The tree is up and decorated. Each year I get so much pleasure and I add each ornament. The tree contains memories that go back more than 60 years. After my mother’s death my brothers and I had to empty her condo and split up her belongings. There were no surprises until we got to a big storage closet in the garage that, among other things, held boxes and boxes of Christmas tree ornaments dating back to the 1940s. My mother was much given to buying lots of new ornaments every year, but I never thought about what she did with the old ones. I actually do remember this patriotic ornament; it is my husband’s favorite.
Many of the ornaments our children made when young were lost during a move, or being made of paper disintegrated, but we do have a collection of ornaments made by the grandchildren, so we go from the 1940s to the 1990s. And we have two great-granddaughters coming up!
When we lived in Beijing I bought a number of ornaments including a whole set of Monkey King characters. Monkey King is a major mischievous hero in Chinese literature and culture. He, along with Pigsy, Friar Sand and the Monk travel across the country to bring the Buddhist scriptures from India to China. Monkey King has magic powers and tools, but he does get himself and his companions into a lot of trouble. Many of the Peking Opera stories are based on Monkey’s adventures.