I love this time of year. Part of the fun is unearthing all of the treasures I've accumulated. Today, I spent some time lovingly updating three Christmas "pyramids" - those triangular German displays featuring tiny figures such as Mary, Joseph, the baby Jesus, three Wise Men, shepherds and sheep and in one that I have, a choir of angels, including one playing a pipe organ. Each one is crowned by a wooden propeller, which turns in response to the heat of four candles at the base. One of the pyramids was purchased by us on a trip to Germany. Another was given to us by Hannah after she toured Europe as part of a student choir. The third was a gift from us to my late mother, which I took back after she passed away.
Over the years and through many moves, some of their pieces had loosened or broken. Any loose items were re-attached with my glue gun. Many of the little candle holders and drip rings had discolored or gone missing. I decided to give them the attention they deserved and ordered brass replacement parts from Germany. I pried dried wax out of the wooden openings for each candle holder and tried one of my candles, which proved too small. Then I remembered a box of slightly larger candles, but alas, they were too big. After experimenting with different possibilities, I settled on whittling the bottom of each candle slightly so that it could be forced into the brass holder. Voila! Now each pyramid has new brass hardware and four new candles. On Christmas Eve, they'll be lighted so that the grandchildren can see how they work.
As you see from the photo, there are several other items on the glass coffee table. One is a square tablecloth embroidered with pine branches and candles, that I rescued from my Grandma Baehren's apartment when she moved. Made in Germany, it's the perfect base for the pyramids. Also displayed on the table is a Santa "smoker" that we bought there years ago. It was the first in a parade of Santa figures we've acquired through the years. Lastly, there is a small creche made in Poland--the first Christmas item we bought as newlyweds.
With careful maintenance, I hope I can pass these things on to my children and grandchildren and tell them the story behind each one. In the meantime, I love seeing them every day and remembering.
I'm Chris Barabasz, retired from a 35-year career managing communications for health care development (that's fundraising for you civilians). I'm a wife, mother, grandmother and freelance writer. My husband Andy and I moved from Delaware to Texas to be closer to our daughters and three adorable grandchildren.