For many people the days and weeks around Christmas are prime time for family, friends, special occasions and festive gatherings.
It is a period when items from past holiday seasons - Christmas, New Years, and the other midwinter social times - are brought out, displayed, and talked about, sometimes with more than a little embellishment.
Our own collection of Christmas-related things includes cards from decades past, cardboard ornaments, vintage books of Dickens and others, and even a strand or two of old series tree lights - remember them? One goes out, they all go out!.
Other items are more personal and relate to times and places in our own family histories.
There is a 1947 photo of a small boy on Santa's knee at either Kresge's or Woolworth's on Columbia Street, and we even have the suit of clothes he is wearing in the photograph.
There is a rubber inflatable Santa that still stands quite proudly, though he has been around for 65 years.
How long will we be able to blow him up?
Don't know, but each year we handle him more carefully - will this be the year he stays flat?
A small Santa of chenille with bells on the feet, and a clay-like, painted face, has a well-worn string to hang him up on the tree or elsewhere.
This is an interesting piece we know to be at least 65 years old, but there are stories that make him much older and possibly of 'folk art' origin.
There is a 'Merry Christmas' sign - the typical form with letters strung together, about six feet long, like a garland to be put on a wall, a tree, or over a mantel.
No other decorations were available in town in 1945, so it was handmade from cardboard, cut into letters, covered with foil scrounged from cigars, cigarettes, or any other source, and is still serving its holiday role mounted on a living room wall.
There are other depression-era decorations from that period when there were few choices of decorations to make a simple tree a bit more festive.
These clear glass balls with coloured bands of red, blue, yellow or green, were proudly displayed along with paper chains, wooden beads, coloured cardboard shapes, and embossed heavy paper cut-outs of Santas, angels, and a myriad of other possible shapes.
These and other pieces all come with memories.
They come with stories of how they were acquired, where they were used, how often they have been shown and on.
They are wonderfully, delightfully and irrevocably tied to the season.
They are always there - an integral part of the festive season and preparation for a New Year.
How ever you celebrate this winter season of festivities, cherish your memories - old or new; they will serve you and your family well.
We wish you all a very Merry Christmas.