13 January 2015

Judge Not

I am only just now deChristmasing. I should have done it the weekend after New Year's but we had a big party and I had to make 18 quarts of chili and Mary Berry's cherry cake. I could have done it last weekend, but I had to go spend the night elsewhere so we could play Cards Against Humanity with old friends and relatives. So here I am, a Tuesday night, into January's double digits, child and husband already in bed, fondling my Christmas ornaments and thinking about my mother.

It's hard not to. She loved Christmas. She's why I have enough antique glass ornaments to fill three trees - and I only have room for one tree. She's why I have fifteen mismatched red votives marching across the mantlepiece.

The votives were collected over many years, and a few of them have been repaired - with wire, with crazy glue. I take care of them as best as possible, honoring their past, remembering my mother.

Late on Christmas day, I lit the votives. We were sitting around eating cheese and opening second round presents, when, with a cra-ack, one of the votives broke, cleanly spitting out a chunk of glass.

Clearly my mother was visiting. Happily, though, my husband had gotten me a fresh batch of Sugru, so a few days later, I made a Sugru repair to the broken votive. I like to think it's in the spirit of kintsugi, treating the "breakage and repair as part of the history of an object, rather than something to disguise".

I'm not sure that the repair will work with a candle in it; the Sugru is only supposed to be good to about 350°F and not around open flame. But still - I had to fix it. Honoring the past, you know. Besides, my mother would have loved Sugru.


Jocelyn said...

Such a lovely post. I have to say I envy the clarity of your feelings for your mother; I had that for 35 years of my life, but then it all got more complicated, so now I just think back, fondly, to the easy years.

Anyhow, the idea of honoring the break is so very cool. It's a kind of mature thinking that would have to come from another culture, what with America being so brash and young.

Hey, and answer me this: I always thought the traditional day to have Christmas decor down was January 6th since it's Epiphany. I got that notion from my mother, though, so, you know...

Anyhow, not judging anything, as I'm kind of against decorating in the first place, and our stuff only goes up or comes down thanks to husband's efforts.

S said...

Love you. This year I instituted a '"take down over one week" policy to lessen my sadness.

Veronica said...

I feel a lovely Christmas is the gift I give my family all through December, culminating on the 25th.

The traditions, the candles, the decor, the scents, the atmosphere, the gifts. I'm a set designer and stage manager making sure everything rolls out for the holiday just so. I am the Memory Maker.

It's a huge effort, and this year as I collapsed into bed on Christmas Eve, so tired and a bit weepy, I thanked my mother out loud for all the Christmases she gave me when I was young.

Patois42 said...

I adore that your mother came to visit. What a pleasant surprise for you.

RuthWells said...

I love it.

Anonymous said...

Being a blown glass ornament junkie, I can never judge someone else regarding their handling of Christmas decorations. We only have enough to cover about two trees, but these are good times for ornaments and we can't seem to stop ourselves. We didn't buy any boxed assortments this year, so I guess that's like limiting oneself to a few martinis instead of a case of beer.

The hard truth of Christmas is that you can either treat them like museum pieces or you can risk breaking them by using them. To really love them is to risk losing them.