Dec 19, 2019

There are no pickles or dolphins or spaceships on my tree. Half of the glass ornaments I’ve been collecting since my twenties are traditional round ones, and the remainder have a holiday season theme, broadly speaking: Christmas trees, Santas, snowmen, icicles, pinecones, candy canes, bells, stars, and hearts, as well as musical instruments (like drums, lutes, and horns) and toys (like tops, rocking horses, and locomotives). The one exception is a single strawberry—because it’s snow-capped and the first ornament I ever bought. Oh, and did I mention my myriad birds? One year the only ornament I bought was a white dove at East Bay Nursery, which has a fabulous selection. Coincidentally, my therapist, Toni, bought only the very same one, which I like to think reflects that we’re birds of a feather..

I also have a little collection of mini ornaments (above), including a wreath, nutcracker, sleigh, and gingerbread house. When my godkids were younger and came over for our annual Christmas celebration, the first thing Michael and Emma wanted to do was play “Find the Ornament”—even before they opened their presents! I had a list that I would read out one at a time, and they would compete to see who could spot it first. Of course, the miniatures were a special challenge—so much so that sometimes when Ella and I took our tree down, we couldn’t find them among the rigidly drooped branches, which accounted for some of the blank places in the box above (till I added a toy car and a mitten).

I mention all this for any parents who might like to play the same game with their kids.