As with most things, this started years ago but I didn't it know it at the time.

For as long as I can remember, my mom and I were tag sale buddies and amongst the treasures we hunted for were great old Christmas ornaments for my friend Dino's restaurant and his 16' tall tree. Over the years we must have bought hundreds of ornaments, each carefully scrutinized for their Christmas spirit. Even if an ornament needed a little cleaning or mending, that was OK so long as it "spoke" to us.

My mom and I bought this ornament together years ago.
It was meant for Dino's tree but I never got around to fixing it up.

Our three-season hunt for ornaments was something my mom and I shared just between us. It wasn't a big thing, but it was our tradition, and as I look back on it now, our way of keeping Christmas all year long.

My mom passed away six years ago. Tag sales and Christmas are different now, but my spirit is back for both, and I know that makes mom happy.

But my need for ornaments is gone now too. My friend's restaurant no longer puts up the 16' tree. (Hurricane Sandy swept through Hoboken, NJ flooding Dino's basement and washing away 20+ years of Christmas memories. The good news is Dino & Harry's is still there and still has the best steak you'll ever taste! If you're ever in Hoboken, D&H is a MUST!)

And funny enough, though I'm back to tag saling with my dear friend Michele, passing by the inevitable box of Christmas trinkets at every tag sale still tugs at my heart to this day.

Then, a few months ago, Michele and I were at a tag sale where a family was selling their outdoor Christmas lights. I had no earthly need for them, but somehow found myself negotiating the price for the whole box from $4.00 down to $2.00 (mom would have been proud!). And there we were, Michele and I, wedging this huge box of lights into the backseat of my car.

That afternoon, I decided to remove all the bulbs from their light strands.


I don't know.

As it turns out, it takes a while to remove 500 light bulbs from tangled up strands. My mind wandered back to mom and our ornament hunts and somewhere along the way it dawned on me that for all those years, mom and I weren't just decorating Dino's tree, we were giving those old ornaments a new chance to shine.

And by the time the last bulb was cleaned, sorted, and put away, the Ornament Rescue League was born.

My thanks to Dino and Susan for all the years of Christmas 16 feet in the air!

My thanks to the lady in Warwick, RI who sold me her lights for $2.00.

My thanks to Michele for not questioning why she was hauling the other end of that huge box of lights to my car.

My thanks to my family and friends for joyously joining this Christmas adventure (after you all stopped laughing!)

And most of all, to my original ornament rescuer. Thank you, mom, for all the love, all the laughs,
and the glitter of hope I keep in my heart. This is for you.



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