on the second day of Christmas…


Can we stop there? I have a confession to make. I didn’t know until I researched for this blog that the two turtledoves we’ve heard so much about represent the Old and the New Testaments.

I did know that these beautiful gentle birds represent peace, love and faithfulness. The use of the dove as a symbol of peace predates any Christian usage. The dove was a symbol of peace and long life to the ancient Chinese. The ancient Egyptians held the dove to symbolize quiet innocence.

Nowadays, the spectacle and dazzle of the festive season has a lot of say in how we represent our turtledoves.  For only $US64.99 you can own a Gitterazzi “Two Turtle Doves and Santa” ornament.  Waterford has a “Two Turtle Doves Bell” for a lowly $35.00 (you save $35.00!). What about a “Snowbaby Turtle Dove Swing”?  And you simply haven’t celebrated until you’ve owned some Swarovski Crystal Turtledoves. (Don’t ask the price!)


Truth is, I love Christmas ornaments and decorations. Giant candy canes, Santa’s runway on the front lawn, blue icicle lights dripping from muggy Queensland roofs. And, of course, the traditional Christmas tree. Every year we set at the top of our tree a toilet roll with yellow wool hair. The eyes have faded and the wings have seen better days. It’s the Christmas angel our eldest made in preschool and I’ll cry the day it falls apart completely and we need to find a replacement.




Tell us about your favourite or a sentimental Christmas ornament for a chance to win a copy of Confessions of a Millionaire’s Mistress, my February Presents release..





25 Responses to “on the second day of Christmas…”

  1. 1 azteclady
    December 8, 2008 at 5:11 am

    My mother had a set of five plastic angels (one per sibling) encased in really thin glass globes decorated with some golden string. She used to hang them very very carefully out of our reach in the tree, after most of the other ornaments and lights and garland and tinsel were on.

    Then we grew up and had kids of our own… and only one of these angels survives right now (I claim it as my own–not for nothing I’m the youngest, dammit!)

    On the same vein, there were five lambs in the Nativity scene under the tree (an elaborate one, took up a quarter of the room) which would move forward towards the manger each day, or away from it, according to our behaviour. Of course, we all cheated and pushed our lamb forward and our siblings’ back at every opportunity. No matter, on Christmas Eve they were all dutifully clustered around the manger with the shepherds. Sadly, by now there are only three of these left, and none of them has all its legs or tail *sigh*

    Thank you for the wonderful memories, Robyn

  2. 2 Minna
    December 8, 2008 at 5:19 am

    Well, we have this old gnome decoration -it has been decorating the Christmas trees as long as I can remember, anyway. It’s cheeks are dirty by now, but it suits him, as he is holding this really black pot full of rice porridge.

  3. 3 Jane
    December 8, 2008 at 6:11 am

    My favorite ornaments are the few Precious Moments ornaments that I own. I wish I could own the whole collection, but they’re pretty pricey. The ornaments cost about $20 each, but they’re so cute..

  4. December 8, 2008 at 6:49 am

    Robyn, I did not know about the turtle doves = testaments either. And I LOVE your Christmas angel, am smiling thinking about it. I love ornaments and especially the ones that hold such special meaning. We put our own tree this weekend, and although some of the ornaments my guys made or gifted me are getting a little (or a not!) they’re all still on the tree. Part of the special of the season.


  5. 5 RobynL
    December 8, 2008 at 6:54 am

    the ornament that holds wonderful memories for me is the pairs of Santa boots my Mom made to hang on the tree. She was so crafty but has passed away. She made the boots from red felt and white fur and used yarn for the laces.

  6. December 8, 2008 at 7:53 am

    Well, that’s done it! I’m feeling *very* Christmassie!

    Azteclady, wow! I’m blown away by the idea of five lambs in a big Nativity scene representing each child in the family, and the games and fun you had with their journey toward the Christmas tree. It must have been so very special for you growing up!

    Minna, your gnome sounds absolutely wonderful!! You didn’t originally have 7 of them did you? 🙂

    Jane, Precious Moments…these are the “little children” ornaments? I’m sure I bought something very similar for my mum *many* years ago for Mother’s Day. They are *very* cute!

