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Making Memories

Christmas Ornaments Backwards
Christmas Ornaments Backwards

It all started years ago. My love of Christmas and the decorating of THE TREE! Growing up at Behnke’s, I was so lucky to be able to pick out very special ornaments each year in our Christmas Shop. My habit got even worse after I got married and had my children.

Our tree is filled with mulit-colored lights (one year I was going to get white lights and got a lot of frowns from the family) and so many ornaments that even after giving away boxes of them to both of my children, I still cannot get them all on the tree. As they got older, I would let my kids help hang all the precious memories on our tree. Even the fragile ones. We lost very few over the years, but still kept adding to the collection.

I had my grandmother’s old beaded garland that we would drape on the tree and then, last but not least, would be my prized collection of German glass icicles. I think I have over 100. All shapes and sizes.

As the years passed and the kids would show up to help with the tree or come for dinner strange things would happen. I would look over and one ornament or the other would be backwards. Unacceptable! I would turn it around never hearing the snickers behind my back. This went on for awhile till “slow me” caught on that my son, Steven was playing tricks on me. I am not sure but I think my daughter, Jaimie, got in on the act also. As time went on it was not just on the tree. I would see a special Santa with his face to the wall or a angel looking the wrong way. This Thanksgiving however, took the cake!

Christmas Ornaments Upside-down
Christmas Ornaments Upside-down

It started with my serving bowls–which I always label so I know which bowl has what I want in it–and of course I know that I have enough bowls for the meal. I mean doesn’t everyone do that? Needless to say, my labels were all mixed up. Mashed potato bowl said rolls, etc.

That evening my children decided to decorate the tree for old mom since I was so tired. At one point, for a joke, they even put our big old stuffed toy turkey on the top of the tree as a Thanksgiving Tree Topper.

Soon the tree was done except for the beads and the icicles which were left for me for another day. Then it happened. I looked, and then I took a second and a third look.. No way, they would not have done that.

Our glass bird was upside down! And that was not all. Most of the rest are backwards. Silly kids.. Won’t they be surprised when they come home on Christmas and they are all still turned around! Old memories and new is what makes this season so very special to me.

Posted by: Stephanie Fleming


Stephanie Fleming was raised at Behnke’s Nurseries in Beltsville. Her Mom, Sonja, was one of Albert & Rose Behnke’s four children. She was weeding from the moment she could walk and hiding as soon as she was old enough to run, so many weeds, so little time. Although she quickly learned how to pull out a perennial and get taken off of weed pulling duty.

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