It started out with me, my mom and my aunt meeting at my grandparents' house to go through my grandma's Christmas decorations and pick out what we each wanted. Originally I asked my grandpa a few weeks ago if I could have one decoration that my grandma had for as long as I can remember: a set of carolers that she painted.
My grandma was very artistic; she painted wonderfully, and she also wrote poetry. For a person who never went to school beyond 8th grade, she was very well-read and was a great writer. However, painting is what I think most people would remember about my grandma's artistic side (well, and her cake decorating). She worked at a ceramics shop for awhile, and she had a lot of different figurines in her home that she painted; we all had been given gifts that she painted for us. Every grandkid has a piggy bank hand-painted by grandma among other various knick knacks. She tried on several occasions to teach me how to paint, but I just don't have that creative gene.
But the carolers... I loved them, especially!
I asked to borrow them this year because it made me sad that my grandma's cherished Christmas decorations wouldn't see the sparkle of the Christmas lights again this year. My grandpa decided that he would have me, my mom and my aunt go through and divide among ourselves the Christmas decorations.
I told my mom and my aunt that all I wanted were the carolers.
Now the carolers are residing on my fireplace mantle. I was also allowed to take home some very vintage angels that are probably from the late 1950s or early 1960s. They are also on my mantle. I love seeing these decorations in my home; it's so much better than having them packed up in boxes for another year.
My grandma marked all of her figurines with the year and her name (it's usually carved in the bottom because she would pour the mold, then put her name on the bottom, I guess). The carolers were made in 1971--the year I was born and the year of my first Christmas.