Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Christmas nostalgia

My sister and I were talking the other day about the old Christmas decorations we had when we were kids. A few of them have survived, and she puts them on her tree every year. She mentioned that she still had the angel for the top of the tree, and described it as a sort of saccharine-looking doll. I vaguely remembered that, but I told her that there was an EARLIER angel for the top of the tree, that was very 1950s - a cardboard printed picture of an angel, rising out of a cloud of white fluff of some kind. She couldn't remember it, so I said I'd go on eBay and see if I could find a picture to jog her memory.

Unfortunately, MY memory is not that good, so I forgot to look it up. She beat me to the punch by being the first to send a picture of the later tree ornament:
Well, as soon as I saw the picture, I remembered it. I'd never felt very strongly about this angel - it seemed a bit twee, something out of the Holly Hobby era in style.

But the picture did spur me on to go on the search for the earlier angel, and it didn't take long before I found it:

Now THIS is an ANGEL! As with the other one, just seeing the picture triggered memories. Specifically, memories of how my mother terrified me with dire tales of what would happen to me if I touched it. No, not a spanking. She made great hay out of the fact that the cloud the angel was floating on was made of spun glass, and told me that this was the same stuff they used to insulate houses. It was so dangerous, if I touched it, the fibres could penetrate the skin on my fingers and work their way into my body. Furthermore, they would then migrate through my system to my lungs and KILL ME!!!

Now that I'm grown up (and I hadn't thought of that story since the angel disappeared from our Christmas tree in the late 60s) I can recognize that that tale drew heavily on horror stories about asbestos, mixed in with scares about pink insulation that were going around at that time, too. But of course, I believed every word!


Anonymous Antique said...

Wow! That's just the one we had back in the 60's. I never got the scare story you got, though. I didn't give a flip for tree ornaments. Besides, I always kind of thought the angel was un-clean, sitting up there with the tip of the tree up her, um, heart.

Now, tree LIGHTS! That's where my parents had trouble getting me to leave things alone...

12:39 am  

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