Tuesday, January 23, 2018

An Accumulation of Snowmen

My mother loved Lenox china, especially the holiday items. We ate Christmas dinner off Lenox china with a holiday pattern, and every year one or the other of us would add to her holiday dish set with serving pieces and additional place settings.

Mom loved to gift us with Lenox items- vases, ornaments, figurines, bowls, dishes...the truth of things was that I really never cared all that much for the creamy-colored china. However, she bought me a snowman figurine one Christmas and I liked it. It reminded me of my Dad who worked second shift in Connecticut. He would often work over time and get out of work at 3AM and pull into the yard at 4AM. If it had snowed, it didn't matter how tired he was, how eager he was to crawl into bed and crash...he would, in the dark, build us a snowman so that when we woke up in the morning and rolled up the shades, there was this crazy snowman waving at us from the front yard. Dad used all kinds of odd bits and pieces t make faces on his snowmen with- bits of rubber, spongy carrots, straw, twigs, bottle caps...whatever he could scrounge up to make faces. He'd tie his scarf around their neck, plop a baseball cap on their head, or sometime just jam a juice can...one of those tall ones they had in the 60's with Hi-C fruit punch in them...on its head making a top hat.

Mom started giving me snowmen every Christmas, then signed me up for the snowman of the year ornament from Lenox. Mom has been dead since 2000. Today another snowman ornament arrived in the mail- a carol singing snowman.

Somewhere in my basement I have cardboard cartons full of large Lenox snowmen figurines, and cartons full of snowman ornaments- there must be at least twenty-five of them. This is the seventeenth ornament since she passed away. They always arrive in January.

I'm not a fan of Lenox, but I do still have all the snowmen, and keep getting the snowman ornament of the year. I'm not sure I have any of the vases left- I think I gave them to my sister. My sister-in-law collected the Lenox cat figurines. My Mom loved these very nicely done angels and I had given her three of them before she passed. The three angels reside in a glass-windowed cabinet in my living room now. My brother and sister-in-law have Mom's Lenox holiday dishes. Kelly inherited a Lenox Santa Claus.

So, Lenox is still a part of my life although I don't really like it, and don't collect it anymore, except for the snowmen ornaments that keep coming annually. I'm just wondering tonight exactly how many snowmen ornaments there are stashed in my basement and in the cabinet under the china hutch in my dining rom- which is not used for dishes and glassware, but primarily for various collections.

I miss waking up to my Dad's snowmen. He continued to make snowmen for me, and then for a few years for Kelly, swinging by our house and building a little snowman on the back deck for her to find in the morning. And I'm sure, it Mom was still with us, she'd be devastated that her beloved Lenox store in Kittery, ME has been closed now for quite  a few years.

When I see a snowman- I think of my hidden snowman collection that will one day surprise me when I gather them all in one place, remove them from their original boxes, and see exactly what I have!

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