24 Days of Ornaments – 14

24 Days of Ornaments – 14

Welcome to day fourteen of my advent calendar of ornaments. Cheesy Christmas (2020 & 2021) is out, and instead I’m giving you a tour of our hodge-podge of a Christmas tree – one ornament at a time until Christmas Day.

Today’s ornament takes us back to the heart of Tuscany…

Alabaster from Volterra…

If you’ve heard Cece Winans sing “Alabaster Box”, written by Janice Sjostrand, or if you’ve read in the Bible about the woman who broke an alabaster box of spikenard perfume, to anoing Jesus prior to his crucifixion, then you’ve heard about alabaster.

If you’ve neither heard the song, nor are familiar with the biblical account, alabaster is a chalky, calcium-rich stone found in the hillsides of Tuscany and known for the ease with which it is worked & sculpted into the most incredibly light and detailed pieces. (see here for a brief overview)

In 2017, we did a second trip to the timeshare property near Pisa and on this particular trip, having already seen the famous leaning tower, we were anxious to also see other things in the area and we heard that Volterra was a lovely, mountain top village to visit.

We made our way there, via cypress-lined roadways that wound there way past olive groves and up a switchback road leading to the town. We parked, visited a beautiful leather shop at the entrance to town and then began meandering.

At the time, we hadn’t realized that Volterra was known for its alabaster, but it didn’t take us long to find out. We past store after store, workshop after workshop. It was a feast for the eyes – there are so many beautiful urns, lampshades, nightlights and statuettes carved from this beautifully light stone.

We didn’t bring anything big back, because (a) with age, I’m a bit less of a collector (a transatlantic move will do that!) and (b) we have neither the house nor the budget for those kinds of things. However, seeing as how we were there in December… we did pick up a few alabaster ornaments for the tree. A couple like this one that you see, as well as a couple of small hearts and stars (“theme”).

They are fairly heavy – they are stone after all – so you have to find the right spot for them, but when placed near a light, their translucence makes them glow beautifully. Again… ornaments that make us recall a wonderful afternoon & evening spent together as a family … in Tuscany.

… and that’s today’s Christmas ornament.

Give the gift of Parisian strolls this Christmas.
My book on Amazon.

4 responses

    • Thanks Carol… I’m a sentimental type at heart and I love going through & remembering them as much as I do sharing those memories. It’s what I love about an eclectic sort of tree… it has stories that only get brought out once a year. Not seeing them daily means that when we pull them out of storage… they’re a little bit fresh & it’s like opening the not insignificant gift of pleasant memories.

  1. Absolutely agree I’m that with my Xmas decs, my Christmas kitsch and my rocking horse collection they all have stories that I’m delighted to regale when anyone asks πŸ™‚

  2. Pingback: 24 Days of Ornaments – 21 « AIM Long

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