Some Holiday Sparkle

Christmas OrnamentThe end of the year and with it the approaching holidays always get me to thinking about the past twelve months. Sort of a time for personal reflection, thoughts of things that went great and those that didn’t. I guess it all boils down to memory, which is our link between the present and the past.

Holiday card designed by Hartford artist Dorothy Hapgood (1892-1973), ca.1940s. Though afflicted with cerebral palsy Hapgood led a full, active life pursuing her passion for art. CHS Library Ephemera Collection

Holiday card designed by Hartford artist Dorothy Hapgood (1892-1973), ca.1940s. Though afflicted with cerebral palsy Hapgood led a full, active life pursuing her passion for art. CHS Library Ephemera Collection

What history museums do, or at least ought to do, is help people forge and maintain that link between then and now. My job here frequently brings me into close contact with objects that can serve as such links, by stirring memories of both personal and public events. Whether on view in exhibitions like Making Connecticut 1or through online resources such as eMuseum or Connecticut History Online, objects and images from this collection provide professional researchers and casual browsers alike the opportunity to make the connections with the past that provide context and meaning in our present lives. Trite? Maybe. True? Definitely!

A traditional Saint Nicholas graces this chromolithographed card from the 1880s that was distributed by a Southington jeweler to his customers. CHS Library Ephemera Collection

A traditional Saint Nicholas graces this chromolithographed card from the 1880s that was distributed by a Southington jeweler to his customers. CHS Library Ephemera Collection

Memories of holidays past, for example, are stoked by items like old Christmas cards or vintage decorations. Take, for example, a box of blown glass tree ornaments in the collection. Manufactured in Stamford and dating to the 1950s, these ornaments bring back memories of decorating the tree and, in the process, strewing that vacuum-choking tinsel all over the living room. Memory. It’s an inescapable part of being who we are; of being human.

The Novelty Paper Manufacturing Co. in Stamford produced these holiday tree ornaments in the 1950s.. 2000.150.3 collection

The Novelty Paper Manufacturing Co. in Stamford produced these holiday tree ornaments in the 1950s.. 2000.150.3 collection

So here’s wishing everyone the very best for the holiday season as we enjoy old memories all the while creating new ones to sustain us in the future.

 

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