Nostalgia comes knockin'

Have you ever noticed how crazy things happen sometimes, like when your past catches up with you? Whether it's going home for the holidays, visiting your old stompin' grounds, or just catching up with someone who used to be part of your life, nostalgia creeps in and sometimes catches you quite unaware. I guess it's just that time of year where memories are tied to things and events.

As I decorated my Christmas tree, I rediscovered ornaments that a dear friend of mine made for me when we were barely teenagers (yes, Amy, I still have that felt bear). My Mom gives us at least one ornament every year (as I may have mentioned before), so there are a lot from her, including the reindeer in the photo. I hang a snowman-and-gingerbread-man, construction paper garland from my best friend's kids. The sled on the right side of the photo acted as a place card at one of the many tables that my Aunt, who taught tole painting set when we had family Christmas at her house (it says 1975).

This year, if an ornament didn't conjure up a happy memory or somehow tug at my heartstrings, it didn't get placed on the tree. And the tree is plenty full. I guess I'm pretty lucky that I have so many wonderful memories. I also notice, as I stare at my tree, that most of the ornaments on it right now are handmade. Maybe those things go hand-in-hand for me. Though not all of the ornaments that hold memories are handmade, so many of them are, and the reason that they're there is not necessarily because the ornament itself is special, but because the person who created it for me is special. And though I know that not every item I've made or given may hold the same connection for the recipient, I'd like to think that many of them do. And that's enough to keep me making gifts for years to come.


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