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By: Shirley F.  
Date Submitted: 10/14/2010
Last Updated: 10/14/2010
Genre: Nonfiction » Holidays
Words: 475


My former boyfriend, who happens to be Jewish, got an e-mail from me describing
my pleasure in decorating my little bedroom tree with all Shiny Brites, I mentioned
that evening I was enjoying them reading. Very typical of me. "Battling sciatica with
Aleve & heating pad. Decorated the litte tree in my bedroom with the oldest of the old ornaments, Grandma's & the
ones I have collected. Many Shiny Brites from '40's and '50's. Tree is very serene with almost exclusively glass
ornaments. Enjoying that and books tonite. Be well, sweetheart"
He was reply was "To a Jew, overbearing." (Yes, that was the entire e-mail.) Overbearing? Aside from the reminder
of why we broke up, it made me think of exactly why I love Shiny Brites. They are a time portal, as J.K. Rowling might
call them.
Looking at a treeful of them now, one of the most attractive things about them is their very age.
The colors are somewhat faded and not as strong as on new ornaments. Softer and understated
looking , they are gentle on the eye and reflect tree lights more subtly. They reflect an earlier
America. Images are old fashioned Christmases made visible: snowmen, snowscapes with deer, bells,
snowy cabins, candles with evergreens, Pickwickian post coaches, country churches, and wishes for "Silent Night"
Peace on Earth" and "Merry Christmas" , at which people with agendas were not pretending to take offence.

Of course, these are also the ornaments that my grandmother & her sisters & Great Grandma Daisy picked
out and treasured. These glass time travelers survived little kids, puppies, moving from home to home,
trendy tinsel trees & color co-ordinated flocked trees, and the year my father didn't get the stand just right
and the Scotch Pine hit the deck. with me yelling : " Timber!" which no one but me appreciated.
They silently observed in the rooms when carols were
sung, presents opened, Christmas cards addressed and the post office delivered twice a day. They
watched Uncle Bill organize a square dance in the living room on a visit the year after he retired to Tucson.
Not to mention when Aunt Ollie's husband had one too many on the way over & decided to crawl thru a side
window to play Santa Claus. He almost got a bottle cracked over his head in the dark. Even in the Fifitess
burglars were scary things.
Whenever I see Shiny Brites at garage sales or resale shops I snap them up and hang them all together.
It's a little conspiracy with myself that if one gets broken - who knows if it was one of Grandma's or not?
Since you can't know, that sudden "pop" doesn't hurt.

The Eclectic Pen » All Stories by Shirley F.

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Liane A. (qli) - 12/4/2010 7:52 PM ET
What a great little slice of nostalgia. (and you're so lucky you lost that boyfriend!)
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