Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Weekly Roundup 15: The Broken Precious Things

Recently, my sister and I were sorting through a couple of large boxes of Christmas decorations, one from our grandmother's house and one from our mother's. In our grandmother's box, we found a smaller box containing a nativity scene that had definitely seen better days:

We rolled our eyes a bit and laughed about it, calling it Nativity Apocalypse and wondering why anyone would have kept it for all these many years. Then I turned one of the figurines over and saw the word "Germany" stamped on the bottom.

My maternal grandfather's family was from Germany, and it was easy to imagine that at one time, this set had been very precious to them. Taken out every Christmas and lovingly packed away after. Maybe as a child my grandfather had looked at it under candlelight and felt a sense of holiday wonder. 

I don't know how the set got broken, only that it sat, completely forgotten for decades, in my mother's storage shed. But at one time, someone thought maybe they could fix it, that it meant enough to try.

We humans have such interesting relationships to our possessions. Sometimes, we throw them away too soon when they deserve a second chance. Other times, we hang on too long when they have outlived their worth. 

I have lone earrings whose partners have disappeared, clothes I like the look of but not the fit, a favorite cracked tea mug. I don't know if it's sentimentality or a sense of responsibility that compels me, but I'm trying to be more selective about what I allow to take up physical and emotional space in my life.

It's a work in progress, but I'm getting better at it. Even without reading Marie Kondo. (Which I still mean to do someday.)

Have a great week!


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