Tuesday, 8 December 2009

No longer lamenting the loss of lametta.

"Out of stock"

As a child I loved the days before Christmas. The Christmas tree was always bought by my mother and put in a pot by my father, then taken up the stairs to the sitting-room by them both, where my Mum, my sister and I would spend several evenings, after homework was done, decorating it. I especially remember lovingly unpacking the tissue paper that wrapped our treasures, the very same treasures that I shall unwrap this year and hang on my tree here in Nürnberg. Treasures that were given to my sister and me over the years, dolls and clowns and chocolate animals, umbrellas and gnomes and all sorts of old-fashioned glittery decorations.

When the tree was full, with not a branch to be found for even one more knitted toy, Mum would get out a very old Cadbury’s Milk Tray chocolate box. I loved this bit. It was the bit that Mum insisted on doing herself and I used to delight in watching her. As a child he had been given a box of lead Lametta This is what was in the chocolate box: silver Lametta.
It hung so beautifully as she put it one precious thread after the other on the tree, making sure that it hung just where the lights with their nursery rhyme shades would catch it, and transform our tree into a Fairyland all of its own.

OnceI had left home I never put Lametta on my own tree. It was not the same, as all that I could buy was made of plastic, and it looked like it. It did not sparkle like Fairyland. That was until I moved to Germany and I again found real Lametta made from tin, just like the Lametta my Mum had in her chocolate box.

I used to buy it over the years in a small corner shop, tilll one year there was no more silver Lametta. The factory did not make it any more. I bought gold Lamettathat left over from the last year but I did not use it, it wasn#t the right colour. I carried on doing what my Mum always did, saving the silver Lametta in a chocolate box from one year to the next.

Last week I was out searching for stars and snowflakes for making crafty things with the children. Guess what I found. Three, yes three packets of silver Lametta. Of course I bought them all, at 99 cents a packet who wouldn’t have? If Mum had still been alive I would have sent her one, but instead I will think of her in a couple of weeks' time as I gently hang it one strand at a time on my Christmas tree, and watch it transform my tree into Fairyland once again.

Notes

Stanniol Lametta, out of stock –

1 comment:

Volsung said...

I did not put tinsel on my Christmas tree this year--it was fully decorated without it. I, too, save my real-lead silver lametta from year to year. Of course a few strands are lost or spoiled each year, so it is a diminishing supply.

The last time I saw it for sale in a store was over a decade ago, when Lord & Taylor carried it in their Christmas department. I have also not seen candle clips in any stores since our local German Deli went out of business.

Thanks to the internet I can now get lametta and candle clips. I am planning to stock up on them to give to my my teenaged boys. Some day they will have Christmas trees of their own and by then these items may be not so easily available.

Happy New Year!