Another holiday season has come and gone, and the last of the decorations are being put away here at the Johnson cellar… uh, home.
A few years ago, we made the decision to stop buying a tree each year and instead invest in several smaller artificial trees. Then we came up with a theme for each tree based on our ornament collection.
The largest tree is devoted to Snoopy and other members of the Peanuts gang (I became a lifelong fan after interviewing Peanuts creator Charles M. Schulz for a magazine story many years ago). Another features Tweety Bird ornaments (and a few Sylvesters), a nod to the favorite cartoon character of my wife’s late mom. Yet another is adorned with ornaments from places we’ve been as a couple.
You get the idea.
And, of course, we have a tree devoted to wine. Yes, you’d be surprised that there have been dozens and dozens of wine-themed ornaments manufactured over the years. If you don’t believe me, log on to Ebay and type “wine ornaments” in the search field.
The ornament themes are many and varied. In our collection, we have grapes (red, purple and golden), ice buckets, glasses, Santas in vineyards, Santas popping out of barrels, a nutcracker holding a wine glass, a field basket filled with grapes and so on.
A big part of our collection features corks with winery logos that have been transformed into keychains. True, technically, these are not ornaments. But keychains serve the same function and attach to tree branches without the need for ornament hooks. And they look really cool when interspersed with the colorful “real” ornaments.
Our latest acquisition is an ornament designed like a wine glass filled with red wine and with the wording, “The most wonderful wine of the year!” on it. It comes from Hallmark, the gold standard in Christmas ornaments.
Trees are not the only decorations we put up for the holidays. We also empty our wire cork holders and replace the corks with colorful ball ornaments.
The cork holders and the tree are just a few ways we pay homage to our favorite adult beverage during the holidays. It’s kind of melancholy to pack away everything.
But we’re already counting down the days until November 1 when we get them out again so we can have the house decorated in time for a festive Thanksgiving.
Yes, we love the holidays… and the wine-drinking opportunities they present.