I remember when visiting my grandparent’s home around Christmas time as a kid, the first thing I would look for was the little pixies with the bell on top. My grandmother would place them in inconspicuous places throughout their home and it was fun to look for them in all their hiding places! Some were knee-huggers and some were not. I remember them being a little worn, their skinny felt bodies and their little pixie faces so full of innocence and that twinkle of mischief that reflected our own. They were my favorite ornaments! One surviving pixie was handed down to my Mom before my grandmother passed away. Mom still has it among the sea of Christmas decorations that comes out every year.
The original pixies (some call them elves) were mass-produced in Japan during the 1950’s and 1960’s. Their nostalgic popularity defines a key aspect of the Christmas experience for Americans.
Then there were the Bubble Lights my grandparents had on their tree… an antique Christmas lighting fad that began in the 1940’s. They were always my favorite kind of lights on a tree! They were hot to the touch so they were something to be admired from a distance. I couldn’t wait for my grandmother to plug them in so I could wait impatiently for the bubbling action to begin. To sit and watch the silent motion on the Christmas tree as they shined through the cascade of silver tinsel was magical and is etched in my memory.