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Ornaments as memories

Posted on December 14 2018

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Ornaments as Memories

I have vivid and fond memories of decorating the Christmas tree as a little girl. Ours was never one of those perfectly choreographed trees, with precisely spaced and color-coordinated ornaments perched among garland and ribbon. No, ours was one of those mish-mash trees, decorated with a motley, genre-crossing selection of ornaments. Some were handmade, some delicate, some glamorous, some rustic. Some were beautiful. Some were, frankly, not. But they all had a story, and they all had a place on that tree. I still see them in my head at this time of year. Ornaments as memories.

Fast forward to now. I have my own little family. I’m mom to two kids. We put up a live tree every year. We’re forming our own traditions around that event, as sticky with pine pitch and fraught with clumped ornament hanging by my littles as it is. One of our traditions has become purchasing Pilgrim Imports ornaments from our friends at Fair Indigo.

By my latest count, we’re up to about 13 of them. We’ve added them gradually; one to two a year. And our selection is gleefully eclectic, running the gamut from the Tree of Life to Santa, Sugar Skull to Rooster, Mermaid to Butterfly, Jiffy the Giraffe to our newest, the Holly Reindeer. All so different, but somehow perfectly in sync as they hang together on the tree, amidst all the other ornamental mish-mash. Thankfully, that tradition continues. 

Now, there’s a lot I could say about how great these ornaments are just as ornaments. I could talk about the quality, how detailed they are, how they’re substantial without being bough-breakingly heavy. I could admire how they can move effortlessly from beautiful to whimsical (sometimes in the same ornament). I could note that I’ve not run across a single sharp edge, loose wire, or other lapse in craftsmanship on any of the ones we’ve adopted yet. All that would be 100 percent true.

By my latest count, we’re up to about 13 of them. We’ve added them gradually; one to two a year. And our selection is gleefully eclectic, running the gamut from the Tree of Life to Santa, Sugar Skull to Rooster, Mermaid to Butterfly, Jiffy the Giraffe to our newest, the Holly Reindeer. All so different, but somehow perfectly in sync as they hang together on the tree, amidst all the other ornamental mish-mash. Thankfully, that tradition continues.

Now, there’s a lot I could say about how great these ornaments are just as ornaments. I could talk about the quality, how detailed they are, how they’re substantial without being bough-breakingly heavy. I could admire how they can move effortlessly from beautiful to whimsical (sometimes in the same ornament). I could note that I’ve not run across a single sharp edge, loose wire, or other lapse in craftsmanship on any of the ones we’ve adopted yet. All that would be 100 percent true.

fair trade oranaments

But that’s not why I felt like writing about them.

This is a letter of gratitude. I wanted to write something as a thank you to Fair Indigo and Pilgrim Imports and every worker behind every ornament that hangs on our tree because, when it’s Christmas in my home, these aren’t just decorations. They are meaningful. They are memories. They are stories. They are on a journey with my family, transforming, with every season and every tree, into heirlooms. I will pass these down to my children for their own trees. And when I can pair those warm-fuzzy feelings with knowledge that each of these is handmade by a man or woman in Thailand who is treated well and compensated fairly for his or her work, that’s all the sales pitch I need.

This post was generously written and shared by a Fair Indigo customer, Caroline Sober-James, from Madison, Wisconsin. See these ornaments here.

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