In December of 1947, my great-grandmother Mary saw this church in the Spiegel catalog and knew she had to have it. My grandmother ordered it for her, and the date on the original shipping box (which I have) is December 12, 1947.
December 12 happens to be my birthday, which I think may be a sign that the church would eventually end up with me. My great-grandmother Mary dearly loved the church. Every Christmas, it was the first decoration she unpacked. She had a group of candles shaped like Christmas Carolers that she would line up as if they were going to church. My great-grandmother lived with my mother's family, so my mother developed an attachment to the church from a young age. Her family would wind up the back of the church and listen to its beautiful music box play Silent Night. I'm so glad it still works, and I can enjoy it, too. This is a close-up of one of the windows of the church.
Although I never knew my great-grandmother, the original owner of this church, I feel a strong connection to her. My mother tells me that I'm a lot like her because I'm a peace-maker and I have a special fondness for ribbons and beads. I have three drawers full of ribbon scraps (I may need those some day...), and my great-grandmother had a similar stash.
Family heirlooms are valuable not only for themselves but also for the memories associated with them. My mother has warm memories of the church from her childhood, and I have those, too. I hope my children will appreciate the church someday when I feel that I can part with it. I called my mother this evening to chat with her and to ask her details about the church and her memories, and it was so nice to talk instead of texting. It's one of the many perks of having items passed down through the generations--it brings us together in so many ways.
Merry Christmas, dear readers, and I hope you find many moments of joy through your family, your heirlooms, and, perhaps, through a snow-covered church that still plays Silent Night.