunt Mina (“Auntie”) lived. For this never-married aunt, part of the fun of Christmas was allowing her great nieces and great nephews to decorate her tree. She pulled out hand blown glass ornaments that had hung on her tree for decades … even a garland of hand-blown glass baubles … and let us go to it.

aunties tree

I’ve collected vintage glass ornaments that remind me of Auntie’s Christmas tree.

Some of my Christmas tree ornaments were chosen as reminders of those December Saturdays, when Dad ate Auntie’s pie, Mom wove a wreath from trimmed branches, and we kids were never careful enough to get the garland onto the tree without shortening it by a bauble or two.

No matter how much care I try to take, my own blown glass garland keeps getting shorter each year, too. I hope I do better in protecting and displaying these memories.

PS: One memory never to be forgotten — Auntie was never cross with us as our fumbling children’s fingers depleted her store of earthly Christmas treasures. She added to her treasure in heaven every December as she graciously allowed us to give her a gift as best we could.

About Carlene Byron

Writer, editor, publicist, communications project manager ... I've written technology and infrastructure; I used to edit New England Church Life and The New England Christian and I've freelanced to publications ranging from Commonweal to Christianity Today. I'm now living in my hometown in Maine and am speaking about global perspectives on suicide prevention.
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