Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Nitl tschotskes

HA!! I bet you all thought I punched the keyboard and called it a title.  It actually means Yiddish...which, I don't know why they have a Yiddish word for Christmas, but I like the word tschotskes so I thought I'd go whole hog.  Not sure why I went with Yiddish since I'm not Jewish, but I digress.  Anyway, I thought I'd kick off my Christmas memory extravaganza with those little odd bits that have an unknown origin and may have a bit of tackiness about them but are still fun, mostly because they have been around for an eternity.

First up...

...this cute little lady who stymies me as to what she is actually supposed to be.  She has been around as long as I can remember, and she's always been one of my favorites.  I think I was originally hooked by her little pink cheeks and the holly she's "wearing."  I don't know if she's supposed to be a person of some sort, or a snowwoman, or what...but I heart her.

I got this...

....from an Avon catalog a few years ago.  There's nothing spectacular about it, but you know the best part? It's covered in glitter.  And I've never actually seen a decoration made for a doorframe.  It speaks to the tacky in me.  I know it's not as old as the other stuff, but it is definitely a tschotske, so it fits.

Leon and Len are friends.
Take a ride on the Christmas soooouuuuul train.

I can never find my name in magnetic wooden letters.

The train is another thing that goes way back to God knows when.  And since the same time, we've been making it say Leon instead of Noel.  My brother and I were convinced that we were two of the wittiest individuals ever when we hooked it up backwards.  And my mother would fix it, and we would refix it, and so it went.  When I was about ten I desperately needed a paint-by-number set of magnetic wooden Christmas ornaments.  I thought I was so precise and careful, and that these were true works of art.  If you zoom in, you can see they're a total hot mess.  Actually, you don't really need to zoom.  At some point, the 'O' ran for the exit, but they all still need to go up.  A few people still say "Why does it say Len? That makes no sense."   Yeah, I know. That's why it amuses me.

If you press his nose in (you can see the dent from all the love) he plays a beepy version of Jingle Bells while his nose flashes.  He's supposed to hang on your door....but imagine how annoying that can be.

We got this when I was about 6.  I had been asking for ages to get my ears pierced, but my wise mother spent a while trying to find a place that would do both ears at once. Because I'm a wuss.  And to this day I would still have only one ear pierced if they didn't shoot holes into my head two at a time.  She found this shop in Kensington that would do it, and afterwards found this place that sold nothing but Christmas stuff--all new, but in a rummage sale sort of setup.  For some reason, this was what we brought home from that excursion.  My dad had a big old white Chevy then, and I remember sitting huddled in the backseat, freezing, waiting for the heater to kick in, afraid to move my head.  My ears hurt like the blazes, but I didn't want to admit it.  Mom turned around and asked if I was ok, and I fought back tears while I nodded.  I thought she'd feel bad if she know how much it hurt, but of course the pain didn't last very long.  And every time someone pushes Santa's nose in, I remember that day like it was yesterday.

And finally, everyone needs a Christmas....


This little vixen with the cheery blue eyes and pinchable cheeks was given to my mother aaaaaages ago by a cousin of hers who recently passed.  She gets hung every single year over the kitchen sink, but try as we might we can't figure out the connection between witches and Christmas. But no matter--she has that fun old attic smell of age and dust.  Maybe she brings presents to the naughty kids...

That's it for the tschotskes.  Next up:  older than dirt Christmas decorations.  Fun fact: dirt takes 27 years to form. 

See you next time!

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