    Bron, we’re putting our tree up this week too! I know what you mean about keeping your memories. When you’re young, it’s about magic, when you’re older, it’s about memories, the old ones and building new ones. I’ll wish us both luck untangling our Christmas lights this weekend!

    RobynL, when I read your post, it struck a certain chord and now I remember why. My grandmother made a horse of felt for her little boy, who died when he was three. My mum still has the horse. And that story leads me to memories of all the *huge* Christmas lunch get togethers we used to have as kids and young adults. Grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, grandparents of friends, lol. You should’ve seen the piles of washing up!!!

  7. December 8, 2008 at 9:04 am

    hey guys! Christmas decos? OMG we have sooo many of them! Only just got into collecting the special Hallmark ones that Target put out every year – Monsters Inc, Toy Story, Barbie are just a few. I guess my fave would have to be a tiny ceramic bell that has Snoopy and all the Peanuts gang on it. I bought it during a trip to Melbourne when I was about 6 and I still love it!. We also have an ancient nativity set that my mom got when she was like, a teenager, (so a very long time ago) 😀 A donkey, a cow, Mary, Joseph, a manger and removable Baby Jesus. Baby Jesus’ head has been stuck back so many times he’s got an extra superglue appendage growing there 😆 When I was a kid my brother and I played it to death then, years later, my brother’s kids, then finally, my boy. I’m sure my grandkids will have their turn!

  8. December 8, 2008 at 9:08 am

    Robbie, I’ve noticed lately people here are using doves at funerals and at weddings also. Quite lovely…so long as they don’t ummmm, y’know, excrete.

    I have a dear friend in LA who, every year, sends me a Hallmark Christmas ornament. This year its a set of little bells and a wee plaque saying “Naughty is the new nice.” But I think my favourite tree ornaments are the two inidividual pixies she sent me one year. One gold and the other silver, and theyr’e holding little phones talking to one another.

    My favourite ornament for around the house, and I usually hang it from my dining room light fitting, is a crystal star with gold tips on the points. It’s sooo pretty!

  9. 9 Rachel Bailey
    December 8, 2008 at 10:24 am

    Oh, I must put up the Christmas tree! Dh’s birthday is mid-December so it never feels like Christmas to me until his birthday has gone – before then it’s birthday season. Thing is though, that always makes me late with Christmas cards and getting the tree up. Maybe this year will be different. . .

    When we were kids we had a pretty wind up angel that played Joy to the World. It’s a bit tatty now but my sister has it and still plays it at Christmas.

    We didn’t have a conventional tree – it was always a branch stuck in a bucket of sand in the caravan’s annex, beside all the bunk beds. So as you can imagine, the ornaments weren’t crystal or anything too fragile. I seem to remember lots of tinsel. Fun. 🙂

  10. 10 Avi j
    December 8, 2008 at 11:19 am

    The Big Angel on top of our tree was my favourite. It was the first and last thing my grandmother gave me for my first christmas. So I dearly love it. Mom always loves to tell me the story behind it when we decorate the tree. Sadly I only had one Christmas with her.

  11. 11 LJ
    December 8, 2008 at 11:31 am

    My favourite ornament is a crystal star. It has been handed down to the first born female in our family over the past 103 years. I was anxious to grow up so I could get to keep it (lol) As I am the first born I was given it two years ago, and well from me when I have my first born daughter she will get it.

  12. December 8, 2008 at 11:44 am

    Speaking of putting up Christmas trees – apart from the food smells, nothing reminds me of the season more firmly than the smell of the plastic tree and all that tinsel 😆

  13. 13 Ellen
    December 8, 2008 at 12:26 pm

    I no longer put up a tree since I am not at home for Christmas but the ornaments that meand the most to me are the painted wooden ones that my mother had for years and always hung on the tree until she passed away.

  14. 14 Rachel Bailey
    December 8, 2008 at 12:26 pm

    Wow, LJ! 103 years of tradition! That’s awesome.

