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A Pretty Little Christmas

I am participating in A Pretty Little Christmas Blog party. Check out We're all posting about our home decorations
and ways we are having a pretty little Christmas. So open the box and look inside.
This is a chess set handmade and purchased in Krakow, Poland. The story behind it is very special. In August of 1986, I went to Poland with Cardinal Law's entourage from Boston. One of my fellow travelers was an older woman named Irene. We were both traveling alone so we spent time together. I was quite young at the time and she kept an eye on me while we traveled through a Communist country.
While in Krakow, we visited a market where all the goods for sale were handmade. Mostly embroidered pieces but one person was selling items made from wood. Irene and I both eyed the same chess set. There was only one. I wanted it because it was so different. Each piece was handcrafted and there were pieces carved to look like Polish women and men. I thought it would make the perfect souvenir. I was thinking of only myself. Irene wanted to buy it for her son
who actually played chess. First she was going to let me buy it but then she said her son would really love it. I backed off and she bought the set for her son.

In December of that same year, I came down with a nasty flu which would not go away. It got me quite down during the holidays. I remember just having no energy to do anything. On one of those days, the mailman left a package for me. I thought it was a get well gift from my boyfriend. I opened the package and there was the Polish chess set! Irene said in her letter that she wanted me to have it. She knew I really loved it so she decided to wait until Christmas and send it along as a gift.

Irene has since died. She had a stroke a few years ago. We did keep in touch and even had lunch together a few times over the years. I always think of her at Christmastime and I have fond memories of our trip.

My Pretty Little Christmas wouldn't be complete without some pretty little gifts for coworkers.
Like these sets of 6 taper candles dressed up in their holiday finery.

I like to use this brass plated reindeer and sleigh as an ornament display or sometimes as
a candy dish. He's prancing around proud as can be, isn't he? I got him years ago at the Bombay Company. How I miss that store!

This swan was purchased at my friend's shop last year. Sadly, she closed her doors this Fall.

A red fur trimmed skate ornament from Victorian Trading Company. My skates should look so good!
So there you have it! Memories, decorations, friends and family all make for a pretty little Christmas. I really would love to have photogaphed my nativity set but it is among the missing. The victim of my recent move. I will find it before the season is over. And when I do I will post
a photo of it. It's a fairly big set, packed away in a big box so it shouldn't be too hard to find.
That's my contribution to the party. I wish you all a pretty little Christmas! Don't forget to check out everyone's posts. This is going to be fun!


Marilee said…
What a lovely chess set, made even lovelier by the memories of your trip and caring friend. Thank you for sharing your pretty decorations.
Merry Christmas!
salmagundi said…
What a wonderful story about the chess set and your friend. Memories like that are very special. Sally
Michelle said…
JUST adorable!! I love your decorations and that swan is to die for! I also love that little red skate. I need to go to the Victorian Trading Company and treat myself to something. :)
How wonderful that you were able to meet Susan Branch! I really enjoy her art! Thanks for visiting and Happy Holidays! ~Mandy

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