Filed under: Life
Marlene sparked this one.Â I didn’t have a lot of birthday parties either growing up; December’s a busy time of year, and we weren’t all that big on getting around to doing them anyway.Â But there was a memorable one when I turned 12.
My folks one year had found someone selling kits with molds and plaster of paris and paint for making your own Christmas ornaments: add a snip of twine for the hook to hang from, add water, pour, tweak twine, dry, and decorate as desired. (Come to think of it, candy molds would work for this, although they’d be small.Â Flexibility for the sake of the unmolding is helpful.)
Those molds got used for years, long after the original plaster supply ran out.Â Sometimes (usually as we got older) we painted our names across the backs.Â We glued glitter, we debated the merits of traditional red/green colorways vs going for broke and using them all.Â We painted in the lines created by the molds, or not.Â Remember–we were the children of a modern art dealer.
You could see the progression in the growing collection of young child to creator of ornate perfection.Â Part of me thought, in protest, but this isn’t what my friends’ trees look like, struggling with the pride in, hey, this isn’t what my friends’ trees look like!
Mom and Dad had a cathedral ceiling in the living room, and we cut our own trees at a tree farm every year.Â Writing about those trees could be a whole book to itself, but the best was the time we got one just too tall even for that ceiling and Dad decided to cut off the top and put it on the roof, so that to people going by looking in the window, it looked like this huge pine was growing right through the house!Â Like I say, my dad has a sense of humor and a delightful bit of the imp to him.
We had a lot of space to fill up with ornaments given how big those trees were.Â The collection grew.
And that one year, when I was almost a teenager but not quite, my mom molded a whole bunch for my friends to decorate at my birthday party.Â Paint, the smell I had come to love of fresh plaster, glitter, glue, with multi-festival-able ornaments amongst the Christmas ones for my Jewish friends, and then everybody got to take their works of art home to show off (and my friends too now got to have homemade plaster of paris ornaments made by them at their houses)…
Best. Birthday. Party. Ever.
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