  15. 15 Sandra
    December 8, 2008 at 4:29 pm

    We just put up our tree today and I buried my face in it to inhale the scent of Christmas. Decorations still to come, and that’s always a trip down memory lane – the ones the children made when they were younger, the ones we’ve bought when we’ve travelled to special place and the ones given to us by friends. Thanks for the post Robbie – I’m definitely feeling Christmasy now.

  16. 16 christa
    December 9, 2008 at 12:04 am

    actually it’s not an ornament, it’s the tree. I started finding it a pain to set up my tree. There was only me, barely any presents under the tree, went to my parent’s house Christmas Eve. Now I have a 2 foot ceramic tree painted green. There’s a crack at the back so my sister put some glitter on it(looks like snow). There are holes for pegs and a light bulb inside so lights up and a bright blue star at top. There’s a music box inside that plays Silent Night. The base has holly painted on it. And the best part it’s not store bought, my sister made it when she was taking ceramics

  17. 17 azteclady
    December 9, 2008 at 12:45 am

    LJ, That is incredibly cool, wow!

    Avi, it’s a beautiful thing to remember your grandmother by, isn’t it? *hug*

  18. December 9, 2008 at 1:16 am

    Paula, I *love* the Snoopy gang! And lol on poor baby Jesus’ head needing all that glue after so much attention. 🙂

    Oh, Yvonne, the ornament your friend sent you sounds just beautiful! I have a special friend who lives in Canada. Your pixies sound exactly like the kind of thing I’d love to send to her.

    Rachel, I was card shopping today and saw one that I wanted to buy for your dh. Santa in his slay Christmas Eve was colliding with the Stalk delivering a baby. Xmas and birthdays coming at once! Yay for tinsel! Tabby was crazy for it this arvo when we put up our tree 🙂

    Avi, that it just so beautiful… I bet your grandma looks down and smiles everytime your mum tells that story.

    LJ, you’re kidding! 103 years! I see I’m going to have a very hard time giving one book away! 🙂

    Ellen, those wooden ornaments must mean so much to you…little pieces of magic you’ll always have of your mother’s. Ellen, are you the Ellen on eharlequin member of the month atm?

    Hey Sandra! Ah, yes, the scent of the Christmas tree, as Paula pointed out too 🙂 Plastic or green, it’s all good 🙂 Glad you’re feeling Christmassy!!

    Christa, that sounds like the best Christmas tree ever! I can hear Silent Night playing now…

  19. 19 Crystal B.
    December 9, 2008 at 1:17 am

    My most sentimental ornament is a glass Christmas bell that we always put on our tree when we were growing up. My brothers and I always challenged each other to be the one to place it on the tree. It has faded over time but we all love to see it on my Mom’s tree.

  20. December 9, 2008 at 6:26 am

    My ornament is a red sled I make with popcycle sticks when I was in first grade. Aftre 20 + years it is a staple on my parent’s Christmas tree.

  21. 21 Maureen
    December 9, 2008 at 8:40 am

    My favorite ornaments are the ones my kids made when they were little. Some of them have broken over the years and I try to be very careful with the ones that are left because they can’t be replaced. I can’t see my 17 year old son willing to sit down and create an ornament for me now.

  22. 22 Ellen
    December 9, 2008 at 10:31 am

    Robyn – yes I am.

  23. 23 Ellen
    December 9, 2008 at 2:43 pm

    Actually Robyn to clarify things I’m EllenToo.

  24. 24 Minna
    December 10, 2008 at 6:02 am

    7? He’s a Finnish gnome or elf (tonttu in Finnish, tomte in Swedish) or whatever they are now called in English, not one of 7 dwarfs. I think he’s a house elf or maybe a kitchen elf, since he has that pot of porridge.

  25. December 10, 2008 at 12:50 pm

    Ellen, I love eharlequin!! I don’t get there as much as I’d like these days. Congrats on being member of the month!

    My winners, and it was tough, believe me, are:

    1. Azteclady for her lambs
    2. Minna with the porridge gnome
    3. LJ with that fab 103 year old tradition

    Please contact me at robyn-grady @ hotmail dot com with your addies. And thanks so much for your *beautiful* stories. I’ll be back next Tuesday with another chance to win, this time Harlequin’s fabulous 5 book “Christmas Gift Selection”!

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