My mother, Anna M. Fischer McQuaid, was a saver and a collector. She kept beloved ornaments from Christmas trees at Dad’s and her childhood homes, some of them with antique candleholders. After 1931, she added ornaments that she and Dad bought or their children and grandchildren made.
After our daughters were born in 1960 and 1970, I started buying special ornaments for them every year and putting them on our tree. I’d mark the year and the recipient on each ornament, forming a starter set for each daughter. Later, when they married and moved out, each received her own traditional ornament collection.
Just about that time, my mother started to sort through her prized collectibles to give to my siblings and me. I was blessed to receive more of them from one sibling who is not a saver.
Now each year, I choose a new selection of these fragile and beautiful ancestral ornaments to hang near the tiny white lights on my little tree. They give me such joy as I give thanks for my mother, the real collector of memories.