Gift of Christmas #6: Boalt Ornaments

In 1980, I decorated the Christmas tree in my new home with Dorothy, the Tin Man, the Scarecrow, and the Cowardly lion, ornaments from the Gladys Boalt Collection. I happened upon the set at a summer craft fair, and even though they were a little above my price range, I was so impressed with the quality that I splurged.

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I have added to my collection of Boalt ornaments every year. I have added additional characters from literature: Louisa Alcott’s Little Women-Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy; Shakespeare’s Hamlet; Paul Bunyan and his blue ox, Babe.I have added historical figures for my sons: Paul Revere; Lewis and Clark; Julius Caesar, and Napoleon. I have added the dancing figures from the Nutcracker, and added a variety of Santas. There is little room for other ornaments other than a few glass balls.

Every Christmas for the past 34 years, I reacquaint myself with Boalt ornaments that have been carefully stored in the attic. I unpack them carefully and arrange them in families around the tree: fictional characters grouped by story; Europeans separated from Americans; fairy tales staged on one side and folk tales on the other. But after Christmas, as I pack them away, I mix them up, giving them an opportunity to mingle across genres.

AmeliaThis year, I have an ornament for my son’s fiance, a USMC helicopter pilot. She will be getting an Amelia Earhart ornament.

She will be my #6 Gift of Christmas.


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