Saturday, December 13, 2008
Reflecting on Christmases past
In addition to being a whiz with pen and ink, my father was quite creative at building things from scratch. I recall one Christmas season, when I was about seven or eight years old, my mother was grumbling that she always put the same decorations on the living room mantel. With a twinkle in his eye, Dad disappeared into the basement.
The next day, he asked me if he could borrow a few of my dolls--just for Christmas. He begged some scraps of material and yarn from neighbors, coaxed some cotton balls from my mother--and again descended to the basement.
Three days later, he emerged triumphantly with the newest mantel decoration: a vignette of three carolers outside a shop window. The onion-skin panes of the shop's bay window were back-lit; the cotton snow hid small bulbs illuminating the front. My Davy Crockett doll had been transformed into Lord Crockett, complete with a felt greatcoat, yarn-wrapped hands, and a paper mache top hat. Anchoring the scene in one corner was a street light, also illuminated.
I celebrated this memory of Christmases past in the November 2001 issue of Needle Pointers, the magazine of the American Needlepoint Guild. My "Joy to the World," the featured cover design pictured here, added a few more "dolls" to round out the caroler family and a brick facade to the shop. I don't know whatever happened to my father's original creation, but it still lives on today, not only in my memory but also in my stitching.