It’s that time again, when the Christmas-themed things begin to emerge from their spots in cupboards and boxes.

Under our dining room chandelier, the vessel is a vintage gravy boat, given to me by my mother’s cousin after the death of my great aunt. It is part of a set of Lenox china, printed with gold wreaths on cream. The boat contains:

A hand-painted egg I purchased when at my best friend’s wedding in Prague. Prague is famous for these beautiful eggs, and I think it’s miraculous that it survived the journey home to America in my bag. Her wedding was magical anyway, as a wedding in Prague must be. For three days I was whisked into another universe of ancient buildings, chauffeured Bentleys, flowered wreaths and glittering halls, eight hours ahead. I went right back home to work, still stunned.

Another egg, the black one, is made out of wood. I was given this egg years ago by a childhood friend, whom I now speak to only through Facebook once a year, at most. Her life and mine are so different that no real connection exists, yet we still check on each other’s postings, know each other’s lives.

An ornament my mother created out of homemade clay when I was about seven. I still remember making my own versions of these, just like hers, but being frustrated by how beautiful hers looked versus how childish my own painting and construction seemed. This is the only one that still remains; the rest all mildewed long ago.

Welcome back, old friends and ghosts! Tis the season.

December 10, 2011